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  • How nice of me: Resolutions just for you

    How easy it is to make New Yearís resolutions.

    ďIím going to be a better person this year,Ē you might say.

    Or perhaps more specifically: ďIím going to shop local, and Iím not going to speed on 32nd Street.Ē Or, ďIím going to buy a wetsuit and swim the English Channel.Ē

    How simple is that? Childís play.

    After decades of doing it that way, itís time to try something else. This year, Iím adding a degree of difficulty. Iím going to make New Yearís resolutions for other people. Itís not only more challenging, but itís way more fun.

    Yes, my New Yearís resolution is to tell other people how to run their lives. No doubt, I will be a popular person in 2013.

    Hmm, where to start. How about the mighty halls of Congress?

    Resolution for representatives: I want you to forget about your political futures. I want you to consider only the good of your country. Thatís it.

    Do not consider your lobbyist a friend. Do not worry about offending the party leadership.

    Think only of your constituents and what is truly in your heart. Make the decision that will most benefit the United States of America. Deliver us gracefully from the fiscal cliff.

    For juries, judges and parole boards: Do not let people out of jail who have killed their grandmother with a hammer. (See Webster, N.Y., Christmas Eve.)

    For teams facing the Broncos: Be nice to Peyton Manning. Tackle him if you must. But put him on the ground gently, then help him back up. Just because weíve got Von Miller trying to take your quarterbackís head off doesnít mean you shouldnít treat Manning like a middle-aged man whoís had three neck surgeries.

    For anyone who talks politics with me: Do not hear the first thing I say and put me in a box. Do not instantly label me as ďconservativeĒ or ďliberal.Ē Thatís too easy. Try to bend your mind. Try out new ideas. Itís not a weakness. Itís how you remain nimble. Itís how you grow. I will give you every opportunity to be malleable, and I expect the same courtesy.

    For people with guns: Shoot at targets. Shoot at clay pigeons. Shoot at toy soldiers. Shoot at animals, if you can use the food. Do not shoot at people unless theyíre about to shoot or stab or otherwise severely injure you.

    For people with guns, part 2: The Second Amendment is extremely important, and I do like the idea that a government canít just willy-nilly run roughshod over U.S. citizens. Letís not gut the second, or any other, amendment.

    That being said, can anyone seriously believe that James Madison wrote the Second Amendment with our current situation in mind? We have a society in which crazy people are regularly acquiring guns and massacring kids. In 1791, the worry was that a tyrannical government would form a strong, standing army and subjugate its citizens.

    Iíve been studying the Second Amendment. Itís not clear to me where it says, ďand the right to have semiautomatic machine guns with 30-round magazines, shall not be infringed.Ē But Iíll read it again just to see if Iíve missed something. (Also, keep in mind that things do change. For example, when implemented, the Bill of Rights did not apply to blacks or Native Americans.)

    Many factors, including violent video games and movies, and inadequate mental-health care, are part of the quandary too. So hereís the simple New Yearís resolution: Letís at least keep everything on the table when talking about our lethal problem.

    For my excitable puppy: Do not jump on people, especially those older than 65. Not everyone appreciates how cute you are or will forgive you so easily. If you jump on someone younger than 65, at least wipe off your paws first.

    For the weather gods: Please pummel the parched parcels of Southwest Colorado with a profuse pack of snow.

    For everyone: Be kind to your family, neighbors, friends and those less fortunate. And, if you can stand it, be nice to yourself.

    Well, there you have it. A more perfect world for 2013. Youíre welcome. It wasnít easy, but now that itís done, I feel better.

    Nope, I wonít improve one iota in 2013. Iíll still be the same dolt I was in 2012. But thatís OK. This is all about you.

    Donít screw up.

    johnp@durangoherald.com. John Peel writes a weekly human-interest column.