Tag Archives: Columbine shooting

Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.

He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.

He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.

He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.

Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.

May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.

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Thoughts On the new Madonna Music Video

I’ve often spoken about the Columbine shooting and the unnecessary loss of young life twenty years ago. Back then, it was front page news for weeks on end.

These days, mass shootings in the United States are just another blip on list of daily news headlines. The headline may last a week at best on the front page before it slowly fades from the nation’s consciousness.

Earlier this week, Madonna released her new music video. Entitled God Control, the video tells the story of a fictional shooting in an New York City nightclub similar to the massacre at the nightclub in Orlando three years ago.

I will warn you that the video does contain graphic imagery.

There is enormous power in celebrity. In using her voice and her music, Madonna speaks of the heartache and grief that gun violence creates. We need sensible gun control laws. There has to be a way to respect the 2nd Amendment and responsible gun owners while protecting innocent people.

My hope (though it often springs eternal) is that one of these days, sensible gun laws will be the law of the land. Until then, we will continue to grieve for those who are killed simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Thoughts On the 20th Anniversary of the Columbine School Shooting

20 years ago today, millions of high school students around the country (myself included) walked through the front doors of their high school as they did every school day. By the time the school day ended, 12 students and one teacher were dead in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

It was America’s first school shooting in what was then recent memory. Sadly, as we all know, it would not be the last.

Looking back, I can’t help but feel anger. One mass school shooting should have been enough to galvanize the nation and our leadership to change our gun laws. If New Zealand can change their gun laws after the Mosque shooting last month, why can’t America do the same? If we had, we might have prevented the shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland.

May the memories of the students and the teacher killed be a blessing and may we finally learn from the past.

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Thoughts On the First Anniversary Of the Parkland Shooting

One year ago today, the students and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School started the school day like any other school day. By the time the sun had set, 17 people were dead and many more were injured.

I’ve spoken in previous posts about my memories of the day of the Columbine attack. If only we would have done something back then. If only the gun laws would have been strengthened. If only our treatment of mental illness would have been different. Parkland and the other mass shootings that have occurred might not have happened. But we can only say “if only” in hindsight.

My heart still breaks for the families of those killed, the community at large and for the survivors whose lives were forever changed.

We need common sense gun control laws. While we cannot step on the rights of gun owners who follow the law and are of sound mind, we cannot continue to allow our children to be massacred in their classrooms.

May the memories of those who died one year ago today be a blessing and may we never forget the toll that gun violence takes on all of us.

 

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Another Day In America And Another Mass Shooting

Up until a few years ago, a mass shooting of innocent civilians was much more than the average news headline. The Columbine shooting was the first mass shooting in modern American history to shock the country and the world. These days, it is rare that a week a or a month can go by without hearing about a mass shooting.

Last night started as an ordinary night for the patrons and staff of the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Then a man walked in with a gun and started shooting. As of tonight, there are 13 dead. Among the dead is the accused gunman and a police officer who lost his life while trying to save the lives of those inside the bar.

 

According to news reports, the man who opened fire was a former marine who struggled with PTSD after leaving the military. Another news report states that some of the victims in this shooting survived the shooting in Las Vegas last year.

As with previous mass shooting, the same issues will arise: gun control and mental health.  How many more innocent lives will be taken before we do something? What will it take for the politicians to stop taking money from the NRA and listen to the citizens who want reasonable gun control?

I am not against the 2nd amendment. I never have been. If someone wants to buy a gun, I have no right to stop them. But when will come to our senses and realize that there is a way to respect the 2nd amendment while making sure that those who are not of sound mind cannot buy a firearm? What will it take to enact national legislation to ensure that background checks when it comes to purchasing guns?

When someone wants to drive, we don’t just hand them the keys to the car. We make sure that they are capable of driving. We give that person a license with the full knowledge that the license can be taken away if said person does not adhere to the rules of the road. If we can do this for drivers, why can’t we do this for those who want to own a fireman?

It’s another day in America and another mass shooting.

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When Has School Shootings Become Normal?

Friday morning started off as an ordinary day at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana. Then one of the students walked into a classroom with a gun and the day went from ordinary to life changing.

By the grace of G-d and the heroism of teacher Jason Seaman, there were only two injured: Mr. Seaman and a female student. There were no fatalities.

When did school shooting become normal? I’ve stated in previous posts about being in high school when the Columbine shooting occurred. Back then, school shootings were major news because they didn’t happen. When they did happen, not only was it major news, but the surge of grief and anger was paid attention to by politicians and those in the government.

Today, school shooting are just another news bulletin that holds our attention all too briefly. First there is the anger/grief, the calls for gun control reform. Then there is lip service of thoughts and prayers/”it’s not the right time” comment from our politicians. Finally the story fades into the background until another school shooting occurs and the cycle starts all over again.

How many innocent people will be hurt or killed  before this mania stops? When will our children and those who teach our children be more important than a gun?

More importantly, why have school shootings become normal?

 

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What If We Had Spoken Up?

Hindsight is always 20/20.

On April 20th, 1999, twelve students and one teacher were murdered in a mass shooting at Columbine High School.

Two weeks ago, fourteen students and three teachers were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

What if, nineteen years ago, my generation reacted as the kids who survived the massacre are reacting now? What if we had an Emma Gonzalez and a David Hogg back then? Would we have had a public audience with then President Clinton and a televised town hall, meeting with our elected representatives and speaking up for those whose lives were lost? Would we have walked out of school and marched in solidarity against gun violence?  Would we have publicly shamed our elected officials for taking money from the NRA? Would we have demanded the legislation of sensible gun laws and the strengthening of our mental heath system? Could we have prevented the unnecessary future loss of too many innocent lives, had we spoken up then?

I honestly don’t know. I only know that these kids are speaking up in a way that should have happened a long time ago and perhaps now, in 2018, change will finally come.

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Another Day, Another Columbine

April 20th, 1999 is a day that will forever live in my memory. It was the spring semester of my senior year of high school. The day was comfortable and ordinary. I went to school, came home and was doing my homework like any other student.

Then the news of the Columbine shooting spread like wildfire across the country. Back then, it was an anomaly that should have once and for all changed the way we view and legislate gun laws in this country. Nearly 20 years later, Columbine has sadly become the first of one too many school shootings where innocent lives are lost.

There was another school shooting today. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Broward County, Florida. 17 people walked into the school building today and left in body bags. The accused killer is Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student who was forced out of the school for disciplinary reasons. Somehow, he got his hands on an AR-15, which is a weapon of war and decided get revenge by killing 17 innocent people.

I don’t know when this will stop. I only know that we are killing a generation of kids who might change the world for the better.

 

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There Have Been 11 School Shooting So Far This Year. It’s Only January 25th

In theory, a school is a safe space. It is a space for learning and molding young minds. It has also become a place of mass murder.

In Kentucky earlier this week, a fifteen year old boy walked into his high school and started shooting at his classmates and teachers. Two students were killed and 18 were injured.

Today is January 25th. We are not even done with the first month of 2018 and there have been 11 school shootings since New Years.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I will, because it has to be done. We need stricter gun laws and we need them now. In fact, we needed them yesterday and we needed nearly twenty years ago when 12 students and one teacher were killed during the Columbine High School massacre. I agree with the second amendment, but we need to face our reality in 2018.

The need of stricter gun laws are a necessity. Unfortunately, the continued loss of life seems to be over the head of some people.

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Guns In America

I remember the day of the Columbine shooting.

It was a warm spring day during my senior year of high school. The news reported the shooting and I remember thinking that it didn’t happen at my high school.

By the time the closing credits of the evening news rolled, 13 people, twelve students and one teacher were dead.

Thirteen years later, another school shooting broke our hearts. At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, 26 innocents were murdered.

In the nearly 3 years since Sandy Hook, 87 people have been killed by guns in school.

The latest round of gun violence was in Louisiana this past week. John Houser, a man with a criminal record and a history of mental instability, killed two women in a movie theater and injured many others.

I respect the second amendment and what it represents. However, two important points must be made.

  1. The guns that existed during the American revolution are nothing compared to the firepower of today’s guns.
  2. This right was created to allow Americans to defend themselves against the then British oppressors, not to randomly kill innocent civilians.

We need common sense legislation on this issue. While respecting the rights of those who legally own guns, we must take control of our country. We must also confront our lax reaction to mental illness.

We have grieved too many times over lives lost due to gun violence. It’s time to end the grief and put laws into place that will prevent future tragedies.

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