Let’s Talk About the Real Baby Killers (Hint: It’s Not Pro-Choice Activists)

We all know that children are our most precious resource. Without the next generation, our future is non-existent. As we all know, 19 of those precious resources were taken from us earlier on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.

Those who are pro-life and against Roe V. Wade argue that abortion is nothing more than the killing of babies. I would argue the opposite. Republicans who are vocally against gun control laws are the real baby killers.

In the three days since the murders, Texas leadership has placed the blame on every issue except one: the fact that the gunman was able to easily get access to a firearm. The only one of them to speak the truth is Beto O’Rourke. When he dared to confront public officials, he was booted out of the room and called all sorts of names.

Courtesy of Facebook.

What I find completely ironic and sad is that while Governor Greg Abbott placed at the feet of responsibility among other things, mental health, he authorized cutting millions of dollars of mental health aid from the state budget.

When I think of both of these topics entwined together, I think of the younger generation who has been traumatized by these events. Not just the kids who are hearing about this on the news or from adults, but the ones who were there. The scars of hearing and/or watching their classmates and teachers being killed will likely create scars that will stay with the survivors for decades.

I remember that right after Columbine happened, there were some who condemned the band, Marilyn Manson, for the killings. I’ve never had even an iota of interest in their music. The problem is that instead of looking inward to understand what led to the tragedy, the accused were outside actors who in reality, had nothing to do with the problem.

It’s been three days and my heart still hurts. The only silver lining is that this may be the figurative fire that finally forces us to codify legislation, both at the national and state level that stops this kind of event. The question is if our lawmakers have the balls and the backbone to do so.

P.S. The husband of one of the teachers who tried to save her students died from a heart attack, unable to deal with the grief. I can only imagine what their kids are going through, having lost both of their parents.

Z”L

It’s Been Nine Years Since Sandy Hook

December 14th, 2011, was a day that broke America’s heart.

Twenty-six people, most of them six and seven-year-old children, were murdered. They were killed because someone had a gun who shouldn’t have had a gun.

I remember Columbine like it was yesterday. I was in high school then, the kids who died were around my age. They at least had the opportunity to see some of the world and experience a little of what life could offered them. The children who died 9 years ago today were just a few years out of diapers. Had they lived, these beautiful and innocent souls would now be teenagers themselves.

What kills me is that even today, after too many young Americans have lost their lives for no reason, that some in the halls of power refuse to take simple steps to protect our future. They are more concerned with saving their own behinds.

May the memories of those precious lives forever be a blessing. Z”L.

Biden Has the Balls to do What His Predecessors Could or Would Not Do: Prevent Mass Shootings

A generation ago, the mass shooting of innocent civilians was an news event. These days, it is just another headline.

Since the Atlanta shooting last month, it has become a weekly event. This week there two mass shootings: one in South Carolina and one in Bryan, Texas. On Wednesday, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to try to put a stop to this continuing senseless loss of life.

Does it go far enough in my mind? No. But it is a necessary first step that should have been taken long ago. I can only imagine how many lives could have been saved had the Clinton administration acted after Columbine. But they didn’t and neither has subsequent Presidential administrations up now.

This is not about the 2nd Amendment. While I have never been interesting in hunting as a hobby, if that is what another person does in their spare time, that is their right. But there is a difference between being of sound mind and legally owning a hunting rifle because that is what one enjoys doing and killing strangers with a firearm that is meant for the battlefield.

The problem is that any potential gun control legislation would be deadlocked in Congress. The only option Biden has is executive action. I wish that it was not the truth, but it is.

The question I have is why does it take 20+ years and hundreds of live lost for the politicians at the national level to finally do something?

Back to Normal: The Third Mass Shooting in Three Weeks

If there is one bright spot in this Coronavirus pandemic (I know, it’s a stretch), it is that for a year, there were no mass shootings in the United States.

That streak ended three weeks ago in Atlanta. On Wednesday night, four people were murdered in a mass shooting in Orange County, California. This is the third week in a row in which innocent civilians have been killed.

Are we back to our previous Covid-19 normal? That at least every week or every other week, headlines state that more Americans have been killed due to unnecessary gun violence?

Logic would have said that after Jonesboro and Columbine 23 years go, those in the halls of power would have actually done something. Instead, they have been playing political ping pong while more lives are lost.

Seriously, what is it going to take to stop this nonsense once and for all?

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.

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.

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.

 

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?

 

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.

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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