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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The guns that existed during the American revolution are nothing compared to the firepower of today’s guns.
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.