Tag Archives: Florida school shooting

The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Hits Too Close To Home

This morning started off like any morning for the members of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. At approximately 10:30 am EST, a gunman walked into the synagogue and killed 8 people with at least 4 more injured in the shooting. He stated the following as a reason for the shooting: All Jews must die.

This shooting hits too close to home for me. Other than attending services on the high holidays (and perhaps for a special occasion), I haven’t attended Saturday morning services regularly since high school. But I come from a Jewish family where attending regular Saturday morning services is a just part of the weekly calendar. I count my blessings that none of my loved ones were in that synagogue, but it also hurts like h*ll.

I am scared, angry and on the verge of tears.  Antisemitism is alive and well in America. The people who were killed were only killed because they are Jewish and happened to attend services at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

This should not be happening in 2018. We should be able to go about our business without being afraid of being killed for who we are. Religious institutions should not need to hire armed guards or security so their members can attend services and feel safe in doing so.

According to news reports, the accused gunmen was found with an AR-15 and a handgun. An AR-15 was also used in the shooting in Las Vegas and Florida.  What will it take for our government to enact reasonable gun control laws? How many will die before we come to our senses?

Of course, you know who sounded Presidential, be we all know that he is part of the problem. His antisemitic dog whistles has allowed those who believe as shooter did that they are right.

This should be classified as a hate crime and if convicted, the shooter should receive the harshest legal penalty possible.

May the memory of those killed be a blessing and may we all see each other first and foremost as human beings.

I am going end this post with Shylock’s speech from The Merchant of Venice. Though this speech was written hundreds of years ago, it feels relevant today.

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.-Act III, scene I

Leave a comment

Filed under National News, William Shakespeare

We’ve Failed Our Kids

As adults, it is our job to protect our children and make sure that they have everything that they need, physically, socially and emotionally to become thriving, responsible adults.

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what side one is on the issue of gun control and the shooting in Parkland in February, we failed our kids. Law enforcement failed to do their due diligence and make sure that the shooter was preventing from harming others. Both Democrats and Republicans were so focused on partisan politics that they forgot that their job to serve the voting public and not the lobbyists/wealthy corporations that write large checks towards to help in the next election cycle.

I hate to be blunt, but we need to do better for our kids. While what is already done cannot be undone, we must do better going forward. We need reasonable gun control laws, we need to ensure that those suffering from mental health issues receive the help they need and our politics need to remember to whom they are beholden to.

We cannot fail our kids again.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, National News, Politics

Today, I Marched For Our Lives

A little over a month ago, 14 students and three staff members were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Today, millions of citizens, both within the United States and around the world (myself included) marched to prevent another tragedy of the same ilk.

The NRA’s response to the marchers that we want to abolish the 2nd amendment.

While guns are not my cup of tea, if someone who owns guns has purchased them legally and is of sound mind, I have no right to deny them. What I and millions of citizens marched for was federal legislation of universal background checks and preventing those who are mentally unstable from purchasing a firearm.

Whether they admit it or not, the NRA is very powerful in this country, especially when it comes to politics.  They prioritize their own needs versus the needs of the country, especially the children who are afraid to go to school.

In a normal world, the adults speak/lead and the kids listen/follow. Today, it was the opposite.

It’s easy to trash talk teenagers. Lazy, selfish, all about their social media, etc. But these kids who have led the movement are intelligent, capable and are undoubtedly going to change the world.

That is why I marched today.

1 Comment

Filed under National News, Politics

America’s Youth Stood Up For Their Future, Some Were Punished

On Wednesday, to mark the one month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students across the country walked out of their schools for 17 minutes to not only remember the victims, but to protest the lax gun laws in America.

While some cities and school districts allowed their students to walk out, others did not. Many schools responded with punishments that varied from detention all the way to up suspension.

Some schools argued that it was a safety issue. While I can see where the schools are coming from, I cannot completely agree with their point of view. These kids were not walking out of school just to cut class for the sake of cutting class, but to make a statement. We adults have failed to protect these kids. We have let money (especially from the NRA), pride and a false sense of knowing it all get in the way to making sure that our children grow up to be responsible and productive adults.

These kids are merely pointing that out to us. I think it’s time we listened.

Leave a comment

Filed under National News, Politics

New Randy Rainbow Video-“KIDS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody”

Several weeks ago, 14 students and 3 teachers were murdered in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. At the outset, the response from the nation and our leaders seemed to be the same as it was for other mass shootings.

But something was different about this mass shooting. The surviving students, angry and grieving, were energized. Challenging the status quo, those in power and the NRA specifically, these kids are on the verge of making a breakthrough that adults have not been able to for far too long.

Randy Rainbow’s latest video, KIDS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody is a satire of the song Kids from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, intermingled with an interview with NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

These kids are going to change the world. We have two choices: fight the change that should have happened a long time ago or let our youth create the change that they are demanding for their future and our future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

March For Our Lives

Last Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, started off as an ordinary day. Adults went to work, children went to school and up until the middle of the afternoon, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

By the time the sun set, February 14th, 2018 would become an extraordinary day, but not in the way that many of us would imagine an extraordinary day to be. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 14 students and three staff members were killed by a former student.

The reverberation of the loss of 17 innocent people seems to have finally touched a nerve with the American public. While gun control has remained a hot topic on both sides of the political aisle for far too long, most, if not all attempt of legislating common sense gun control has died before it can be signed into law.

But things are about to change.

On March 24th, the March For Our Lives will be occurring across the country. Started by the students who lost their friends and teachers, it is their anger and grief that will hopefully convince those in power to stop taking money from the NRA and do what is right for the country.

If you can march, please do so. If you can’t march, but still want to participate, please donate. The future of our country and our children depends on it.

2 Comments

Filed under National News, Politics

I Guess His Golf Game Is More Important Than The Lost Lives of Teenagers

Imagine this, if you will: In an ordinary suburb in an ordinary town in America, a former student walks into what was his high school, pulls the fire alarm and start shooting at the students and teachers as they leave their classrooms. By the time the police arrive, 17 are dead, most of them students. The next day, the President gives a tone-deaf speech to the nation, blaming mental illness and the lack of information provided to law enforcement that might have prevented the shooting. He does not mention the elephant in the room, which is that a teenager was able to legally purchase a weapon made for war.

He makes the perfunctory visit to meet the survivors recovering in the hospital and to meet the police officers who rushed to the school to stop the killer.

Then, what does he do, do you ask? Does he personally visit the families of those who were killed? Does he attend the funerals, providing as much support as much he can to heartbroken parents and siblings? Does he rally Congress to finally enact common sense gun laws that protect innocent civilians while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners?

No. He goes golfing. Ironically, this golf course, which is being played at his private golf course, is not too far from where teenagers are being buried and heroic staff members are being eulogized by the students whose lives they saved.

I guess the President’s golf game is more important than the lost lives of teenagers.

 

1 Comment

Filed under National News, Politics

A Moment Of Reckoning

Most, if not all of us, have a moment of reckoning, whether on a personal level or a larger cultural/societal level.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday that killed 14 teenagers and 3 staff members dead is our national moment of reckoning.

The question that we all must answer is a difficult one: do we continue the useless cycle of reaction to mass gun violence or do we actually grow a pair and do something?

The fact that the shooter, who is only 19, was easily able to get his hands on an AR-15 assault rifle, despite the warning signs and the information the FBI had is more than appalling.  It is disgusting and alarming to consider that the FBI had the information they needed to prevent the loss of 17 innocent lives and did nothing to stop it.

It is also a moment of reckoning for you know who and the voting public. It happened under his watch and if he continues to be tone-deaf about the subject (meanwhile tweeting continuously about the updates to the Russia investigation), I have a feeling that voters will not soon forget his inaction.

It is finally a moment of reckoning for the survivors and the grieving families of the victims. The kids who miraculously survived the attack are not only angry, but will be of age to vote in the next few years or have recently become of age to vote. They will be the ones who will finally stop this endless cycle of mass shootings and create gun laws that make sure another school shooting never happens again.

1 Comment

Filed under National News, Politics

It’s More Than Mental Health

The shooting yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead reminded us that once more we must publicly grieve the loss of innocent lives due to unnecessary gun violence.

In addressing the nation this morning, you know who put much of the blame on the shooter’s mental illness. He did not mention that the shooter was able to legally purchase a weapon is meant to be used on the battlefield and not in every day civilian life.

I have two problems with this statement:

  1. Millions of people around the world (myself included) suffer from mental illness. Only a tiny fraction of us spiral down into murdering innocents, but the news reports would make it seem like mental illness is the only reason for the shooting. Unlike other medical conditions, mental illness carries a stigma. Using mental illness as a framing device for any mass shooting, regardless of the state of mind of the shooter is counterproductive in erasing the stigma and helping those who are suffering.
  2. I know it’s been said every which way for a generation, but we need reasonable gun laws now. We needed them yesterday and the day before, but some of those in power are continuing to turn a deaf ear to the cries of the survivors and the loved ones of the victims. But while they are turning a deaf ear to the voting and grieving public, they seem to have no problem accepting money from the NRA.

My heart breaks for the survivors and the victim’s families. There are no words we can use to bring back their loved ones and dry their tears. But there are laws that can be put on the books and enforced to prevent another mass shooting and we can stop using mental illness as a crutch for mass shootings.

The question is, are we willing to do so or will we continue to see lives lost for no reason?

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, National News, Politics