If there is one thing that defines the United States, it is that our freedom is everything to us. Our founding documents make freedom part and parcel of everything that this nation is built on. But it comes with a cost.
“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”
Governor Abbott has chosen to not only refuse to implement statewide standards, but he is preventing local officials from doing the same.
“Going forward, in Texas, there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates,” Abbott said. “Everyone already knows what to do.”
I will not and cannot deny that parents have the right to make the healthcare decisions for their children. However, school has started or will start soon (depending on where you live). The delta variant has proven to be more deadly than the initial version of the virus. According to a NY Times article on July 20th, 83% of new cases are due to the variant. We also have to take into account that children ages 0-12 are still not eligible for the vaccine, opening the door to an unknown number of new cases in both children and adults.
Freedom is important. But it cannot help you if you are lying comatose on a hospital bed. Nor does it mean anything if you are with your maker because you were too foolish to take a simple life saving shot.
“Hate” is a word with a mixed meaning. It can be as benign as stating that you hate a certain type of food or color. Or, it can be as malicious as saying that you hate a certain group of people. We all know where this second statement can lead to.
In Lebanon, its been a year since explosion in Beirut. Instead of addressing the crisis that immediately followed the blast and healing the damage that it created, the neglect of those in power has added to the misery of the ordinary citizen. Both the government and the economy are collapsing. One might think that logic would come into play, but it hasn’t. The geniuses who lead this nation thought that the best use of their dwindling resources was to fire rockets at Israel.
If anyone can explain to me how this makes sense, I would love to hear it.
Earlier this summer, we started to believe that Covid-19 was starting to fade into history. Then the delta variant hit and the number of cases started to rise again. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has chosen to pretend that the virus is ancient history. He has removed all mask mandates, threatened to withhold funding to school districts that require masking, and is more concerned with his re-election campaign than the welfare of the people who reside within the state. He has also blamed immigrants for the increase in hospitalizations instead of looking to the fools who still refuse to get vaccinated. Covid does not care if you were born in this country or if you emigrated from another nation.
Blaming immigrants (or any minority group for that matter) has unfortunately been part of the human experience. The problem is that we never learn that this is belief is nothing but a myth. It is an easy way out instead of facing the issues that hold us back.
I know that we will never be able to answer this question, but when will we learn that hate is nothing more than a waste of time?
Is it disheartening? Of course. Does it make me feel angry and frustrated that the men who won the elections are just another version of the same old politician? Yes. Especially given that Brian Kemp was Secretary Of State and was in charge of the elections while he was running for governor.
But the way I see it, there is a silver lining in spite of the results. There are flaws in our electoral process, but until the flaws are exposed, they cannot be fixed. Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, in spite of their losses, have given hope to those who want to run for office, but are not the traditional candidate. The door has been opened and it will never close again. Women, citizens of color and members of the LGBTQ community now know that they can run for office and can create the diverse America that many of us know is possible.
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.
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.
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.
Nearly a month ago, 14 students and 3 staff members were murdered by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The outcry, not just from the survivors, but from ordinary citizens around the country has finally forced lawmakers to finally do something about the lack of enforceable gun control.
Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law banning any one from under 21 from buying firearms. The NRA immediately counter-sued, claiming that the law violates the constitutional rights of 18 to 21 year olds.
In the words of Emma Gonzalez, I call BS.
I don’t know the mentality of anyone else when they were in their late teens or early 20’s, but I was not as emotionally mature as I though I was. Owning a gun, both then and now, is the last thing I would ever consider. However, the difference is, I have an emotional maturity and a perspective that I did not have 15-20 years ago.
What the NRA overlooks is that the law does not explicitly outlaw all firearms, it it is a vital step to preventing another Parkland shooting. What we need now (and have needed for years), is common sense gun laws. Unfortunately, it took the unnecessary slaughter of 14 young people to finally get these laws on the books.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.