AJ Owens Should be Alive

I’m not a parent, but I understand the eternal bond and love between a parent and their child.

AJ Owens was one of these mothers. The now former resident of Ocala, Florida (because it’s Florida) was killed by a white neighbor, Susan Lorincz. This woman both verbally abused Ms. Owens’s children with language I will not repeat and destroyed their property. When Ms. Owens went to confront this neighbor, she was shot and killed. What is worse is that one of her children witnessed the murder.

Instead being immediately arrested, it took police 4 days to handcuff her and bring her to the police station.

If it had been the other way around, I don’t want to imagine the response.

This is more than gun control, racism, and the state’s Stand Your Ground law. This is about the fundamental problems in this country that will continue on until we are willing and able to look it in the face and deal with it.

May the memory of Ms. Owens be a blessing and may her children one day, know peace. Z”L.


Things That Make Me Angry: The Anniversary of the Buffalo Shooting and Nakba Day

Hate should have no place in this world. It turns us against one another and forces unnecessary destruction of property and life.

This past Sunday was the first anniversary of the shooting in Buffalo. It is a remembrance that no one wanted or needed. But because we allow racism to persist and refuse to enact reasonable gun control laws, 10 people lost their lives.

Earlier this week, the 75th anniversary Nakba Day was “commemorated” by the United Nations and pushed in the halls of Congress by Rashida Tlaib.

Instead of getting on my soapbox, I’m going to let the experts do the talking.

At the end of the day, the only way to end racism and prejudice is to face the truth and see one another as human beings. Until then, we will continue to destroy one another over superficialities.

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The Right Has Blood on Their Hands: 8 People Killed in Texas Mall Massacre Yesterday

Going to the mall on a lazy Saturday afternoon is a perfectly acceptable way to get out of the house for a few hours. Whether it is to meet with friends and get a bite to eat or to do some shopping, there is nothing out of the ordinary about it. There is also nothing out of the ordinary for innocent lives to be taken in a mass shooting.

Yesterday, at least 8 people were killed by a gunman at a mall in Texas.

The Republicans have blood on their hands. While they make excuses and kiss the asses of their NRA backers, Americans continue to die for no reason.

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How much is enough? How many more will die before something is done? When will our lives be worth more than the deep-pocketed donors?

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America Has Become a Vigilante Country

There was a time in this country in which adults dealt with conflict (hopefully) like adults. Whatever the issue was, it was resolved in a mature and reasonable manner. These days, resolution comes via a gun and killing innocent people.

Last Friday, a man in Cleveland, Texas was asked to stop shooting his rifle outside because his neighbors were trying to get their baby to go to sleep. He could have done the decent thing by waiting until Saturday morning. Instead, he knocked on their door and killed 5 people. Among the dead is an eight-year-old boy.

Instead of consoling the family and using his power to find the accused killer, Governor Greg Abbott accused the victims of being “illegal immigrants“. Regardless of whether they are citizens or crossed the border yesterday, his comments were insensitive, hurtful, and racist. The sad irony is that the suspect is himself in the country illegally.

Then, on Sunday, police were called to a house party in Bay St. Louis, Mississipi. A young man has been charged with murdering two of his peers and injuring four others. Those in attendance were there for a post-prom party. Instead of enjoying their last few weeks of high school, the lives of all affected have been forever changed.

And finally, authorities in Atlanta captured a suspected shooter who opened fire in a medical facility earlier today. One woman was killed and four were injured. His reason was that he was unhappy with the treatment he was receiving. He could have gone through the proper channels. Instead, he chose to resolve the problem with a firearm.

I don’t know what it is going to take for us to enact sensible gun control laws. This is not about removing or devaluing the 2nd Amendment. It is meant to save lives. But until some politicians decide that American lives are just as important as freedom, these senseless deaths will continue.

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It Wouldn’t Be the US Without Guns Being Prioritized Over People

Today is April 21st, 2023. We are 111 days into the new year. In that short amount of time, 88 lives have been unnecessarily lost in 17 mass shootings. The US is the only country in the world in which firearms have more value than the lives and safety of the average citizen.

In addition to Ralph Yarl (who is thankfully recovering at home), there have been others who have been shot (and some killed) for innocent errors.

In upstate New York, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was out, driving with her friends. After making the wrong turn, she pulled into a driveway to correct course and reach her final destination. Gillis was shot and killed by the homeowner.

In Texas, 18-year-old cheerleader Payton Washington was shot because she got into the wrong car at a local supermarket. The driver could have simply told them that they were in the wrong car and let that be that. Thankfully, she survived and is on the way back to her normal life.

And finally, in North Carolina, 6-year-old Kinsley White was outside with her parents while neighborhood kids were shooting hoops. As sometimes happens, the ball accidentally rolled into a neighbor’s yard. Instead of ignoring the ball or returning to the child, he aimed his gun at them. Kinsley’s father put himself in between the gun and the children. Kinsley and her mother’s injuries were minor. But her father is still hospitalized.

When is this madness going to stop? When are our politicians going to start listening to the citizens and stop listening to the 1% NRA donors that are lining their pockets? I don’t know about you, but I am this headline has become exhausting.

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It Wouldn’t Be a Monday in America Without a Mass Shooting

There is something about a new day and a new week that speak of the possibilities that life holds.

This morning, a bank in Louisville opened as it does every Monday morning. By 10am, 5 people were killed by an employee wielding a gun. Adding salt to the wound, one of the dead was a friend of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

According to reports, the killer (who is now deceased and shall remain nameless on this blog) was live-streaming. He was also dealing with mental illness.

When is this madness going to stop? I hate to ask this, but is it going to take the murder of a loved one of a politician who puts guns over lives to wake this country up? I am by no stretch of any imagination, advocating for anyone else to die. I just want this to stop. I want responsible gun owners to maintain their rights while keeping us safe.

Two weeks ago, six people (three kids and three adults) were killed in Nashville. That makes 11 innocent lives taken in two weeks for no f*cking reason. I am starting to wonder if we will need to go through airport style security for the most basic of activities.

Of course, some people will argue that being mentally ill was the reason for the massacre. Regardless of whether this is true or not, finger-pointing will not solve the problem. The only resolution is to enact national common sense gun laws.

I don’t know about anyone else, but it feels like I am taking my life into my hands every time I leave my home.

We know what has to be done. The answer is standing in front of us. What I fear is that we will continue to ignore the obvious in favor of the bullshit lies and manipulation.

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It’s the F*cking Guns, Stupid: Another School Shooting in America

Since school shootings have become the norm, there have been numerous questions about what leads to them and what can prevent them. The answer (as anyone with a brain would realize) is gun control laws.

Yesterday morning started as normal for the staff and students at the Covenant School in Nashville. By the time the school bell would have rung to announce the end of the day, three children and three adults were dead. The accused killer (whose name will not be used on this blog and who took their own life) is transgender.

Of course, the right took advantage of this opportunity to once more demonize the LGBTQ community based on the actions of one person. Though this person bucks the trend of not being a heterosexual Caucasian male, their actions are just as reprehensible.

Though the Republicans can point to any number of reasons: drag queens, being gay, banned books, etc, the truth is that these are smoke screens. It has everything to do with the fact they care more about their NRA overlords’ donors than the lives of the next generation. This includes their “outrage” about the ATF‘s possible creation of a national gun registry.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what needs to be done. What it does take is those at the top valuing the lives of everyday Americans (and their children) over those who line their pockets.

P.S. Did you hear about Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s attempt to stop an ATF official from doing their job and inspecting a gun store? If we require drivers to earn a license before getting behind the wheel and send health inspectors into restaurants to ensure that the kitchen is sanitary, why can’t we do the same for establishments that sell firearms?

The Lunar New Year Starts With a Mass Shooting

The new year, regardless of whether is secular, religious, or cultural, is supposed to represent the opportunity to turn the figurative page. Our future is supposed to be bright and filled with possibilities.

Over the past few weeks, millions of people celebrated the Lunar New Year. On Sunday, at least 10 people were killed and many others were injured when a gunman fired into a dance studio in a Los Angeles suburb. As of this writing, his motives are a mystery.

Yesterday, another 7 people were murdered and one gravely injured in another part of California.

So far, we are 24 days into 2023. There have been 38 mass shootings since January 1st. I would love for someone to explain why we don’t need gun control laws given that there have been nearly twice as many mass murders in less than a month?

May their memories be a blessing? Z”l.

Wednesday is the 10th Anniversary of Sandy Hook

Anniversaries are a funny thing. They tell us that it has been x amount of years since a certain event happened. Though it would be nice if every anniversary was a happy one, the truth is that they can’t be.

Wednesday is the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.

December 14th, 2012 is a day that is burned into my memory. It was an ordinary day, and I was at work when the news made its way around the office. I remember that one of the women I worked with at the time mentioned something about the firearm that was used. Like all of us that day, I was glued to the television when I got home. The loss of 26 innocent souls, most of them young children is a feeling that I never want to experience.

I can’t help but wonder who those kids might have become. What teenage antics would they be up to? Where would they be applying to college? What future careers would they be dreaming of? It still hurts that we will never have the answers to these questions.

What kills me is that ten years later, we are still debating gun control laws. There is nothing (in my mind) to debate about. Do we want to keep our kids safe? Do we want to send them to school, unafraid that they will come home at the end of the day? The answer should always be yes. To make that yes a reality, we need our legislators to do their part. Otherwise, Sandy Hook and every other school shooting will become just another statistic.

Unfortunately, there are too many in this country who will say no.

May their memories forever be a blessing. Z”L.

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The Confluence of Hate & the Lack of Gun Control: the Shooting in Colorado Springs

The purpose of going to a nightclub is to get out for a night and get away from the daily grind. Have a drink, hang out with friends, dance, and maybe meet that special someone.

Last night, a gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. 5 people were killed and another 25 were injured. Thankfully, the accused was stopped before any more lives could be taken.

Just like the shooting at the Orlando nightclub in 2016, this location was chosen because of its patrons. The reason these people are dead is simply that they were being themselves.

I can’t help but wonder if our gun control laws were tighter if the five people who are now dead would have returned home in one piece.

But we will never know, will we?

May their memory be a blessing. Z”L.

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