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?

Thoughts On Mayor Adams’s Church and State Statement

The separation between church and state is one of the foundational ideals of American democracy. The idea that one’s religion (if they have one) is divided from the government was and still is earth-shattering.

Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams made the following statement about this distance.

“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body; church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies,” he told religious leaders at the event held at the main branch of the New York Public Library.

“I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official. When I walk, I walk with God. When I talk, I talk with God. When I put policies in place, I put them in with a God-like approach to them ― that’s who I am,” he said, later adding that “when we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools.”

I get it, his audience was clergy from various faith groups. While he is entitled to pray to whatever higher entity he prays to, he does not have the right to force his beliefs on others.

What is more concerning was the proposition that had there been prayers in school, a litany of societal issues would be non-existent. Specifically, mass shootings that take place within educational settings. Two points stick out. The first is whose prayers are said if they are said at all? Given the diversity in this city, the mere thought of this question is contentious from the start. The second is that the only way to prevent school shootings is to enact sensible and national gun control laws.

Every politician puts their foot in their mouth at least once in a while. I guess this is Mayor Adam’s time.

Republican Fuckery Part X: The Mall Shooting in TX, the Train Accident in East Palestine, The Lies That Fox News Tell & Nikki Haley is Running for President

The purpose of a democracy is to allow differing opinions to exist in one space. The point is to allow everyone to speak without fear of retribution. But once all is said and done, the hopeful end is sort of agreement.

Last week, the sound of gunfire was heard in a mall in Texas. One person was killed and three were injured. Where is Greg Abbott? I know it is foolish to ask, but it has to be said. Is so concerned about his base and his donors that the lives of ordinary Texans are secondary?

One of the major headlines of the past week was the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The long-term environmental impact of the hazardous chemicals that have seeped into the ground and the town’s water supply is unknown at this moment.

While other politicians immediately stepped forward, the state’s newest Senator, J.D. Vance took his sweet time to speak up. This makes me wonder where his priorities are. Is his focus on the voters and making sure that the regulations are in place to keep them safe and healthy? Or is he prioritizing the lies and half-truths of the Republican party?

The big revelation coming from the right over the last few days is that the good people at Fox News knew that the claim that the 2020 Presidential election was rigged is a lie. Instead of admitting to the public what they knew, they went ahead with it. Their ratings are more important than anything else.

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And finally, the opening bell of the 2024 Presidential election has been rung. Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley have announced that she is running for President. While on paper, she comes off as reasonable and closer to the political center than others in her party.

The problem is that the paper is far from opaque. Specifically, when she called out the 1619 Project while confusing Danielle Moodie with the project’s creator, Nikole Hannah Jones. Anyone with a brain can see that they look nothing alike.

G-d help this country if the right gets their way.

The MSU Shooting Happened 4 Years and 364 Days After the Parkland Shooting

We send our children to school to give them an education and prepare them for the future. We don’t send them to school to die.

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Parkland shooting. It is also a day after three students were killed at Michigan State University.

When will it be enough? How many of our children have to be killed before something is done? When will the lives of ordinary citizens be worth more than the gun lobby and the NRA?

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of this. I am tired of burying our kids and mourning the loss of someone who died for no reason. This is preventable. We know it is. We just need to have the balls to do what needs to be done and tell those who prioritize weapons where they can go.

As usual, may the memories of the lives that were lost be a blessing. Z”L.

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.

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