Change starts with a conversation. But first, we must be able to have that conversation, which is sometimes easier said than done.
The new CNN movie, The Price of Freedom, is about the battle for gun control and the measures both sides have taken to win the hearts and minds of both the public and those in the halls of power. It examines the power that the NRA holds over certain sectors in this country and its unchanging belief in the 2nd amendment. On the other side, family members of victims, survivors, and pro-gun control politicians plead for being reasonable and coming to the table to compromise.
I enjoyed this film. The filmmakers did a good job of letting both sides make their case and let the viewer decide where they land. They also provided a historical background to this topic, giving a greater grasp of the topic beyond the last few decades. Though it did not change my mind, it is a good start in bringing both sides and their beliefs to the table. Hopefully, it opens the door to a dialogue and perhaps understanding one another.
There is nothing more hypocritical than a politician speaking out of both sides of their mouth.
I wrote about the Texas abortion ban earlier this week. I am not the only one who is outraged by this law. Yesterday, actress and model Brooklyn Decker shared her thoughts via social media. When a state tightly controls women’s bodies, but is lax on gun control, their actions speak louder than any amount of words can. If this is what it means to be “pro-life“, I have to ask what they mean by stating this and whose lives are worthy of protection?
Where is Mayor de Blasio? What is he doing to keep us safe? Apparently nothing. Anyone living in the city knows that this is his last term in office. But that does not mean that he can be a limp noodle and rest on his laurels. He is still in charge and can affect change. Between sharp uptick of violent crimes and the attacks on the AAPI community, it makes me wonder if my sense of safety is nothing more than one incident away from being destroyed completely.
Where are these weapons coming from? Most of them do not originate within NYC borders. Due to the fact that gun control laws vary from state to state, they can be transported from another part of the country. Which is another reason why a nationally recognized standard of vetting who can own a gun is vitally important.
I wish that I lived in a city and a country in which I would not turn on the news and be told that someone else in the hospital or in the morgue because they were killed by a gun. But until we have the balls to finally do something about it, this will continue to be a regular headline.
P.S. I hope this post does not deter any future visitors from spending time here, it is merely written out of frustration.
You never think that your community will be affected by a mass shooting. It’s always another town or another city.
Today, that reality came crashing down on me.
This morning, a man walked into the Shop and Stop in West Hempstead on Long Island and started shooting. Three people were shot, one was killed.
I felt my heart stop as I watched the news. I have family in the area. My first thought was that they were in the store. When I heard their voices over the phone, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to the eternal parent upstairs.
What is it going to take to do something? If we cannot stop this madness now, one of two things may happen.
We will never leave our homes for anything.
If we do have to go out, we will be forced to put on protective gear and go through airport style security just to complete the most mundane of tasks.
We need more than a series of executive actions from President Biden. We need Congress to stop brownnosing the NRA and think about the lives that will be saved. Personal freedom is always important, but it is meaningless if your dead.
May the memory of the person killed be a blessing. Z”l.
There is a Chinese curse which says, “May he live in interesting times.” Interesting times is one way to explain what is happening in the United States.
Last week, a 13 year old boy was shot and killed by police in Chicago. His name was Adam Toledo. He was murdered because the officers believed that he had a gun. Adding salt to the wound was the reference by Fox News host and all around asshole Sean Hannity that this child was a fully grown man. I see two issues with this story.
The blood of this young man is not just on the hands of the police officers who killed him. It is on everyone who played their part to get this supposed weapon into young Mr. Toledo’s hands.
Our local and national law enforcement department must be able to do their jobs. But they have to get it into their heads and their training materials that they are not avenging angels. The police are just one link in the chain of the justice system.
May the memory of this boy be a blessing and finally get us off our asses to stop police brutality against Americans of color.
In response to the umpteenth mass shooting in the United States since March, President Biden referred to this new wave as a national embarrassment. I can’t think of a better description of this unnecessary slaughter of innocent civilians. We can fix this problem, it doesn’t take a genius to put together a national law to prevent future events of this nature. The problem is that some Republican lawmakers are blind to the idea that any national gun control legislation does not infringe on the rights of gun owners who are of sound mind and followed the laws. It is a measure that desperately needed (and has been needed for more than two decades) to save lives.
I don’t know what it will take to wake this country up, but something has to be done.
Does it go far enough in my mind? No. But it is a necessary first step that should have been taken long ago. I can only imagine how many lives could have been saved had the Clinton administration acted after Columbine. But they didn’t and neither has subsequent Presidential administrations up now.
This is not about the 2nd Amendment. While I have never been interesting in hunting as a hobby, if that is what another person does in their spare time, that is their right. But there is a difference between being of sound mind and legally owning a hunting rifle because that is what one enjoys doing and killing strangers with a firearm that is meant for the battlefield.
The problem is that any potential gun control legislation would be deadlocked in Congress. The only option Biden has is executive action. I wish that it was not the truth, but it is.
The question I have is why does it take 20+ years and hundreds of live lost for the politicians at the national level to finally do something?
If there is one bright spot in this Coronavirus pandemic (I know, it’s a stretch), it is that for a year, there were no mass shootings in the United States.
That streak ended three weeks ago in Atlanta. On Wednesday night, four people were murdered in a mass shooting in Orange County, California. This is the third week in a row in which innocent civilians have been killed.
Are we back to our previous Covid-19 normal? That at least every week or every other week, headlines state that more Americans have been killed due to unnecessary gun violence?
Logic would have said that after Jonesboro and Columbine 23 years go, those in the halls of power would have actually done something. Instead, they have been playing political ping pong while more lives are lost.
Seriously, what is it going to take to stop this nonsense once and for all?
There was another mass shooting in the United States yesterday. In Boulder, Colorado, a man opened fire in a grocery store. Ten people, who were doing the simple act of grocery shopping, were killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As usual, there are two distinct responses. The first is grief and anger. The second is a line that has become synonymous with these kinds of heinous acts: “thoughts and prayers”. GOP Rep Lauren Boebert, who is the House Representative for the city, stated the following via her Twitter account:
My prayers are with the shoppers, employees, first responders & others affected by the shooting in Boulder. May God be with them. While we are still awaiting important information and details in this case, random public shootings & senseless acts of violence are never ok.
As far as I am concerned, she can shove those “thoughts and prayers” where the sun doesn’t shine. What bothers me above all else is that these people are her constituents. They voted for her. And how does she respond in their hour of need? The same empty statement used by many members of the GOP who seem to care only about their careers and the wealthy donors who finance said careers.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. We need sensible gun laws that are applicable national wide. We need to protect our communities and our children while respecting the rights of gun owners who follow the law. Until that day comes, this vicious and bloody cycle will begin again as if nothing had happened.
Though we cannot go back, we can move forward. We can and should enact national gun laws to keep firearms out of the hands of potential criminals. Those with mental health issues should be treated as those with physical health issues.
May the memories of those killed that day forever be a blessing. Z”l.
In 2020, we may believe that we have come a long way. Women and minorities are no longer second class citizens. True equality is not yet achieved, but we are on the way.
Then a kid with an AR-15 shoots into a crowd protesting against police violence. Two people were killed and one was injured.
The kid’s name is Kyle Rittenhouse. Somehow, he was able to get his hands on one of the deadliest weapons one can use. Instead of arresting him, local police defended him. Upon further research, it was discovered that his now deleted social media accounts history were chock full of white supremacy related information.
This kid is everything that is wrong with America. A white person (i.e. male) shoots into a crowd with an AR-15 who has extreme right views is given a free pass to get away with whatever he wishes to. But an innocent black man like Jacob Blake is shot in the back point blank by white police officers. According to news reports from earlier today, Mr. Blake is paralyzed.
We need to do better. We must do better. If we don’t, our children and grandchildren will continue on the same hamster wheel that we are on now.