One would have to live under a rock these days to not at least catch a soundbite or two about the debate in regards to guns and gun violence in America.
According to a CNN poll taken earlier this year, American citizens are not only more likely to own a firearm, but to die from gun violence than their compatriots living in other countries.
The latest twist on this debate is the introduction of 3D guns to the market and the federal judge who last night granted a temporary restraining order against publishing the instructions online of how to create the guns.
Cody Wilson, the gentlemen who was temporarily barred from the publishing only hours before they were supposed to go online, has claimed that his First Amendment/freedom of speech rights have been violated by the ruling.
While I am all for freedom of speech, the fact is that Mr. Wilson is creating 3D firearms that are undetectable by metal detectors, making them even more lethal that traditional weapons that are made of metal and detectable by metal detectors. In addition, these firearms can also be made cheaper and easier than traditional firearms, allowing those with ill intentions to bypass state and federal laws when it comes to who can buy a gun and when they can buy it.
From my perspective, this is just another reason why we need sensible gun control laws in this country. I believe that is possible to respect the 2nd amendment while crafting gun laws that keep Americans safe. It is just a matter coming together and doing what is right for the country instead of doing what is right for the party.
Freedom of the press is the corner-stone of any legitimate democracy. It is also one of the first freedoms to be curtailed or removed completely when a dictator or an autocrat comes into power.
On Thursday, a gunman killed five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. According to the news reports, the accused gunman held a grudge against the newspaper. In 2011, the gunman, Jarrod Ramos was accused of stalking a former high school classmate. As any newsroom would do, they reported the story for their readers.
While this story again brings up the issue of gun control and mental health, I think the bigger issue is the question of the security of freedom of the press. It’s not exactly a secret that you know who openly disdains and criticizes the press with the exception of a few newspapers or channels that cater to his views.
While the accused certainly has blood on his hands, I have to wonder if the open war on the press is in a small way, partly to blame for the murders of five innocent people.
Friday morning started off as an ordinary day at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana. Then one of the students walked into a classroom with a gun and the day went from ordinary to life changing.
By the grace of G-d and the heroism of teacher Jason Seaman, there were only two injured: Mr. Seaman and a female student. There were no fatalities.
When did school shooting become normal? I’ve stated in previous posts about being in high school when the Columbine shooting occurred. Back then, school shootings were major news because they didn’t happen. When they did happen, not only was it major news, but the surge of grief and anger was paid attention to by politicians and those in the government.
Today, school shooting are just another news bulletin that holds our attention all too briefly. First there is the anger/grief, the calls for gun control reform. Then there is lip service of thoughts and prayers/”it’s not the right time” comment from our politicians. Finally the story fades into the background until another school shooting occurs and the cycle starts all over again.
How many innocent people will be hurt or killed before this mania stops? When will our children and those who teach our children be more important than a gun?
More importantly, why have school shootings become normal?
School used to be defined by the three R’s-reading, writing and arithmetic. Over the last twenty years or so, an SS need to be added to the three R’s- school shooting.
On Friday morning, Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into a classroom at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas and starting shooting at classmates. When the shooting finally stopped, eight students and two teacher were dead. 10 more are wounded.
According to news reports, the young man accused of the murders used the guns his father purchased legally.
Once again, the argument comes down to one thing: gun control, Now granted, the weapons belonged to the boy’s father and were purchased through proper legal channels. However, that does not condone that murder of 10 innocent people.
As usual, the message from our government will be the same lip service: thoughts, prayers and empty promises.
How many kids will die before those in power actually do something about gun control? Or will it take a future shooting close to home for our government to actually do something that will once and for all and stop the killing of children who have just begun to live?
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.
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.
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.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
On April 20th, 1999, twelve students and one teacher were murdered in a mass shooting at Columbine High School.
Two weeks ago, fourteen students and three teachers were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
What if, nineteen years ago, my generation reacted as the kids who survived the massacre are reacting now? What if we had an Emma Gonzalez and a David Hogg back then? Would we have had a public audience with then President Clinton and a televised town hall, meeting with our elected representatives and speaking up for those whose lives were lost? Would we have walked out of school and marched in solidarity against gun violence? Would we have publicly shamed our elected officials for taking money from the NRA? Would we have demanded the legislation of sensible gun laws and the strengthening of our mental heath system? Could we have prevented the unnecessary future loss of too many innocent lives, had we spoken up then?
I honestly don’t know. I only know that these kids are speaking up in a way that should have happened a long time ago and perhaps now, in 2018, change will finally come.
In light of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago, Americans have had to ask themselves some very difficult questions. The answers to those questions are just as difficult.
Today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that not only will they be raising the minimum age limit for buying guns in their stores to 21, but they will also no longer sell assault style rifles or high-powered magazines. This is regardless of local, state or federal law.
I applaud the executives who made this decision. I’m sure they will lose some customers, but the fact that they have put people over profit is a sign that hopefully things are starting to change for the better.
Unlike certain politicians who take money from the NRA, the executives understand that we cannot continue to do nothing when it comes to mass shootings, especially mass school shootings. And if that means the store taking a financial hit to make a point, so be it. I applaud them and I hope to see more stores follow their example.