Tag Archives: gun control

Today, I Marched For Our Lives

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.

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America’s Youth Stood Up For Their Future, Some Were Punished

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.

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Thoughts On The NRA Lawsuit

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.

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What If We Had Spoken Up?

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.

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Putting People Before Profit-Thank You Dick’s Sporting Goods

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.

 

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An Open Letter to Wayne LaPierre From A Concerned Citizen

Dear Sir

I watched the clip of you speaking at CPAC 2018 and I would like respond to your comments.

First of all, I wanted to confirm the full text of the 2nd amendment. It is as follows:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

While the amendment does not state that everyday citizens are barred from owning firearms, it does state that the right to keep and bear arms is necessary for an army to protect the lives and freedoms of the civilian population.

Please also keep in mind that the firearms that are available today are far more powerful that the firearms that were available in the late 18th century.

There are millions of Americans, myself included who do not want to take away your right to own a gun or any other rights listed in the Constitution. We are only asking for common sense gun laws that respect the rights of law-abiding gun owning citizens who are of sound mind, while preventing mass shooting like the one that happened in Parkland, Florida last week.

Why sir, must we again grieve the loss of 17 innocent people, most who were children because of a shooter who was able to legally purchase a weapon of war, and who has a history of mental illness?

While it has been proven that the shooter was not of sound mind, and that local authorities did not do their jobs as they should have, the fact still remains that a gun is responsible for taking the lives of 17 people.

Mass shootings have happened far too often in this country. We need you and your organization to step up and work with our government to prevent future events of a similar nature.

If this does not happen, I fear for the future of our country and our children.

Sincerely Yours,

A Concerned Citizen

 

 

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March For Our Lives

Last Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, started off as an ordinary day. Adults went to work, children went to school and up until the middle of the afternoon, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

By the time the sun set, February 14th, 2018 would become an extraordinary day, but not in the way that many of us would imagine an extraordinary day to be. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 14 students and three staff members were killed by a former student.

The reverberation of the loss of 17 innocent people seems to have finally touched a nerve with the American public. While gun control has remained a hot topic on both sides of the political aisle for far too long, most, if not all attempt of legislating common sense gun control has died before it can be signed into law.

But things are about to change.

On March 24th, the March For Our Lives will be occurring across the country. Started by the students who lost their friends and teachers, it is their anger and grief that will hopefully convince those in power to stop taking money from the NRA and do what is right for the country.

If you can march, please do so. If you can’t march, but still want to participate, please donate. The future of our country and our children depends on it.

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I Guess His Golf Game Is More Important Than The Lost Lives of Teenagers

Imagine this, if you will: In an ordinary suburb in an ordinary town in America, a former student walks into what was his high school, pulls the fire alarm and start shooting at the students and teachers as they leave their classrooms. By the time the police arrive, 17 are dead, most of them students. The next day, the President gives a tone-deaf speech to the nation, blaming mental illness and the lack of information provided to law enforcement that might have prevented the shooting. He does not mention the elephant in the room, which is that a teenager was able to legally purchase a weapon made for war.

He makes the perfunctory visit to meet the survivors recovering in the hospital and to meet the police officers who rushed to the school to stop the killer.

Then, what does he do, do you ask? Does he personally visit the families of those who were killed? Does he attend the funerals, providing as much support as much he can to heartbroken parents and siblings? Does he rally Congress to finally enact common sense gun laws that protect innocent civilians while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners?

No. He goes golfing. Ironically, this golf course, which is being played at his private golf course, is not too far from where teenagers are being buried and heroic staff members are being eulogized by the students whose lives they saved.

I guess the President’s golf game is more important than the lost lives of teenagers.

 

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A Moment Of Reckoning

Most, if not all of us, have a moment of reckoning, whether on a personal level or a larger cultural/societal level.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday that killed 14 teenagers and 3 staff members dead is our national moment of reckoning.

The question that we all must answer is a difficult one: do we continue the useless cycle of reaction to mass gun violence or do we actually grow a pair and do something?

The fact that the shooter, who is only 19, was easily able to get his hands on an AR-15 assault rifle, despite the warning signs and the information the FBI had is more than appalling.  It is disgusting and alarming to consider that the FBI had the information they needed to prevent the loss of 17 innocent lives and did nothing to stop it.

It is also a moment of reckoning for you know who and the voting public. It happened under his watch and if he continues to be tone-deaf about the subject (meanwhile tweeting continuously about the updates to the Russia investigation), I have a feeling that voters will not soon forget his inaction.

It is finally a moment of reckoning for the survivors and the grieving families of the victims. The kids who miraculously survived the attack are not only angry, but will be of age to vote in the next few years or have recently become of age to vote. They will be the ones who will finally stop this endless cycle of mass shootings and create gun laws that make sure another school shooting never happens again.

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It’s More Than Mental Health

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

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