Thoughts and Prayers – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Mass shootings have unfortunately become part and parcel of the daily news cycle. There are two responses that we have become accustomed are the following: thoughts and prayers, and demands for gun control.

Randy Rainbow‘s new video addresses this dichotomy as only he can.

Using the song Dance: Ten, Looks: Three from the musical A Chorus Line, he calls out the usual bullshit response from the right when lives are unnecessarily lost to gun violence.

We all know what needs to be done. The question is, are those in power willing to step up, or will they once more bow down to their NRA donors?

Randy Rainbow Clapping GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Gun Crime in NYC is a Symptom of a Much Larger Problem

The last few weeks in New York City have brought nothing but heartache and tears.

Two heroic cops were murdered when they responded to a domestic violence call. An eleven-month-old baby girl was shot by a stray bullet while sitting in the family car.

The problem, as I see it, is not the gun laws that exist within New York’s borders. It is the rest of the country. The reason we have a gun control problem is the patchwork of laws. One could legally buy a firearm in one state that has laxer laws and use it to injure or hurt someone in another state with stricter laws.

There are many that will argue that the states have the right to make their own laws. While I agree with that sentiment, for the most part, I disagree when it comes to gun control laws. We need one national standard when it comes to guns. It won’t wholly prevent unnecessary loss of life, but it will hopefully keep more people alive and out of the hospital.

May the memory of those officers forever be a blessing to their families, the department, and the city.

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis Book Review

There is no doubt that the issue of gun control has created a crisis in this nation. Too many Americans, young and old, have been directly or indirectly affected by the unnecessary loss of life. More often than not, those who have survived have walked away with emotional and physical injuries that will last for the rest of their lives.

John Woodrow Cox‘s new book, Children Under Fire: An American Crisis, was published back in March. Following two young children, Cox talks openly and honestly about the long-lasting damage created by gun violence. The subjects of the book are two young children: Ava and Tyshaun. Ava watched her best friend die when a former student entered her school and started shooting. Tyshaun’s father, who he adored, was killed steps from where his son was receiving his education. He looks into the many attempts of reforming the gun control laws, interviews family members, academics, and politicians, and follows both children as they live with the after-effects of those tragic days.

If I could have hugged both Tyshaun and Ava and found a way to wipe their memories clean of the day their innocence died, I would have. When it comes to events of this kind, the subject of mental health and the perpetrator is inevitably brought up. But we don’t think about the survivors and the lasting consequences that they will be with them for the rest of their days. This book is long and hard to read. But it is one that I believe must be read by every adult and more importantly, even parent. We are failing our children if we do not stop this epidemic. It is possible to respect the 2nd amendment while keeping our kids safe. For foolish reasons, it is just not being done. Which pisses me off to no end.

Do I recommend it? Without a doubt, yes.

The Shooting in West Hempstead is a Little Too Close to Home

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.

  1. We will never leave our homes for anything.
  2. 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.

I Blame You, Mr. President

When boiled down to a simple job description, the job of the President of the United States is to protect and serve the American people. Their job is not to serve and protect wealth donors/lobbyists or a specific group of citizens.

And yet, this President has done both.

His openly racist comments and double talk about the continuing gun violence has led to an epidemic of massacres in this country. Yesterday, the list of mass shootings in the United States added two more communities to this gruesome and bloody list: Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

At this point, I am ready to throw my hands up the air. It is well beyond frustrating that some of our elected politicians (you know who included) continue to look the other way or give lip service to this continuing crisis. Will it get to the point that we will have to go through airport level security every time we leave our homes?

Personally, I blame you know who. The accused gunmen were Caucasian men who used racist rhetoric and beliefs as a reason for their actions. It does not help that you know who has openly expressed racists beliefs without being checked by those who can check him. It also does not help that he has given lip service to those who have experienced gun violence while supporting the NRA.

I don’t want to have to go through airport style security every I have leave my home. But at this point, it feels like that may be the only option. That is, unless some of our elected politicians grow a pair and fight for the citizens who were elected to represent them.

Thoughts On the new Madonna Music Video

I’ve often spoken about the Columbine shooting and the unnecessary loss of young life twenty years ago. Back then, it was front page news for weeks on end.

These days, mass shootings in the United States are just another blip on list of daily news headlines. The headline may last a week at best on the front page before it slowly fades from the nation’s consciousness.

Earlier this week, Madonna released her new music video. Entitled God Control, the video tells the story of a fictional shooting in an New York City nightclub similar to the massacre at the nightclub in Orlando three years ago.

I will warn you that the video does contain graphic imagery.

There is enormous power in celebrity. In using her voice and her music, Madonna speaks of the heartache and grief that gun violence creates. We need sensible gun control laws. There has to be a way to respect the 2nd Amendment and responsible gun owners while protecting innocent people.

My hope (though it often springs eternal) is that one of these days, sensible gun laws will be the law of the land. Until then, we will continue to grieve for those who are killed simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thoughts On The 3D Gun Debate

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 theĀ  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.

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