Tag Archives: mass shooting

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.

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WTF is Happening to this Country? Adam Toledo and the Indianapolis Shooting

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

On Friday morning, a former employee of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis killed eight people. According to his mother, the man who was responsible for the murders had mental health issues.

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.

Happy Sunday.

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Back to Normal: The Third Mass Shooting in Three Weeks

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?

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Just This Once, a Good Person With a Gun Stopped a Bad Person With a Gun

Gun control is one of those issues with the potential to tear this country apart. Among the many arguments against gun control is the following: “a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun”.

On Sunday, at a small church in Texas, a man walked in and started firing. It could have been a massacre. But it was stopped by members of the church security team, two of whom gave their lives to save the lives of their fellow parishioners.

In this case, the fact that the security team was armed saved lives. That much is true and not up for debate. However, I still believe that this country needs common sense gun laws. It does not take a genius to understand to put two and two together. Lax and varied gun laws lead to mass shootings. A national gun law that mandates universal background checks is absolutely necessary.

Too many in this country have been lost to mass shootings. Until we take action, we will continue mourn for those who were taken by gun violence.

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Thoughts On the Shooting in Jersey City and the Nationality Execution on American Jews

After the Holocaust, we said never again. Never again would let our neighbors and our government kill us for who we are. But the phrase “never again” has become empty.

Yesterday, there was a mass shooting in Jersey City. When the dust finally settled, six people were dead (the suspects included). Among the deceased is a police officer who gave his life to protect innocent civilians and two members of the city’s growing Hasidic Jewish community.

It would be too obvious to talk about gun control and the serious need (which continues to be ignored by certain politicians) for reasonable gun control laws. But then again, it would also be obvious that the suspects were motivated by hate and antisemitism.

In Washington D.C., the man who goes by the title of President of the United States has signed an executive order to protect those of the Jewish faith against discrimination. Specifically, the executive order is in place to protect students, professors and staff on college campuses from being harassed because they are Jewish.

On the surface, this is exactly what is needed. But, like anything that you know who does, there is another side that could be easily ignored. In this executive order, Judaism is defined as a nationality. It is not a nationality. if it was, all Jews would come from one country. But we don’t.

Would one refer to Christians as a nationality? Or Muslims, Hindus, etc as a nationality? No. Like all faiths, we come from all over the world. There are two problems with this mis-categorization. The first problem is that it is wrong. Am I shocked that no one in the administration did their homework? Not at all.

The second problem is that labeling Jews as a nationality could lead to a slippery slope. In the years leading up the World War II, the term “the Jewish race” bounced around Europe like a ping pong ball. Let’s just say that these terms don’t bode well for anyone, especially those in the specific group being mentioned.

I wish we had a President who understood that he needs to be humble, mature, thoughtful and prepared for the job at hand. Instead, we have a man baby with the temper of a tantruming toddler, an ego the size of Texas and an intellect that is non-existent.

G-d help this country.

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Where Are You, Mitch McConnell?

Last weekend, Americans were shocked and horrified by two mass shootings within a 24 hour period. Once again, this nation is confronted with the difficult question of how to keep the average citizen safe while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners.

Many (myself included) believe that the only way to decrease the number of mass shootings and save lives is to tighten gun control laws and enforce background checks as national law. Even you know who has stated (though I don’t quite believe that he would follow through on his statement) that he believes that background checks are necessary.

The issue at this particular point in time that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to call members of the Senate back to Washington to vote on a bill. He prefers to wait when the Senate reconvenes next month.

I get it. The members of the Senate deserve a vacation like the rest of us. However, they are not Jane or John Doe office worker. They have the power to potentially save lives, if they have the political willpower and the balls to do so.

Those of us in the United States have become sadly conditioned to seeing the headlines telling us of another mass shooting. Granted, tightening gun control laws will not completely prevent mass shootings, but they could decrease the number of shootings and the lives taken unnecessarily.

That is, if Senator McConnell does the job that the voters of Kentucky hired him to do.

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I Have a Mental Illness, I Didn’t Shoot Anyone Yesterday

This past weekend, as we all know, was one of the bloodiest in American history. Two mass shootings killed 31 people (as of Tuesday) and injured many more. One of the first questions that many ask is why this happened.

Some may state that the accused shooter was mentally ill.

I, like millions of others around the world am mentally ill. It has been my unwanted companion for far too long. I have yet to (and it is unlikely that I ever will) purchase a gun for the sole purpose of killing innocent people.

I wish our leaders would stop pointing fingers and ask the hard questions. At this point, as a nation, experienced too many mass shootings to point fingers at outside influences. That is taking the easy way out.

Video games are not the cause of mass shootings. Neither are the Internet or mental illness. It is our lax gun laws that cause mass shootings. It is the NRA and the gun lobby who have some of our politicians in their back pocket.

We need the red flag law and the universal background checks installed and enforced as national law now. We needed to tighten up our gun laws yesterday.

I feel like right now, this nation is at a turning point. We can continue on the same path that we have been going on and lose more innocent lives. Or, we can finally take a stand and ensure that this generation does not become the generation that is killed by mass shootings.

Only then will this madness finally stop.

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Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.

He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.

He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.

He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.

Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big girl pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.

May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.

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When Will We Reach the Breaking Point? Another Mass Shooting in America

As Americans went to bed on Sunday night, we were reminded that gun violence and mass shootings are a plague that has yet to be cured.

Earlier today, a disgruntled employee walked into a Mississippi Walmart and starting shooting. He killed two of his colleagues and injured an officer.

I am so sick and tired of turning on the evening news or picking up a newspaper and learning of another mass shooting. What is the breaking point? How many innocent civilians must die before Washington wakes up?

Wherever you are, hug your loved ones and thank your lucky stars that you lived to see another day. Two people are unable to do neither today because they died of unnecessary gun violence.

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This Weekend, Four More Citizens Died From Mass Shootings

When the weekend comes, we want to relax. We want to enjoy our precious time off and not worry about what is going on in the world. But unfortunately, we have to.

As I see, the issue of the gun laws in this country should be non-existent. We respect the rights of those who are legal gun owners and of sound mind while taking guns out of the hands of criminals.

Unfortunately, the issue is not straight forward. The messiness and arguments have opened the door to too many mass shootings in this country. This weekend, there were two mass shootings.

On Saturday night, the citizens of Brownsville were enjoying a lovely summer evening with their annual “Old Timers” festival. Then shots rang out. By the time it was over, one man was dead and eleven were injured.

In California, it was a beautiful day out. Guests at the Gilroy Garlic Festival were enjoying the day and spending time with their families. Then someone starting shooting. Three people were killed, two of whom were under the age of eighteen. The accused gunman (who shall not be named on this blog) killed his victims with an Ak-47 style rifle. It was purchased in Nevada, where it is legal to purchase this kind of weapon. In California, one may only acquire this type of weapon via illegal means.

Enough is enough. How many citizens must die from mass shooting because Washington does something? California Governor Gavin Newsom blasted Republicans for their inaction and frankly, I couldn’t agree with him more.

It’s time to put the lives of our citizens ahead of our guns or the lobbyists who are directly responsible for preventing real world gun reform. But until certain members of Congress step up to the plate, mass shooting and the unnecessary loss of life will continue.

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