When Will it Be Enough to do Something?: Two Mass Shootings in 24 Hours

After every mass shooting, the following line is uttered by some on the right: “now is not the time to talk politics“.

When can we talk about this? When more Americans are killed because some Americans care more about their guns than saving lives?

Last week, there were two mass shootings in two different cities in a time span of 24 hours. In Tulsa, a man legally purchased an AR-15. An hour later, he walked into a hospital, killing four people. Among the dead is a doctor who had previously treated the shooter for back problems. This doctor was targeted specifically because the accused gunman (who then turned his gun on himself), believed that this man was responsible for his still lingering physical pain.

In Ames, Iowa, a man walked into a church. He killed his ex-girlfriend and another woman before also turning the gun on himself.

That tally alone is 6 innocent people killed, plus the men responsible for their deaths. How many more have to die before something is done?

I am sick and tired of this being the daily headline. Now is the time to get political. We need background checks, red flag laws, a waiting period, etc. Whatever it takes to stop this unnecessary loss of life.

P.S. One of the victims of the Brooklyn shooting is suing the company that produced the firearm. If that is what it takes, so be it.

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Sandy Hook Part II: At Least Eighteen Children and Two Adults Killed in an Elementary School in Texas

We all remember the horror of Sandy Hook in December of 2012. The young lives lost, the adults who tried to save their students, and the heartache that will never fade.

This morning was the sequel to that day. An eighteen-year-old gunman charged into an elementary school in Texas. Among the dead are at least eighteen children and two adults.

This is the third mass shooting to make national news in the last seven days. The third occurred in a church in Orange County in California. Five people were injured and one man was killed. Closer to home, a man was killed by a stranger carrying a gun on the Q train on Sunday in New York City. The accused was caught today. When did we become so desensitized that this unnecessary loss of life that it is nothing more than another headline?

I keep thinking that it is going to get to the point in which we have to wear bulletproof vests as part of our regular wardrobe and go through airport-style security to complete simple errands.

I blame the NRA. I blame the Republicans who are more concerned with their careers and lining their own pockets than doing what is right for the country. I blame all of our politicians who are too chicken shit to speak up and save lives. I blame Fox News and other right-wing media organizations who knowingly peddle lies. I blame those who are more concerned with the unborn than the current members of the young generation. I blame those who use mental health as an excuse instead of looking for real-world solutions and once more create a sense of shame around needing help.

We need rock-solid gun control laws now. We needed them in 2012 and we needed them after Columbine 23 years ago. I don’t know what it is going to take to get this legislation on the books. How many of our children will die before we do something about it?

If you have children, hug them and tell them that you love them. It may be the last time you say it to them.

The only thing I can think of right is to vote in November. Regardless of party or affiliation, if a candidate or incumbent does not support gun control, do not vote for them. Send the message that lives are more important than power.

May the memory of those murdered today be a blessing and finally be the impetus needed to get off our asses and fix this problem for good. Z”L.

P.S. I have no doubt that certain members of the press will use the fact that the allegation that the accused crossed the border illegally to once more further their own agenda.

P.P.S The fact that the shooting in the church in California is news to me tells me everything I need to know about where this nation is going.

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.

Biden Has the Balls to do What His Predecessors Could or Would Not Do: Prevent Mass Shootings

A generation ago, the mass shooting of innocent civilians was an news event. These days, it is just another headline.

Since the Atlanta shooting last month, it has become a weekly event. This week there two mass shootings: one in South Carolina and one in Bryan, Texas. On Wednesday, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to try to put a stop to this continuing senseless loss of life.

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?

Walmart is Stepping Up and Will No Longer Sell Ammo For Assault Style Weapons

It seems these days that mass shootings have become just another headline.

While some politicians (I’m still looking at you, Mitch McConnell) refuse to do anything, the decision makers at Walmart have made an important step in the right direction.

As of yesterday, Walmart will be drastically reducing the ammunition for assault style rifles that in the past, customers have been able to purchase freely.

If I am to be honest here, I would prefer if they stopped selling guns and ammunition all together. However, the fact that they will be reducing their ammunition sales is not to be overlooked.

I have nothing against guns or the Second Amendment. If someone wants to buy guns because they hunt as a hobby or let off steam by going to a gun range, that is their business. But what is my business (and the business of every American) is the fact that too many of our citizens have been killed by mass shootings.

Back in 1989, the late President Ronald Reagan (R-California) made a statement about guns which I believe still rings true today.

If only the current Republican party would heed his words.

The Cycle of Mass Shootings Begins Again

For many of us, Labor Day is the lovely, but unwanted reminder that Fall is coming. It’s the last opportunity to go to the beach, to go to the ballpark and to barbecue. In short, it is the last hurrah of the summer.

But for the people of Texas, this Labor Day weekend is just another cycle of mass shootings. Over the past 48 hours, there were two mass shootings in Texas. In Midland, 7 people are dead. In Odessa, 5 people are dead and 21 are injured. Among the injured is a little girl under the age of two.

At this point in time, the motives of the shooters are not known.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I am becoming desensitized to this headline. It is becoming too commonplace, just another day in America and another mass shooting.

I don’t want to be desensitized. I want to be angry and frustrated that some of our politicians (I am looking at you, Mitch McConnell) continue to put their head in the sand or look the other way.

At some point, this madness has to stop. At some point, we must enact common sense gun legislation that protects innocent civilians while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Frankly, I don’t know when we will reach that point.

May the memories of those murdered be a blessing.

The Phrase “Crazy Person With a Gun” is at Best Unhelpful and at Worst Distracting

This past week has been one of the deadliest week in the United States. Five mass shootings have resulted in the multiple murders of innocent civilians. The most recent shootings were yesterday in Ohio and Texas.

This morning, you know who’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney made the rounds on the Sunday morning political talk shows, discussing the latest shootings and defending you know who.

Instead of owing up to that you know who has had a direct effect on encouraging the accused shooters, Mr. Mulvaney stated the following:

“This was a sick person, the person in Dayton was a sick person. No politician is to blame for that. The person who was responsible here are the people who pulled the trigger. We need to figure out how to kind of create less of those kinds of people as a society and not trying to figure out who gets blamed going into the next¬†election.”

In other words, the shooter was a crazy person with a gun. His actions were his own and are wholly unconnected to what you know who has been saying lately.

I have an issue when it comes to the phrase “crazy person with a gun”. At best, it is unhelpful and derogatory towards those who are dealing with mental health issues. I am not an expert on every disease that falls under the label of “mental health”, but I do know those of us suffer are trying to live as best we can. If there are those who are a danger to themselves and others, I would hope that there is intervention before someone is hurt or killed.

At worst, the phrase is distracting from the real issue. Racism, like every ism, does not occur in a bubble. It comes from someone or something. In this case, it is you know who. Granted, his racism did not occur in a bubble either. However, given his platform and his willingness to dog whistle and openly knock individuals or entire groups because of their race, I would not be surprised if there was a connection.

I wish I could say that this weekend is ending on a happy note. But it is not. May the memories of those killed be a blessing and may we once and for all, see one another as human beings.

Happy Sunday.

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