Tag Archives: NRA

The Price of Freedom Movie Review

Change starts with a conversation. But first, we must be able to have that conversation, which is sometimes easier said than done.

The new CNN movie, The Price of Freedom, is about the battle for gun control and the measures both sides have taken to win the hearts and minds of both the public and those in the halls of power. It examines the power that the NRA holds over certain sectors in this country and its unchanging belief in the 2nd amendment. On the other side, family members of victims, survivors, and pro-gun control politicians plead for being reasonable and coming to the table to compromise.

I enjoyed this film. The filmmakers did a good job of letting both sides make their case and let the viewer decide where they land. They also provided a historical background to this topic, giving a greater grasp of the topic beyond the last few decades. Though it did not change my mind, it is a good start in bringing both sides and their beliefs to the table. Hopefully, it opens the door to a dialogue and perhaps understanding one another.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under History, Movie Review, Movies, Politics

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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Two Years After the Parkland Shooting, Nothing Has Changed

Since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, politicians and multiple Presidential administrations have spoken of, but have not enacted reasonable gun control laws. The result of this inaction is far too many gun massacres since then and an incomparable loss of life.

Today is the second anniversary of the Parkland shooting. When my generation went through Columbine, we were too shocked and sad to do anything. The kids from Parkland, though shocked and sad, did something.

They demanded change. They stood up for their murdered classmates and teachers. They did not back down from politicians who gave them lip service about gun control and the lack of gun control laws. They called out the NRA and the politicians who are in the back pocket of the NRA.

I wish that my generation had been able to use our collective voices as the kids from Parkland and this current generation has. Perhaps things might have been different. But we cannot go back, we can only go forward. Only then we can honor the memory of those lost and protect others from what these kids have experienced.

May the memories of those murdered that day be a blessing to us all. Z”l.

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While Kendrick Castillo and Riley Howell Stood Up, Many of Our Politicians Quivered In Fear

A hero is one who puts the needs of others over their needs.

Kendrick Castillo and Riley Howell are heroes in every sense of the word. When gunman entered their respective schools and started shooting, Castillo and Howell ran in the direction of the shooting instead of running to safety. They gave their lives in service of their schools, saving the lives of their fellow students.

While these young men stood up against gun voice, many of our politicians quiver in fear. Instead of doing their jobs and protecting our young people by enacting common sense gun laws, they allow these shooting to happen while repeating the standard response of “thoughts and prayers”.

They accept money from the NRA and other special interest groups without question, but when our children die in school because of guns, their response is as weak as a limp noodle.

We have a Presidential election coming up next fall. I have a challenge for the Democrats who are running: come up with common sense gun control laws. Don’t just say what you think we want to hear. Tell me, as a voter, how you will protect us from gun violence while respecting those who are responsible gun owners.

Our children and our future depends on it.


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Another Day In America And Another Mass Shooting

Up until a few years ago, a mass shooting of innocent civilians was much more than the average news headline. The Columbine shooting was the first mass shooting in modern American history to shock the country and the world. These days, it is rare that a week a or a month can go by without hearing about a mass shooting.

Last night started as an ordinary night for the patrons and staff of the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Then a man walked in with a gun and started shooting. As of tonight, there are 13 dead. Among the dead is the accused gunman and a police officer who lost his life while trying to save the lives of those inside the bar.

 

According to news reports, the man who opened fire was a former marine who struggled with PTSD after leaving the military. Another news report states that some of the victims in this shooting survived the shooting in Las Vegas last year.

As with previous mass shooting, the same issues will arise: gun control and mental health.  How many more innocent lives will be taken before we do something? What will it take for the politicians to stop taking money from the NRA and listen to the citizens who want reasonable gun control?

I am not against the 2nd amendment. I never have been. If someone wants to buy a gun, I have no right to stop them. But when will come to our senses and realize that there is a way to respect the 2nd amendment while making sure that those who are not of sound mind cannot buy a firearm? What will it take to enact national legislation to ensure that background checks when it comes to purchasing guns?

When someone wants to drive, we don’t just hand them the keys to the car. We make sure that they are capable of driving. We give that person a license with the full knowledge that the license can be taken away if said person does not adhere to the rules of the road. If we can do this for drivers, why can’t we do this for those who want to own a fireman?

It’s another day in America and another mass shooting.

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Filed under Mental Health, National News

Another Shooting In America. What Else Is New?

A wise person would say that logic plays a part in politics and how we view our fellow Americans. But a wise person would also say that logic and American politics are like oil and water.

There was another shooting in America today. This latest shooting was in Jacksonville, Florida at a video game tournament. As of 7:45 PM, EST, four people, including the shooter are dead. Nine are injured from gunshot wounds.

We have midterm elections coming up. The question is, do we as citizens, want to elect someone who cares more for their career than the country? Do we want to elect someone who takes donations from the NRA and other pro gun lobby groups while innocent civilians are killed by guns? Or do we elect someone who puts country over party and career, who understands that we, the American people are their employers, not the lobbyists?

May the memory of those killed be a blessing and may we finally elect a politician who ensures that real world, logical gun control laws are enacted.

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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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New Randy Rainbow Video-“KIDS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody”

Several weeks ago, 14 students and 3 teachers were murdered in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. At the outset, the response from the nation and our leaders seemed to be the same as it was for other mass shootings.

But something was different about this mass shooting. The surviving students, angry and grieving, were energized. Challenging the status quo, those in power and the NRA specifically, these kids are on the verge of making a breakthrough that adults have not been able to for far too long.

Randy Rainbow’s latest video, KIDS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody is a satire of the song Kids from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, intermingled with an interview with NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

These kids are going to change the world. We have two choices: fight the change that should have happened a long time ago or let our youth create the change that they are demanding for their future and our future.

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Filed under Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow