Going to the mall on a lazy Saturday afternoon is a perfectly acceptable way to get out of the house for a few hours. Whether it is to meet with friends and get a bite to eat or to do some shopping, there is nothing out of the ordinary about it. There is also nothing out of the ordinary for innocent lives to be taken in a mass shooting.
Today is April 21st, 2023. We are 111 days into the new year. In that short amount of time, 88 lives have been unnecessarily lost in 17 mass shootings. The US is the only country in the world in which firearms have more value than the lives and safety of the average citizen.
In addition to Ralph Yarl (who is thankfully recovering at home), there have been others who have been shot (and some killed) for innocent errors.
In upstate New York, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was out, driving with her friends. After making the wrong turn, she pulled into a driveway to correct course and reach her final destination. Gillis was shot and killed by the homeowner.
In Texas, 18-year-old cheerleaderPayton Washington was shot because she got into the wrong car at a local supermarket. The driver could have simply told them that they were in the wrong car and let that be that. Thankfully, she survived and is on the way back to her normal life.
And finally, in North Carolina, 6-year-old Kinsley White was outside with her parents while neighborhood kids were shooting hoops. As sometimes happens, the ball accidentally rolled into a neighbor’s yard. Instead of ignoring the ball or returning to the child, he aimed his gun at them. Kinsley’s father put himself in between the gun and the children. Kinsley and her mother’s injuries were minor. But her father is still hospitalized.
When is this madness going to stop? When are our politicians going to start listening to the citizens and stop listening to the 1% NRA donors that are lining their pockets? I don’t know about you, but I am this headline has become exhausting.
Since school shootings have become the norm, there have been numerous questions about what leads to them and what can prevent them. The answer (as anyone with a brain would realize) is gun control laws.
Yesterday morning started as normal for the staff and students at the Covenant School in Nashville. By the time the school bell would have rung to announce the end of the day, three children and three adults were dead. The accused killer (whose name will not be used on this blog and who took their own life) is transgender.
Though the Republicans can point to any number of reasons: drag queens, being gay, banned books, etc, the truth is that these are smoke screens. It has everything to do with the fact they care more about their NRAoverlords’ donors than the lives of the next generation. This includes their “outrage” about the ATF‘s possible creation of a national gun registry.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what needs to be done. What it does take is those at the top valuing the lives of everyday Americans (and their children) over those who line their pockets.
P.S. Did you hear about Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s attempt to stop an ATF official from doing their job and inspecting a gun store? If we require drivers to earn a license before getting behind the wheel and send health inspectors into restaurants to ensure that the kitchen is sanitary, why can’t we do the same for establishments that sell firearms?
Though this particular event was one in a long list of murders in an educational setting, it is the first time that the parents of the minor charged will face charges themselves.
As I have said before, I have nothing against guns. It’s not my cup of tea, but that’s ok. What I am against is this loosey-goosey vision of the 2nd amendment in which the lives of the average person are less important than the firearm itself or the NRA.
Granted, the child accused of killing his classmates was 15 at the time. By that age, most parents (hopefully) give some amount of autonomy to their offspring. However, he is still underage, and his parent’s responsibility. Unless they were living under a rock, they had to know what was going on with their son. The signs of mental illness are not unknown to us. Neither is the ability to secure one’s weapons and keep them away from small hands.
Obviously, no one can predict what the verdict will be. That being said, I can only hope that the message is loud and clear to anyone who calls themselves/is referred to as a parent.
When will it be enough? How many of our children have to be killed before something is done? When will the lives of ordinary citizens be worth more than the gun lobby and the NRA?
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of this. I am tired of burying our kids and mourning the loss of someone who died for no reason. This is preventable. We know it is. We just need to have the balls to do what needs to be done and tell those who prioritize weapons where they can go.
As usual, may the memories of the lives that were lost be a blessing. Z”L.
The thing about death is that we all understand the concept in theory. At some point, our bodies will stop working and our souls will go wherever they go. When we lose someone we love as adults, death is hard to compute. I cannot even fathom how a child would absorb that idea, especially when they are still learning the basics of life.
I am both heartbroken and furious at the same time. Because we have people who are more concerned with their guns and protecting the NRA/the gun lobby, a little boy has lost his parents. Though I am sure that his grandparents will give him everything they can, nothing can make up for the loss of his mother and father.
The young man (who shall not be named in this post) who has been accused of the shooting had no reason to gain access to any firearm, much less a high-powered one. According to the news outlets, he did not wake up on Monday and thought that it was a good day to kill innocent strangers. This plan was several weeks in the making. He also passed several background checks and red flags laws (which would have saved lives, had someone done their homework) and was proudly part of the MAGA movement.
We have too many reasons to pass gun control laws. I’d like to add one more reason to the list: Aiden McCarthy is the last child who loses a parent due because someone with a gun decided that they have the right to play G-d.
To say that gun control is a divisive issue is an understatement. Where one stands on whether or not firearms should be regulated speaks volumes.
Earlier today, SCOTUS ruled that the highly restrictive concealed-carry handgun law in New York State was unconstitutional. In laymen’s terms, the judges said that licensed gun owners can carry their hidden weapons into public spaces.
The majority ruling stated the following:
“Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution,”
This decision is both wrong and dangerous. At the end of the day, gun reform is about safety. The 2nd amendment is as solid as it ever was. We shouldn’t be afraid of completing day to day activities ( i.e. going to school, grocery shopping, seeing a doctor) because some politicians are beholden to their NRA donors.
The majority of Americans want reasonable gun control. The problem is that until those in power listen to the people, we will continue to lose our loved ones to unnecessary violence.
I once heard somewhere that liking something and being used to it are two different things entirely. It can also be said that being used that same thing and learning from your mistakes are also two different things entirely.
In the last few weeks, the headlines about mass shootings in the US have been coming at us like never before. Though the events in Buffalo and Uvalde have dominated the news cycle, other shootings have happened. Over the Memorial Day weekend, there were 14 other shootings across the nation. According to news reports, 60 people were injured and 9 were killed. It boggles the mind that the cycle keeps repeating itself and we have done nothing to stop it.
It is possible to respect the rights of gun owners while keeping our citizens safe. Other nations have done it. They saw past the bullshit and enacted legislation that has saved lives. In Canada, a law is being introduced that would make it illegal to sell or import handguns. Whether or not it becomes the law of the land is to be seen. But at least the Canadian government is being proactive.
One of the facts that have come to light since last week is that the young man who is responsible for the murders in Texas was able to buy his firearms legally. I don’t know about anyone else, but an 18-year-old should not be able to buy any weapon, much less a weapon of war. The argument on the other side is that he cleared the background check. Of course, he did, he is 18!
There is a reason that when a young person gets their driver’s license, they cannot drive wherever and whenever they want to. Though the regulations vary from state to state, one does not get automatically get their drives license when they turn 16. Similarly, you cannot consume alcohol lawfully until your 21st birthday.
I hate repeating myself, but I have to. It doesn’t take a genius to understand what needs to happen. We just need to get it done and tell the NRA where it can go.
P.S. Though the video below is from 2020, it is as timely as it has ever been. If anyone is not affected by it, their heart is made of rocks.
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.
From the outside, it appears that the NRA is one of the most powerful non-profit and lobbying intuitions in the United States. But, like any image, what we see may not always be the complete truth.
Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA, by Tim Mak, was published earlier this month. Back in the day, the NRA was simply a grassroots organization whose goal was to encourage gun safety among its members. But over time, it morphed into a company that has had a stranglehold over the nation and any attempt by those in power to enact reasonable gun control laws. Led by Wayne LaPierre, the book reveals internal conflict, misuse of funds by those at the top, and the idea that they are above legal and legislative reproach.
The first break in the chain came right after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Instead of working with the powers that be, LaPierre and the NRA doubled down on their perspective on gun rights and gun control. This opened the door to the revelations about how low it would sink to retain power. Even if that meant working with Russian spies and manipulating those at the top of the political food chain.
It has been said that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. To say that this fall is spectacular is an understatement. If we are to balance the rights of gun owners while protecting the lives of Americans, the NRA must be dismantled. Mak’s book, I believe, makes this clear. If we don’t, we will continue to be a fractured nation that is continually grieving over loved ones lost to gun violence.
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