Alex Jones Got What Was Coming to Him

Freedom of speech is important in any living democracy. But even that has its limits.

On Wednesday, a Connecticut jury decided that Alex Jones should pay nearly $1 Billion dollars to eight families of Sandy Hook victims and one first responder.

Jones got what was coming to him. What these people deserve (and absolutely need) is our empathy and support. Telling lies about the loss of their loved ones to sell whatever he was selling is cruel and inhuman.

Of course, he will refute the verdict and continue to spread his version of the truth.

It goes without saying that the funds cannot bring the dead or undo the ten years of grief that those left behind live with on a daily basis. But it can send a message that there are consequences for one’s actions.

Only time will tell if Alex Jones and his ilk will stay with us or fade into memory. I would love to be optimistic, but considering our current political climate, I cannot be anything but pessimistic.

Advertisement

Justice Served (For Now): Alex Jones Pays Nearly $5 Million to Sandy Hook Parents & Breonna Taylor’s Killers Have Been Charged for Murder

Justice does not always come swiftly or when we want it to occur. But, hopefully, with time and changing beliefs, it does happen.

Last week, Alex Jones finally got what was coming to him. After years of claiming that Sandy Hook was a hoax and that everyone involved was crisis actors, he was told by a jury that he has to pay nearly $5 Million dollars to the families of the victims.

Free speech is one thing. But to purposefully defame another (specifically a parent who has lost their child in the most horrific manner possible), is heartless and inhuman. What is worse is that many of his fans and followers believed him.

Jones can complain and cry all he wants. He knew what was doing was wrong. Did he think he would get away with the lies he was spewing?

Sassy Mr. D GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Meanwhile, the four police officers who were responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor have had federal charges brought down on them for among other things, use of excessive force and obstruction.

Though this will not bring Taylor back, it is a huge step in the right direction. While I respect the difficult job that the police have, they cannot barge into someone’s private property without having good cause to do so. If nothing else, it sends the message that law enforcement officers better do their homework going forward.

Nancy Pelosi Justice GIF by GIPHY News - Find & Share on GIPHY

Justice has been done, for now at least. While it is better than nothing, we have a long way to go.

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.

4 Years Since Parkland and it Still Hurts

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day celebrating love.

For the students, staff, parents, and the general Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, this day will always be a day of heartbreak and grief. Four years ago Monday, seventeen people were murdered by someone who had no business carrying a gun.

I have no connection to anyone involved, but my heart still breaks the same. The young people whose lives were taken had nothing but a bright future and limitless possibilities in front of them. The adults who were also taken were just doing what they loved: teaching. The only reason that they are not among the land of the living is that some within the United States care more about their firearms than keeping their fellow Americans alive.

Later this year is the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook. Had this tragic event not happened, the children who were slaughtered would be teenagers. The company that manufactured the weapon that killed the students and their teachers, Remington Arms, will be paying $73 million dollars to nine families of the victims.

We know that this money will not bring back those who were killed or take away the trauma of those who were left behind. If nothing else, it sends a message to gun manufacturers and distributors. If one of your products was used to kill by someone who should not have had access to it in the first place, you will not get off scot-free. You will pay, one way or another.

We cannot go back in time and undo what has been done. But we can honor their memory by preventing another massacre with nationwide and airtight gun laws. Only then, will we be able to allow them to rest in peace and us to finally breathe.

It’s Been Nine Years Since Sandy Hook

December 14th, 2011, was a day that broke America’s heart.

Twenty-six people, most of them six and seven-year-old children, were murdered. They were killed because someone had a gun who shouldn’t have had a gun.

I remember Columbine like it was yesterday. I was in high school then, the kids who died were around my age. They at least had the opportunity to see some of the world and experience a little of what life could offered them. The children who died 9 years ago today were just a few years out of diapers. Had they lived, these beautiful and innocent souls would now be teenagers themselves.

What kills me is that even today, after too many young Americans have lost their lives for no reason, that some in the halls of power refuse to take simple steps to protect our future. They are more concerned with saving their own behinds.

May the memories of those precious lives forever be a blessing. Z”L.

Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA Book Review

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.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Thoughts On the Anniversary of the Sandy Hook School Shooting

Seven years ago, the students and staff entered Sandy Hook elementary school as they would any school day. By the time the school day ended, 26 people, mostly six and seven-year-old students were dead.

If these children were alive today, these children would either be twelve or thirteen years old. They would be on the brink of teenage-hood and everything that comes with being a teenager. But they will never experience what it is like to be a teenager or anything else for that matter.

If I had a time machine, I would go back in time and try to stop the massacre of innocent life. But time machines do not exist. The only thing we can do is move forward and remember the lives who were taken far too soon.

We can also honor their memory by preventing another massacre of this ilk. Common sense gun laws and assistance for those with mental health issues are not a 100% foolproof to prevent another Sandy Hook. But they can go a long way in helping drastically cut down the number of young people who are killed in school.

May the memories of the 26 people killed that day and hundreds of others who died in mass shootings since them be a blessing. Z”l.

The Generation That Dies in School

Every generation is known for something.

The generation that lived through the Depression and World War II is known as the Greatest Generation. Their children are the Baby Boomer generation. My generation, otherwise known as Generation Y (aka Millennial’s or echo boomers) is known for the technology that become ingrained in our world.

I am convinced that the current generation that is growing up in 2019 will be the generation that dies in school. Too many young people have died in school shootings over the last few years. The most recent shooting happened earlier today in Colorado. One student was killed and seven were injured.

After Sandy Hook, after Parkland, after the UNC shooting last week, I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Our kids should not be dying in school because of guns. They should be learning so they can one day become responsible and prosperous adults. They should not be afraid to go to school. On the same token, their parents should not be afraid to send their kids to school, not knowing if they will see their kids at the end of the school day.

I have no problem with the 2nd Amendment. I have no problems with people who purchase guns legally, are of sound mind and use their firearms in appropriate situations.

What I do have a problem with is that our leaders continue to allow murders of innocent children in the classrooms to happen. When did the 2nd Amendment and guns become more important than our children?

May the memory of the student killed be a blessing to their loves ones. And may we, once and for all, do something so this generation does not become the one who dies in school.

Two Years And An Untold Number Of Tears

This past weekend marked the 2 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. Two years ago this nation mourned the loss of twenty children who would never have the opportunity to grow up.

There was tragedy in Pakistan today. The Pakistani arm of the Taliban forced themselves in a school, armed and ready to kill. As of tonight, 141 were killed, 90% of the victims were children.

There is a famous saying from the Talmud:

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.

I would like to add to that. Whoever destroys the soul of a child, it is as if they have destroyed ten worlds. Whoever saves the life of a child, it is as if they have saved one hundred worlds.

While I have no children of my own, my heart and my prayers go out to the families of those murdered.

I would say RIP normally, but RIP is not enough.

Another Shooting

Another day ends in America. Another school shooting makes headlines. Another child walks into school in the morning and leaves in a body bag.

In Troutdale, Oregon, a teenage gunman killed one teenager and injured a teacher.

Another family that must bury their child before their time. Another family will miss out on the precious moments of life. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, career achievements, the birth of future grandchildren. None of these moments will happen for this family.

The Sandy Hook massacre was only a year and a half ago. 74 incidents of school shootings have occurred since then. And nothing has changed in this country.

I have nothing against the 2nd Amendment. But it was designed to allow American colonists to bear arms and protect themselves against the British Army. I don’t think the founding fathers imagined that over two hundred years later that the 2nd amendment would be used as a defense when children are being killed simply for going to school.

It’s another day in America. Another school shooting makes headlines.

It’s time to end the madness and protect our children.

%d bloggers like this: