Mass Movie Review

School shootings have sadly become just another headline in the evening news. The latest one in Arlington, Texas this week was far from the most important news of the day.

The new movie, Mass, takes this all too familiar event and makes it personal. Written and directed by Fran Kranz, it tells the story of two couples who lives have been upended by one student killing his classmate. Jay and Gail (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton) are the parents of the victim. Richard and Linda (Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) are the parents of the shooter. They meet in a church basement to iron out what led to the shooting and how they can live with their new normal.

This film is important and timely. Kranz’s script is deep, emotional, and speaks to the harsh truth of the reality that comes with an experience such as this. It explores question that lead to school shootings. It is due to mental health, the lack of gun control laws, a combination of both, or perhaps something else that has not even been considered?

Though the screenplay is not as strong as it could be, the interrogation of what leads to one young person killing another on school grounds and its aftermath is potent and unfortunately still too relevant.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Thoughts On Betsy DeVos Allowing Federal Funds To Buy Guns For Teachers

When you know was running for President in 2016, he promised to hire the best people to fill out the many positions in his administration.

I don’t know about anyone else, but in my opinion Betsy DeVos is far from the best person to ensure that American children receive the best education possible.

Her latest proposal to is allow schools to use federal funds to pay for guns and gun training for school personnel.

If all previous signs have pointed to her being completely under qualified for her job, this new proposal is akin to large blinking red light flashing danger.

According to a report last year from the Pew Research Center, American children lag well behind their peers worldwide when it comes education.

What our children (and their teachers by extension) need is not guns on campus. They need books, computers, school buildings that are not falling apart, etc. Many of our students may reach high school or college and need remedial classes to catch up academically to their classmates.  A brand new high school student should not be starting 9th grade with a reading level of a fifth grader, but the reality is that many students walk into high school academically unprepared to succeed.

This inane proposal also bring the issue of gun control back into the spotlight. We should not spending tax dollars on arming teachers, we should be writing laws that protect innocent civilians while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners.

From my perspective, the idea of spending federal tax dollars to arm teachers is just another reason why you know who and his administration are taking this country down a path that I fear we may never come from.

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.

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