Breaking News – Schools Are Not Safe

The mass shooting of 17 innocent people, many of them children, is no longer Breaking News.  It is just over 72 hours ago that a school was shot up by an AR-15… the most used gun by mass shooters and CNN has moved back to the Russian involvement in our election.  Even more we are looking deep into the failings of our FBI to act on a tip.  They are playing the blame game when what we need to look at, as a society, is how we continually allow this to happen. We are a society that is committed to gun rights and gun ownership.

This is NOT about me wanting to take your guns away for some hippy-dippy, lib-tard, bleeding heart, or far-left idea because I want to ruin your life. I want to save lives.  I care about making this country safer for all of us and you being able to buy a semi-automatic AR-15 or similar gun does not fit into that plan.  If your need to shoot a high powered gun outweighs the rights of a 14 year old to live then you should join the military.  There is no reasonable way that owning that type of gun is a necessity, it is a want.  If gun manufacturers made a ‘gun’ that shot off some kind of explosive devise that could level a house, there would be someone out there that would want one just for the fun of it, and because one had not been created yet, there would be no regulations on it and people who have no military training would be able to bring one into your neighborhood.  Although I wish there were no guns, I am not going to work to take away your hunting rifle, or the hand gun you keep locked in a closet, but I want to be reasonable, I want us all to be reasonable.

Do you really want your child’s first grade teacher, the one who smiles and tells your child that she is glad they came to school that day, who puts bandaides on their invisible boo-boos, who sings them to the carpet and helps blow their noses when you are not around…. do you want her to have a gun strapped to her butterfly dress, just under her bubblegum pink sweater? A hand gun? A more serious firearm? How quickly can she jump up from behind the library corner’s bookcase, assess a situation, aim and shoot at someone who has planned to do her harm? Who will be paying to train her, who will pay for her gun?

I spent my run thinking about where I would have my class hide, my class is too large to hide in our library corner… I would quickly move furniture, drag bookcases, have them lie flat on the stomachs and I would perch on the shelf by the door ( believe me, I have practiced ) ready to jump on any one who tried to enter through our always locked door. We will rehearse this when we come back from our long weekend.  This is the world we live in because we are unwilling to fix this problem… it is about more than mental health, it is about more than reporting scary talk, it is about more than preparation, it is also about gun control and until we can all agree that we MUST more tightly regulate guns and fund mental health professionals in EVERY school, as well as give law enforcement more power to search homes and confiscate weapons, we will continue to live in fear, in a country where children may not come home from school.

Breaking News ~ our country is broken ~ schools are not safe

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Making A Difference

I went into teaching to make a difference.  But, time and again, shooting after shooting, it has become clear that I can not make a difference the way it matters the most.  I am at a loss, and I am feeling hopeless.  I cried all the way home from school yesterday imagining the pain of those mothers and fathers, imagining my own children…

What we need is a national hotline where families and educators can call about a child or person who is violently angry and the authorities take them into protective custody, evaluates them over the course of several days, and puts them into a mandatory program while confiscating all weapons from that person and that person’s home.

We need to stop selling guns… AR-15s and, in my opinion, all others… why do you really NEED to go hunting… you don’t … you WANT to go hunting…  if you can’t afford meat at the market, become vegetarian… does your love of meat, and family tradition usurp the rights of children and teachers to attend school without fear of being shot?

I hear a call, on a conservative news station, for the best minds in our country to figure this out.  Are you kidding me?  We love violence in this country… our video games, our sports, our love of guns, our anger towards the other… these news people act as if this is something we need to figure out… We know what the problem is… we know that the accessibility of guns allows impulse to easily be acted upon… we know that children who do these things (or commit other violent crimes) have shown signs for a long time.

Last night my husband said that across the nation all teachers should hold a strike until our legislatures do something.  On NPR today I heard a retired teacher call for all teachers, administrators, and students to stay home and say ‘NO MORE’!  We have been in crisis for years… When is it time to take a stand?

It does not matter what the shooter’s motive was, it doesn’t matter his ethnicity, or the tragedy he has suffered in his life… it mattered that he was able to get a gun and that although people knew he was troubled, the hands of the authorities were tied.  You want your freedom, your rights, your guns, your privacy… all of those families want their children back…

What are you willing to give up to keep this from happening again?  How can we make a difference if we don’t think beyond our rights?

My heart is broken

Fourteen, So Far

Here we are at the beginning of February and there have been 14 school shootings in 2018… so far.  We don’t hear about most of them because most of them have not ended in a fatality, but they all involved a gun being fired at a school or on a school campus.  You can be certain that across our country guns have been brought to school and been discovered, before they were fired, many many times…

As a society. we all agree that no child should be in danger of being shot anywhere in our country but especially in our schools.  We can all agree that no child should bring a gun to school and we wring our hands at each announcement of tragedy befallen our most innocent.

I’m sorry, but if YOU own a gun and it is not locked up in a way that only you have access to it, YOU are contributing to our national problem.  It could potentially end up in the hands of a criminal, an addict, a child.  It could be used in a crime, a suicide, a school shooting.  Just by owning a gun, you are saying that you don’t get it.  You are saying that your rights are more important than the lives of innocent children.  Sorry, but you are part of the problem. If we didn’t have guns in our homes children would have a much more difficult time getting their hands on guns, it might not be impossible, but it would be much more difficult.  Shouldn’t we make it as difficult as possible for a child to get a gun?

Am I saying that I don’t support the 2nd Amendment? Yes, I am.  I care more about victims of tragedy than about people having to own guns, it is not a hard choice for me.  If I had a magic wand and could eliminate guns across our country, leaving them only in the hands of the police and military, I would do it.

There have been 14 school shootings this year…. so far.  It is only February 6th.

The Desensitization of a Nation

We have spent the past few decades gravitating towards a level of sensitivity and political correctness that has surpassed and suppressed our baser selves and previous insensitive and brass generations. Sadly, we are coming to the end of an era, a proverbial backlash as the pendulum swings towards the opposite end of the spectrum.  Whether he said it or not, his s***h*** comment was repeated over and over again on cable news stations all week long.  One interview I saw had a former international relations expert who not only used that language but racial slurs including the n-word more than once!  The news anchor he was talking to, who happened to be black, did not bat an eye!  I almost choked… he was making a point rather than calling someone that name, but it was still shocking.

Those baser selves, the Make America Great clan have a leader, and sadly they have joined together with decent people who were hoodwinked into thinking he would make our country better.  Okay, I will give you that the economy is booming and many people have been promised more money in their bank accounts… but is that what is most important to us as a people?  Money?

Have we lost our moral compass, our ideals, the meaning of America, our sense of justice?

The outrage is constant, but when a certain level of anger or outrage is maintained, it becomes normal and we no longer are shocked.

The more our president, OUR PRESIDENT, uses the kind of language we don’t accept from our own children and spouts the ideals we are ashamed to call our own, the more his base (those baser Americans) feels empowered to spew their hatred in their own small communities across our country.

I hope you are planning on marching next Saturday to show that those of us who still believe that we WERE moving in the right direction before this deplorable man came to power does not represent who we are as a nation.

Purpose

As our year comes closer to an end I hope that you have felt that your year has had purpose.  If nothing else, this new administration has given rise to the voices of many who once sat by silently letting their government officials do whatever it is they do.  If you are reading this, perhaps you are one of those voices who has joined the chorus of outraged patriots who are watching our country slide down a slippery slope of hatred, greed, bigotry, and violence.

3.2 trillion dollars of tax cuts will have a huge impact on our country.  It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this change.  We won’t know for a while… money for government programs that people need will be at risk.  Stay alert to small changes in the coming years… will you need to push back your retirement date, pay more for your health insurance? Who knows how this will affect our lives in the future.

Although our country is being led by a buffoon, our outrage is what will save us.  It is our obligation to fight for peace, love, joy, compassion, and taking care of not only our fellow citizens, but ALL people of this country and the world.

Your purpose, to this end, can be manifested every day.  Thinking critically about what you say and do, how you treat your family, friends and those who are not your friends, what you post and how you comment… what is your purpose? Are you making this world better with your actions, are you improving the lives of the people around you, are you helping rather than hurting? Are you walking through this world consciously with thought of your actions and comments?  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice against stupidity, hatred, and greed.  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice for kindness, mindfulness, love and peace.

You have a purpose, choose wisely…

I Can’t Wait

Well, the White House and our illustrious president must be reeling… yes, we are on the verge of a new tax plan.  But Trump’s decision to run for president on a whim, just to see if he could win, to satisfy his narcissistic lust is about to land his favorite daughter’s husband in deep trouble.  It will be interesting to see just how far he is willing to go to keep himself in his dream office… will he sit back and watch as his son-in-law takes the fall for his lust for power?

My guess will be that he will provoke a new assault on his former election rival, the previous administration and on North Korea… Will he be willing to sacrifice the country’s safety to deflect attention from the treachery occurring in the oval office and in his campaign?  Who knows? But I will be up early to see what shiny object becomes the focus of his tweets…

I hope that the American people, all of them, are smart enough to see through his struggle to deflect our attention.  Stay alert!

Some Things Are Not Easy to Say

Putting yourself out there isn’t easy.  Challenging people who you respect or consider friends can be stressful. Keeping the discussions civil and being willing to listen and respond with respect is critical to moving forward and making the changes needed in our society.

Saying that I wish all guns were taken out of homes and off our streets is a bold statement, especially when I live in a small town filled with hunters.  Saying that I challenge religious zealots of all kinds and believe that many of the world’s problems fall on the shoulders of those who believe they are doing ‘God’s will’ is met by anger.  Saying that I am a liberal democrat who wishes Obama were still president and that Americans had universal healthcare is met by name calling and hateful words.

It isn’t easy, but it is necessary.  I am not looking to change the minds of those people who oppose me vehemently, I am looking at changing the minds of people on the fence and move those who are already on my side but shy to speak up towards action rather than silent agreement, I am looking to send a message of hope to those who feel that they are alone in their thoughts because they are afraid to share their true thoughts…

I am not brave, I am scared, but I am hopeful that together we CAN make a difference, even in our small town.

It is not easy to say, but I will say it… open your mind, open your heart and question the way things are… just because you were raised one way does not mean that it is right, be willing to question yourself, I do every day.