IF We Give Up Our Guns…

You may have heard it before, ‘If we give up our guns, then only the criminals will have guns’…

Drug dealers, con-men, gang members, carjackers, pick-pockets, and more… they are not walking into churches, schools and movie theaters and killing people.  The people doing these mass shootings are just regular, but extremely troubled, young men.  They have access to guns and information, via technology, to destroy lives and communities.  They are not the ‘criminals’ we think we need to worry about.  Getting rid of guns may mean that only criminals will have guns ~ that will make it easy to recognize who needs to be arrested… if you have a gun, you are a criminal and your gun will be confiscated.

Let’s stop saying how guns are a right, that we deserve to be hunters and people who use guns as a sport.  Let’s stop having children who grow up around guns, have a healthy respect for guns, and would never do this kind of thing.  Let’s stop being a country of selfish, fearful, conspiracy theorists who need protection from our government and neighbors and start being a country who values the lives of innocent children over our right to go out and kill a deer.

Parents who have their guns used in an act of violence or in an accident should be held accountable for the crimes their children commit.  Let’s start saying that THAT is the price of freedom… But, my first choice is to ban guns, all guns.

I have never liked guns, but, yes, now I am an anti-gun nut… I am fine with that

The only hope that someone will not use a gun to commit mass murders is IF they can’t get their hands on a gun.

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Sick to My Stomach

I have been so busy in my own life that speaking out hasn’t been a priority.  The school year is coming to a close and I am sitting down to work on some end of the year projects on my day off…  and then ‘Breaking News’… Texas… multiple fatalities… students talking on t.v… not again

Florida has made the change because of their tragedy and yet the NRA stands behind gun ownership, behind the necessity of producing military style assault riffles, behind our beloved 2nd Amendment… I have written before and will write again, it doesn’t take a bump stock (or an AR-15) to destroy lives. Students of Parkland have been called all kinds of names in the wake of trying to make a change…

When will we change the way we look at the 2nd Amendment and the gun culture.  Today the discussion about guns was not soon enough, today for Santa Fe, it was too late.

The price we pay for our right to own guns?  It grows by the day… in the lives of innocent people, in the lives of children…

Sick to my stomach, I can’t even imagine the heartache of the people of Santa Fe.

My heart breaks for them all

 

YOU Have To Do It!

You have to do it… not me.  I have tried, but more and more I realize that only YOU can really do it.  You have to create caring, loving, respectful adults out of the children you bring into this world.  I did my part.  I raised two adults who care about this world and treat people with respect.  No, I was not a perfect parent, I smacked my older son more than I should have… I did not want to raise someone who saunters across the street daring cars to hit him, or someone who sits back in class smugly ignoring the teacher.

I am a teacher, and in my class I teach respect, caring, kindness and peace… but I should be teaching math, reading, science, art and music… I can’t get through what I need to because my day is constantly interrupted by children who are unkind or don’t know how to behave.  But, as much as I try, they bring with them what they learn, or don’t learn, at home.

It is, at times, draining, hopeless, and full of frustration.  It is, at times, joyful, exciting, and inspiring.  I alter my plans with each nose that needs blowing, each shoe that needs tying, each scratch that needs a band-aide, and that is how it should be.  But altering my plans because someone is refusing to follow directions, running out of the class, screaming that they hate math, cutting up their clothing, hiding in the coat closet, or throwing a tantrum is not acceptable…especially on a daily basis.   It takes away from everyone else and it takes away from me.

My job has more stress than ever before and I wonder what I should do.  Yes, I love them all as they are when they walk into my classroom, but I can not fix them.  I am not enough, there isn’t enough time in my day, and I have a classroom of other children who also need me.

I am changing things daily, switching up expectations, spending more time on working as a team, teaching how to be kind and caring, and most recently showing Mister Rogers during quiet morning work time.  I have tried meditation with children, self-talk, a peace pole, rewards, behavior cards, soft speak, singing, yoga, special seating, big buddies, and more…  I have exhausted my resources and wonder what more I could do.  But I realize that it must be you.

YOU need to do it.

What is it, you ask? ‘It’ is being a parent who raises children who are ready to attend school.  How?

  1. Get rid of modern tech devices for any child under 6 or 7 years old
  2. Only allow slow moving, kindhearted or educational shows in your house.  (Mister Rogers, Little Bear, Sesame Street, Blues Clues) – but really Mister Rogers is the gold star standard.
  3. Take your child to the library once or twice a week to check out books.
  4. Read to your child often- at least daily.
  5. Have family game nights. (teach how to be a good winner and loser)
  6. Play with blocks and other toys that don’t need batteries or have flashing lights.
  7. Give your child art supplies and things to write with.
  8. Make playdough.
  9. Give them whole healthy food to eat – cook together.
  10. Sing your child to sleep.
  11. Talk to them.

I am sure there is more that could be added… but these are a good start.  YOU do have the power.  I can’t do it alone.

Sacrifice

To all who are celebrating Easter today I hope that it brings you comfort in knowing that Jesus sacrified his life to save you.  If you are a believer, then today may be the most meaningful day. It is a day where you are thinking deeply about the gift you have been given by your savior.

Now I will get political…. because across our country people are gathering in churches to celebrate this ultimate sacrifice, this gift from God, this day of hope for the future… and yet… and yet… and yet…

Our citizens are unwilling to look at the second amendment differently, unwilling to sacrifice their right to a quick and easy killing machine, to save the people of our country.  I have heard more than one citizen say that owning a gun is a God given right… oh my

Did Jesus sacrifice his life so you could openly carry an assault rifle to a peace rally? Did he die so that you could call teenage survivors, trying to make a change, names?  Did he sacrifice so that you could poison the rivers, turn away the hungry, bully the caring, and break apart families?  Did he give you the ultimate gift of salvation so that you could demean his teachings by doing the ‘right thing’ because it is holy week?

I know that many believers are on the right side of all of these issues… but for those who are not, and are sitting in their churches listening to HIS word, I hope you listen closely because nowhere will you find anything close to words supporting where our country’s leaders have taken us, where anyone can do whatever the f*** they want no matter who it hurts, where the NRA has twisted our constitution, and where God has given us the right to own guns.

Jesus paid the ultimate price so that you could live your life… what are you willing to sacrifice so that our world will be a better place?  If you have to rely on it being ‘holy week’ to do the right thing then you have no business calling yourself a Christian, you should be doing the right thing EVERYDAY…

God did not give you the right to own a gun, it is a choice you make based on your values.  What do YOU value and what are you willing to sacrifice?

If you are religious it is time to ask yourself, what sacrifices can be made in your personal life to make the world a better place?  Showing love, kindness, and practicing peace are good ways to start, although those don’t require sacrifice…

Paying more taxes, recycling, eating fewer animal products, regulating gun ownership and gun control may be sacrifices… thinking beyond what is good for just you and your family, thinking about what is good for society, and for the world… that is sacrifice

#MeFirst

I was having a wonderful political conversation with someone who held very similar beliefs as I do… she was smart, thoughtful and extremely liberal.  Frustration with friends was only tolerable because she said that, really, we all want the same thing.  I disagree.

I, and those who are leaning to the left want what is good for society.  I want what is good for the poor, the sick, the unemployed, the mentally ill, the elderly, the immigrants, the refugees, the minorities, the children, the homeless, the environment, the LGBTQ community, the women, and the world…  The other side?  They want what is best for themselves, for their pocket book, for their business, for their rights, and for their families…  they want what they want and damn anyone who gets in their way… those intelligent, thoughtful, perhaps religious people are all about one thing, we are not even close.  Let’s just call it what it is, selfish.  #mefirst

Responsible Gun Owners

I am inspired by the young people across our country speaking out, walking out and marching for gun reform.  The NRA is fighting back hard.  They continually talk about law abiding, responsible gun owners holding fast to their rights and clinging to an outdated notion of the Second Amendment.  So, let’s take a minute to talk about responsible gun owners.  Since the party line is ‘Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People’, I’ll just go with that.  If you are a responsible gun owner your gun IS your responsibility.

Our president just suggested that drug dealers should get the death penalty, although I am not a believer in the death penalty, perhaps his call for an iron fist approach should be applied to gun violence and mass shootings.  So, if your dependent uses a gun either purchased or owned by the family, you are responsible.  If that use results in injury or death then you are prosecuted.  Let’s make owning a gun something that is thought about on a deeper level… is owning a gun worth the risk?  You can do it, we are not taking away your rights, but IF you are not responsible with your ownership then you, the person not the gun, are held accountable.

Twenty-seven states have some kind of law holding gun owners responsible for accidents or crimes involving children using their guns but they are almost never prosecuted because prosecutors feel that parents have already paid the ultimate price.  Yes, they have, but when someone else’s child dies then what happens?  If you don’t own a gun, then you do not run the risk of jail time.  If more parents didn’t own guns then children would be less likely to use them.  It does not take rocket science to figure that out.

We  can fight for stronger gun control, for limiting high capacity magazines and assault rifles, AND we can work to change the perception of the need to own guns. Yes, some people who live way out on ranches with livestock to protect may have a point, but  ‘It’s my right’ , ‘I grew up with guns’, ‘Guns are a family tradition’ and ‘I like guns’ are no longer intelligent arguments (were they ever?)…

Being a responsible citizen is more important than being a responsible gun owner…

Ignorance

Ignorance… I have read letters, posts and blogs suggesting that those who want gun control, or changes in gun laws are ignorant.  It has been suggested that you can not blame anything on an inanimate object.  It is a simplistic statement that anyone THINKS that is what is happening here.  The ignorance is that we are interpreting our second amendment to mean that all guns, all ammo, under any circumstance should be available to almost all in the general public all the time.  YOU do not understand the intent of the second amendment or the climate of our country over 200 years ago.

If you are religious and believe in the bible do you wave a chicken over your head when entering a room? Do you refuse to shake the hands of a woman for fear she is menstruating? If you are divorced or remarried, you too, are breaking the rules of the bible.  Why are these rules (the ultimate piece of writing in a believer’s mind) no longer valid?  Because they are not relevant to life in modern times.  Even Jesus said that many of the rules from the Old Testament were obsolete… HE understood that the world changes.

At the time our constitution was written our country was small and had just battled England for our freedom.  We had battled with muskets, bayonets, swords and cannons.  Our country was an infant and the ideals reflected in our constitution were meant to protect our independence and the freedom we had just won.  This was not written for a modern society with technology that allows someone to gun down hundreds of innocent people in the matter of minutes when their loneliness and anger overtake their ability to respect the value of a life. The second amendment does not refer to the right to every type of gun, without restriction.  With the correct interpretation the government could still control the number and types of guns available to it’s citizens.   In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.  

By saying that protesting the lack of our government to get killing machines off the streets of our country and work towards sensible gun control is ignorant, you are showing that you have not been thinking about what our constitution really says, you are jumping on the gun rights bandwagon and dismissing the reality of beginning to solve this tragic epidemic in our country.

Do you live by the same standards and rules from when you were five years old?  You have grown up and life changes.  Our country has grown and so have many of our rules.  The second amendment does not mean that the government has to allow every and all firearm to be available and that assertion is indefensible.  We are a different society with different problems.  We need to allow our laws to adapt to those changes.

Limiting guns will not fix the problem, but if it will help why would we not, as a civilized country, make it so?

The gun lobby is strong, reasonable people can be stronger.

Ignorance is when you speak and act without thinking, reading, or researching your position.  That is what a child does.  Time to grow up, America, and make the changes we need to keep our people, our children, safe.  #enoughisenough