And Once Again

I feel like I’m experiencing Deja vou. Just last week my post was titled Domestic Terrorism and focused on the racist killings at the Buffalo grocery store. And now Tuesday, we had another shooting at an elementary school. 19 kids and 2 adults killed, murdered for no good reason in Uvalde, Texas.

But of course, there can be no “reason” for someone to behave this way. No explanation justifies his actions.

I’m sure, like me, your heart aches for these parents, families, first responders, and the town. They will never be the same. And maybe that’s okay. Something this agonizingly heart breaking and horrendous should change you.

Unfortunately, none of these events individually or collectively have changed us enough so we could take affective action.

If 90 % of Americans favor universal background checks, why can’t the Congress pass that law? Well, the House passed the bill. Tragically, the Senate is held hostage by the Republicans who will not budge on this subject and two Democrats who won’t give up the special power they have as holdouts. If Senators Manchin and Sinema would agree to do away with or at least modify the filibuster, action could happen regardless of Republican support, if Manchin and Sinema would also vote for this bill.

But these two senators are against any change to the filibuster. Originally the purpose of the filibuster was so minority voices could be heard. That’s important. People had to get on the floor of the Senate and speak about why they didn’t like a particular bill. But now, the opposing parties just have to say I object, and everything is shut down.

What we have now is not rule of the majority, a principle our country is built on. What we have now is rule by the minority. And I hate it. I am so angry.

Did you happen to see the Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr go off about how angry he was about the situation we’re in? He was amazing. So rational. So powerful. So emotional. And he’s a basketball coach. And he cares.

Let’s be clear, this situation is not just the fault of Congress or some members of Congress. Our state governments share part of the blame. In Texas, with Governor Abbot’s full support, the legislature did away with the law requiring a person to have a license to carry a handgun. Along with that was a requirement for a background check and eight hours of training. All gone.

The reason? Because they could.

So now anyone can walk around with a handgun concealed or not with no safety training. In Texas for years, we’ve been able to walk around with a long gun in our hands. What kind of insanity if this? Do they think we live back in the wild west?

And while we’re about it, let’s look at social media. Apparently, the shooter in Uvalde put pictures on Instagram of his AK-47 with the word: Kids be scared. You cannot tell me that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter cannot see this stuff when it comes out. I get freedom of speech concerns, but this expression goes beyond our freedom to speak our minds about subjects (like I’m doing now.) But you cannot stand in a crowded theater and shout “Fire.” When someone says something like this 18-year-old said with a picture of his AK-47, report him.

Where’s the harm in that? If he’s okay, no big deal. If he’s not, maybe you stop something like Uvalde or Sandy Hook or God forbid, the next one from happening.

And yes, as much as I hate to say this as a retired elementary school principal, the schools bear some responsibility. Apparently, this young man while enrolled at the high school missed a lot of school. So, something was wrong. People should have seen and should’ve done something. And maybe they did, and maybe they tried.

And every time one of these events happen, I flash back to Wednesday evening September 15, 1999 when a disturbed man walked into Wedgewood Baptist Church across the street from Bruce Shulkey Elementary School where I was the assistant principal. He killed seven people, wounded seven and killed himself. Our school became the staging area for the police and first responders and the poor parents waiting to hear about their kids. Waiting long past when I knew they’d hear their child was okay. I remember some of those affected by the Columbine High School Shooting in April 1999 came down to support these families and kids.  

“More than 311,000 children have suffered some form of gun violence during school hours since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post.”  Washington Post May 25, 2022 

So what can we do? Well, I have sent money to sandyhookpromise.org I did again this morning and I have before. This time I promised to send money yearly. This is an organization founded by some of the Sandy Hook Parents. It’s what they did with their anguish and pain and anger. Another organization is Everytown For Gun Safety. everytownforgunsafety.org

If you’d like to help the people of Uvalde specifically here’s the link for that: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mtdrdc-texas-elementary-school-shooting-victims-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email_m_pd-5332-donation-receipt-adyen&utm_content=internal

And I will vote. I will only vote for people who promise to take positive steps to keep our kids, parents, teachers, grandparents, our communities safer from gun violence than they are now. I’m not talking about taking away anyone’s guns. I own a handgun. Don’t let people tell you that’s what any of us are talking about. I’m talking about common sense gun laws. Ones that as many as 90% of American agree to.

Can’t we do better? I really hope so. What will you do?

As always I’d love to hear from you.

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4 responses to “And Once Again

  1. I think you will be having more deja vu, Marsha. Here is a list of 355 schools where there have been shootings. I copied this from a friend’s post. I, of course, will VOTE. Until the gun rules change, I don’t see that there is much else we can do. (I did see your mention of giving money.) I do think all schools need to begin locking their doors after the start of the day and have an intercom and camera to see who is ringing at the front door. Unfortunately, that means a lockdown. But until the laws change…

    Thurston High School.
    Columbine High School.
    Heritage High School.
    Deming Middle School.
    Fort Gibson Middle School.
    Buell Elementary School.
    Lake Worth Middle School.
    University of Arkansas.
    Junipero Serra High School.
    Santana High School.
    Bishop Neumann High School.
    Pacific Lutheran University.
    Granite Hills High School.
    Lew Wallace High School.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.
    Appalachian School of Law.
    Washington High School.
    Conception Abbey.
    Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
    University of Arizona.
    Lincoln High School.
    John McDonogh High School.
    Red Lion Area Junior High School.
    Case Western Reserve University.
    Rocori High School.
    Ballou High School.
    Randallstown High School.
    Bowen High School.
    Red Lake Senior High School.
    Harlan Community Academy High School.
    Campbell County High School.
    Milwee Middle School.
    Roseburg High School.
    Pine Middle School.
    Essex Elementary School.
    Duquesne University.
    Platte Canyon High School.
    Weston High School.
    West Nickel Mines School.
    Joplin Memorial Middle School.
    Henry Foss High School.
    Compton Centennial High School.
    Virginia Tech.
    Success Tech Academy.
    Miami Carol City Senior High School.
    Hamilton High School.
    Louisiana Technical College.
    Mitchell High School.
    E.O. Green Junior High School.
    Northern Illinois University.
    Lakota Middle School.
    Knoxville Central High School.
    Willoughby South High School.
    Henry Ford High School.
    University of Central Arkansas.
    Dillard High School.
    Dunbar High School.
    Hampton University.
    Harvard College.
    Larose-Cut Off Middle School.
    International Studies Academy.
    Skyline College.
    Discovery Middle School.
    University of Alabama.
    DeKalb School.
    Deer Creek Middle School.
    Ohio State University.
    Mumford High School.
    University of Texas.
    Kelly Elementary School.
    Marinette High School.
    Aurora Central High School.
    Millard South High School.
    Martinsville West Middle School.
    Worthing High School.
    Millard South High School.
    Highlands Intermediate School.
    Cape Fear High School.
    Chardon High School.
    Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
    Oikos University.
    Hamilton High School.
    Perry Hall School.
    Normal Community High School.
    University of South Alabama.
    Banner Academy South.
    University of Southern California.
    Sandy Hook Elementary School.
    Apostolic Revival Center Christian School.
    Taft Union High School.
    Osborn High School.
    Stevens Institute of Business and Arts.
    Hazard Community and Technical College.
    Chicago State University.
    Lone Star College-North.
    Cesar Chavez High School.
    Price Middle School.
    University of Central Florida.
    New River Community College.
    Grambling State University.
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School.
    Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy.
    North Panola High School.
    Carver High School.
    Agape Christian Academy.
    Sparks Middle School.
    North Carolina A&T State University.
    Stephenson High School.
    Brashear High School.
    West Orange High School.
    Arapahoe High School.
    Edison High School.
    Liberty Technology Magnet High School.
    Hillhouse High School.
    Berrendo Middle School.
    Purdue University.
    South Carolina State University.
    Los Angeles Valley College.
    Charles F. Brush High School.
    University of Southern California.
    Georgia Regents University.
    Academy of Knowledge Preschool.
    Benjamin Banneker High School.
    D. H. Conley High School.
    East English Village Preparatory Academy.
    Paine College.
    Georgia Gwinnett College.
    John F. Kennedy High School.
    Seattle Pacific University.
    Reynolds High School.
    Indiana State University.
    Albemarle High School.
    Fern Creek Traditional High School.
    Langston Hughes High School.
    Marysville Pilchuck High School.
    Florida State University.
    Miami Carol City High School.
    Rogers State University.
    Rosemary Anderson High School.
    Wisconsin Lutheran High School.
    Frederick High School.
    Tenaya Middle School.
    Bethune-Cookman University.
    Pershing Elementary School.
    Wayne Community College.
    J.B. Martin Middle School.
    Southwestern Classical Academy.
    Savannah State University.
    Harrisburg High School.
    Umpqua Community College.
    Northern Arizona University.
    Texas Southern University.
    Tennessee State University.
    Winston-Salem State University.
    Mojave High School.
    Lawrence Central High School.
    Franklin High School.
    Muskegon Heights High School.
    Independence High School.
    Madison High School.
    Antigo High School.
    University of California-Los Angeles.
    Jeremiah Burke High School.
    Alpine High School.
    Townville Elementary School.
    Vigor High School.
    Linden McKinley STEM Academy.
    June Jordan High School for Equity.
    Union Middle School.
    Mueller Park Junior High School.
    West Liberty-Salem High School.
    University of Washington.
    King City High School.
    North Park Elementary School.
    North Lake College.
    Freeman High School.
    Mattoon High School.
    Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
    Aztec High School.
    Wake Forest University.
    Italy High School.
    NET Charter High School.
    Marshall County High School.
    Sal Castro Middle School.
    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
    Great Mills High School
    Central Michigan University
    Huffman High School
    Frederick Douglass High School
    Forest High School
    Highland High School
    Dixon High School
    Santa Fe High School
    Noblesville West Middle School
    University of North Carolina Charlotte
    STEM School Highlands Ranch
    Edgewood High School
    Palm Beach Central High School
    Providence Career & Technical Academy
    Fairley High School (school bus)
    Canyon Springs High School
    Dennis Intermediate School
    Florida International University
    Central Elementary School
    Cascade Middle School
    Davidson High School
    Prairie View A & M University
    Altascocita High School
    Central Academy of Excellence
    Cleveland High School
    Robert E. Lee High School
    Cheyenne South High School
    Grambling State University
    Blountsville Elementary School
    Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
    Prescott High School
    College of the Mainland
    Wynbrooke Elementary School
    UNC Charlotte
    Riverview Florida (school bus)
    Second Chance High School
    Carman-Ainsworth High School
    Williwaw Elementary School
    Monroe Clark Middle School
    Central Catholic High School
    Jeanette High School
    Eastern Hills High School
    DeAnza High School
    Ridgway High School
    Reginald F. Lewis High School
    Saugus High School
    Pleasantville High School
    Waukesha South High School
    Oshkosh High School
    Catholic Academy of New Haven
    Bellaire High School
    North Crowley High School
    McAuliffe Elementary School
    South Oak Cliff High School
    Texas A&M University-Commerce
    Sonora High School
    Western Illinois University
    Oxford High School
    Robb Elementary School
    These people went to campus to learn. To teach. To support.
    They didn’t go to campus to be shot, killed or traumatized.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Susan, I didn’t even realize there were this many. This is truly astounding. Especially when we are the only country where this happens to this extent. Sad beyond belief. Thanks for stopping by. 😦

      Like

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  3. My heart aches for those families dealing with the losses from these senseless shootings. I also pray for the grandmother of this troubled young man. I wish he could have had help, a mentor, someone who loved him enough to turn him into the police. But maybe he kept it all hidden deep inside–except on social media. I don’t understand it at all. I know my 13-year-old granddaughter has mentioned how she fears going to school. Thank goodness, school’s out in our area now. Kids have to be brave to go to school, a place always thought of as a safe place for our kids where each child had her own desk and her belongings, organization, and teachers who cared about her. Kudos to you for this heartfelt blog post and for addressing the gun control problem. I did not realize TX had done away with licenses. Our Memorial Day Celebration honoring those who gave their lives was in our city park. The biggest attendance I have seen in a while. Such a time of pride and remembrance.

    Like

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