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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