I am sure you have seen the news, heard the reports, read countless memes, shared your own point of view, argued against someone else's point of view, maybe cried, possibly became fuming mad or just become confounded by it all with the latest senseless act of violence in America. Most of you reading this will already know but just in case you hadn't seen it I am talking about the recent high school shooting in Florida this past week. Oh NO, not another person ranting about this! No my friends this isn't a rant. This isn't an attack. This isn't me standing on top of some high pulpit trying to be preachy. This is, like I always say, "Just A Thought!" Take a journey with me if you will.
One kid came to school and killed 17 people on Valentine's Day. A day where we show a grotesque amount of visual love to those we, well, love. Most of those kids and teachers that day did not imagine they would be faced with their own mortality in such a fashion. I imagine most were worried if their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives or whatever was going to do for them on this day of love. One kid with a gun ended that. Unlike most cases this kid didn't run nor did he hide after it. He was taken peacefully into custody. He is expected to plead guilty. Lives have been changed forever including his and his family. Tragic. So many tragedies hit us as a nation and a world. So there is your recap. Now, why am I blogging about this when everyone and his or her mother has been blasting social media with an opinion? Because I believe this is needed for someone if not simply for myself.
When the news broke the shooting, before the body count was totaled, before all the parents knew the answer of if their son(s)/daughter(s) were alive or dead we began to react in the same as we always do. You know, first it was the, "oh no my heart is broken thoughts and prayers out to those effected." Then that was quickly followed by the gun control vs second amendment messages. Which was quickly followed by the shooter was, depending on the background of the shooter, terrorist (Middle Eastern looking), thug (Black looking) or mental health issue (white looking). Some of you may think that is an exaggeration but I implore you to go look for yourself. Then the last thing of the normal reaction is to start pointing angered fingers at some person, persons, group or entity that either caused it or should of stopped it. Same sheet of music every single time. A week from now, some people will still be talking about it but the majority will go right back to their day to day lives. Rinse and Repeat for the next tragedy. Humans doing what humans do and that is attack others. This is the problem as I see it, "Humans doing what humans do!"
Everyone has an opinion that usually ends with telling people on the other side what they need to do. If you don't like guns then everything is about gun-control. If you love guns it is all about Second Amendment Rights. If you are Republican it seems its about Freedom to own. If you are Democrat it seems like the Government and the NRA at the problem. Then there is the people who are looking at the mental health side from big pharmaceutical with the drugs and programs reminding us all how weak minded and fragile we are as people. What we never see is ACTUAL solutions to the problems. Just more and more ranting and attacking. My goal is to give anyone who is reading this something to ponder from all sides.
1. The 2nd Amendment is viable. Yes, we have the right to have guns. Taking someone's rights away is wrong, period. It is the same when people wanted to take away the rights of NFL players to protest for equality. (that comparison will ruffle a few feathers I'm sure). Rights are rights. That being said, we forget that the word "Amendment" means it was added that a correction was needed to the constitution. That also means it can be amended again. Hell, it took one of those to let America recognize that I am actually not 3/5th of a man but a fully made man. An amendment did that according to our doctrine. We need gun control. We don't need to take peoples guns away but we need to make people accountable for their weapons and choices to own them. My solution is simple but not at all fully inclusive:
A: When I fire arm is found that is unregistered it is confiscated and destroyed, period.
B: Any gun owner found with ammunition that has been modified or altered to increase its
lethal nature (ie hollow point or armor piercing) is fined and the ammo is destroyed.
(making it less easy to kill police officers doing their jobs)
C: Assault rifles must be registered and secured if found in unsafe condition (ie. kids can
access it or take it to school) it is confiscated and DESTROYED, period.
D: All gun owners must take weapons safety course and carry the cert like they would car
insurance or CPR certs. Carry a gun without it. The weapon is confiscated until proof of
training is provided. After 30 days it is destroyed.
E: Background checks are mandatory on EVERYONE who has a weapon.
Now, these are ideas but the onus of gun control needs to be put on the gun owners. If you care about your guns then care about the destructive force behind them. Responsibility starts with those who choose to carry. It is a right and with that right comes responsibility.
2. Parenting! It is my belief that the majority of these incidents happen because we no longer teach our kids coping skills. We, as a nation, have coddled and hidden the hard parts of life from out kids because, simply put, we are too lazy to teach them how to deal with it. The latest report I read said the Florida shooter had just had a major breakup which is suspected to be his tipping point. Now, I know that can change in a heartbeat but it isn't uncommon with these acts. Kids are killing each other and themselves because they lack the tools to handle adversity. That starts with parenting. Parents are the ones who need to sit with their kids and talk about how to handle being bullied. It will always be a thing. Talk about how to handle break up, failing, not getting what they want and being individually strong enough to do what is right even if they are standing alone. Several of the kids at that Florida school said they knew he was going to do something. KNEW IT! How much could be prevented if our kids were strong enough to stand up and do the right thing for each other? They learn that from their parents or guardian figures.
3. Stop being political. The difference between Democrat and Republican is who gets the money the poor or the rich. Everything else is a variation of the same crap. Politicians work for their constituents AND those who fund their campaigns. To be shocked that there are very few gun reactions would be foolish at best. More importantly, there is no reason to react when most people who are outraged will fight each other and then move on. This has been the same reaction since Columbine. It hasn't changed so why would they go to war on something that people only care about for 14 days or less? Politics have never been about right and wrong. it has been about sides and keeping a job. WE THE PEOPLE are what makes political change. Stop the idiotic name calling and start trying to figure out what to do, as in Bipartisanship, to help our nation not just the part of the nation that matters to you.
4. Thoughts and Prayers! Wow, this is been attacked this time around. The reason is because they don't do anything. It is that simple. If you believe in a higher power then praying may be great for you but action by the people is what is needed. Even if your higher power was going to change things he/she would use the people to do it. You are the "people." We have been praying since Columbine. Maybe we should start acting and making changes ourselves. This isn't an attack on religion or religious preference it is an attack on the notion that a higher power must save us from ourselves. No, that is our job. That is my job. That is your job. You want change..... Change it your damn self.
OK, I can go on forever but truth is most won't read past half way if that far. We, as human beings, need to do better. We need to stand up for the weak and protect them. We need to get off our bigotry, hatred and judgmental bias and extend a hand to help one another. There are enough natural tragedies in the world like earthquakes, tornado, winter storms, cancers, accidents and such that we don't need to add to it because we are too weak to do what is right. This is on us, we the people, the fragile, the strong, the independent, the left wing, the right wing, the racist, the sexist, the purist, the sacrificers, the religious, the atheist, the men, the women, the something else's, the darkskinned, the pale, the intelligent, the illiterate and everything else. It is ours to fix. Stop being distracted by the noise and start learning what we can do. We need Human Control!
The last thing, i chose this image of this tree I took because it truly represents America. It has all this gnarly limbs reaching out in all directions trying to reach the light. Everyone doing its own thing. All of our personal beliefs have us as a limb. The thing is they are all attached to the same trunk. The trunk gives life to the limbs and vice-versa. Cut too many off the other side and the tree becomes to heavy, falls and dies. We must work together to fix this issues because both sides are valuable. Just a thought my friends.