Tag Archives: Gun control

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I realize that today everyone will probably be talking about the same thing.  I’ve tried to avoid it, play with stuffed Snowmen, etc, but it doesn’t go away.  Considering I try hard NOT to watch the highly sensationalized news, it is amazing the kind of stuff you can get from Facebook News.  Oh sure, we hear about the Godless peanut butter Christmas trees with their poop shapes.  The whole world hears it.  It’s on “trending news.” on Facebook.  Guess what else is on there?  Almost every. single. day.  A shooting.

It is so common, it’s on “trending news.”  Trending news.

I sent a text to a friend.

Me: There’s been another shooting.

My friend: Where this time?

Isn’t this sad?  Listen to our words – actually speak them out loud and listen.  “Another shooting.”  “Where this time?”  That’s how desensitized we are, because this happens as often as political candidates say stupid stuff.  And once again, they are being super helpful- offering thoughts and prayers.  God has heard our prayers.  But here’s the thing – God helps those who help themselves.  As this Sandy Hook senator says:

It's about time.

It’s about time.

If you’ll recall, in 2012, there were 20 children, five and six-year-olds, and six staffers, who never returned home from Sandy Hook Elementary that day.  Because Adam Lanza had access to guns.  So what’s the solution?  Well, take them away from mentally ill people naturally!  But here’s the thing – we send young men and women in the military overseas to war.  We have them kill.  And that’s okay.  We certainly don’t assume they are mentally ill.  But, you might say, these “crazed shooters” are shooting innocent people.  Yes, they are.  So are our military.  Sometimes, on accident, they even shoot each other.

This isn’t a diatribe against the military.  I feel for our soldiers who are over there acting as chess pieces for our government officials who sit behind desks and make decisions.  These are people who think all terrorism is from brown people, or Muslims, and it’s almost all Over There, and the best way to take care of it is to send in more guns, more tanks, more bombs, more violence.  These are the people who are worried that letting in Syrian refugees will fill our country with terror.  Guess what?  It’s already here.

I feel for our people in this country, people who depend upon politicians to help make laws to prevent this sort of thing.  Because Isis was not behind Sandy Hook.  They weren’t behind the Oklahoma City bombings where babies in a daycare center died.  They weren’t behind the attacks on Planned Parenthood.  They didn’t put guns in the hands of children only to have them shoot themselves or their siblings.  They weren’t behind the 161 school shootings in America since 2013.  Here’s a list for you.  Keep in mind that I have only including shootings at schools, and only shootings that happened this year, 2015, not including the most recent events.

11/29/2015 Columbus, OH Ohio State University College or University Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
11/11/2015 Sulphur Rock, AR Sulphur Rock Magnet School Middle School Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
11/10/2015 Lecanto, FL Lecanto High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
11/5/2015 Moultrie, GA Vereen School Middle School Gun fired but no one injured
11/1/2015 Winston-Salem, NC Winston-Salem State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/25/2015 Durham, NC North Carolina Central University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/24/2015 San Antonio, TX Ed White Middle School Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/15/2015 San Antonio, TX Wagner High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
10/15/2015 Langston, OK Langston University College or University Gun fired but no one injured
10/11/2015 Tampa, FL University of South Florida College or University Gun fired but no one injured
10/9/2015 Flagstaff, AZ Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/9/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/6/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/2/2015 University City, MO University City High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/1/2015 Roseburg, OR Umpqua Community College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/30/2015 Harrisburg, SD Harrisburg High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/28/2015 Butte, MT Montana Tech of the University of Montana College or University Gun fired but no one injured
9/22/2015 Statesville, NC Central Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/14/2015 Cleveland, MS Delta State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/11/2015 Lafayette, LA Northside High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/3/2015 Sacramento, CA Sacramento City College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/27/2015 Savannah, GA Savannah State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/26/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/25/2015 Augusta, GA Hornsby Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
8/23/2015 Richmond, TX William Velasquez Elementary Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
8/8/2015 Wichita, KS Wichita State College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/8/2015 Paradise, TX Paradise High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
7/27/2015 Gainesville, FL University of Florida College or University Gun fired but no one injured
7/24/2015 Converse, TX Elolf Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
7/5/2015 Dallas, TX Coppell Middle School East Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
6/23/2015 Fort Calhoun, NE Fort Calhoun Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
6/4/2015 Franklin, NC South Macon Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
5/27/2015 Everglades City, FL Everglades City School Preschool Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/24/2015 Flint, MI Southwestern Classical Academy High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/20/2015 Robinson, TX Robinson High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
5/12/2015 Tempe, AZ Corona del Sol High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
5/5/2015 Conyers, GA Conyers Middle School Middle School Gun fired but no one injured
5/4/2015 Cleveland, OH Willow Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/4/2015 Orem, UT Utah Valley Univeristy College or University Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
4/27/2015 Lacey, WA North Thurston High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
4/22/2015 Las Vegas, NV Ruthe Deskin Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
4/19/2015 Dover, DE Delaware State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/19/2015 Charlotte, NC Johnson C. Smith University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/18/2015 Dover, DE Delaware State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/17/2015 Seguin, TX Seguin High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
4/13/2015 Goldsboro, NC Wayne Community College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/4/2015 Everett, WA Everett Community College College or University Gun fired but no one injured
4/2/2015 Jackson, TN Lane College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/2/2015 Monaca, PA Community College of Beaver County College or University Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
3/9/2015 Coon Rapids, MN Northwest Passage High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
2/23/2015 Daytona Beach, FL Bethune-Cookman University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Merced, CA Tenaya Middle School Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Little Rock, AR Lawson Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Athens, GA University of Georgia College or University Gun fired but no one injured
2/5/2015 Columbia, SC University of South Carolina College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/4/2015 Frederick, MD Frederick High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/2/2015 Mankato, MN Minnesota State University College or University Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
1/26/2015 Roseville, MN Hand and Hand Montessori Preschool Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
1/23/2015 Hardeeville, SC Royal Live Oaks Academy High School Gun fired but no one injured
1/20/2015 Mobile, AL Williamson High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
1/16/2015 Ocala, FL Vanguard High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
1/15/2015 Milwaukee, WI Wisconson Lutheran High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death

A short time ago, my daughter’s high school made news because a kid brought a gun to school.  The police got right on it, and the kid was quickly apprehended.   Whether this kid was planning on shooting someone, or whether he was just showing off was not clear.  But it makes you think.  These shootings are happening every day.  I can promise you no one in San  San Bernardino was expecting there to be shooting at a center for the disabled yesterday.  No one in Sandy Hook that day thought they’d be dropping off their children for the last time.  Yet somehow, we think we are separate from this – that it happens to other people.

We have drills, but no one takes them seriously.  My daughter was angry at how many kids were completely unconcerned about the weapon on their school campus.  But it’s not just high school.  I work at a university, where we had a lockdown because there was a possible armed shooter who had robbed a fast food store across from the school.  Everyone went about their business.  As it turned out, there was no danger.  But they didn’t know that.  And now, they can feel more secure because we allow students and staff to carry concealed hand guns on campus.  Because that is the answer.  Arm the teachers, arm the students, arm the little two-year-old who was shot by her five-year-old brother, who will live with that death for the rest of his life.

Don’t blame guns.  Blame the mentally ill.  Because you have to be crazy to shoot a bunch of people, right?  I think that most people who kill someone either have something wrong with them, or they soon will, even if it is because they were ordered to do it, or because it was in self-defense.  Because it’s not right, and you don’t have to be a Christian – too many of whom support the NRA and are against any, ANY kind of gun control – to know this.  Mentally ill people are much more likely to aim the gun at themselves as they are to aim it at other people.  We’ve lived with our illnesses all our lives.  But in today’s society, when our lives are in such stress, when so many people who work their butts off don’t have enough money to pay rent, or medical bills, or buy groceries; yeah it doesn’t take much for someone to snap.  The majority of Americans are one layoff or one major medical condition away from financial disaster.  Students are under so much pressure – from parents, from teachers, from their peers to keep their grades up, to stay out of trouble but still stay cool, to hurry up and get into the work force that fries so many everyday adults.  You don’t have to have a diagnosed illness for this to affect you.

Back in 1962, we were faced with a little something known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Russians had their nukes aimed at us from Cuba and our president was having to carefully negotiate a game of international chicken.  During that time, a man wrote a song I once joked about, because it is kind of a weird song.  “Do you hear what I hear?”, I just discovered on the History Channel, was written during this time of fear, and it called for peace for the people everywhere.  The song was made a hit by Bing Crosby a year later, just a month before our president’s funeral – a young man also killed by a gun.

Do you hear what I hear?  I hope it is finally protests – demands that we have better gun control – which does not mean go take away guns.  It means control their use, with such bizarre ideas as waiting periods, more gun training, no more “cop-killer” weapons, keeping weapons out of the hands of at least our own children.  It means get help for everyone, mentally ill or no, police officer or no, who feels they need to shoot a gun for some release.  We are the ones who elect our politicians to make laws for us.  It’s up to us.  Because it is way past time for merely thoughts and prayers.

 

Guns Kill People, not Statistics

gun1

This is not my usual happy-go-lucky fare.  But in reading another blogger’s post, I felt moved to do this.  Not to push a political agenda, but to tell a story.  One that should never happen.  Please go see Kylie’s blog post “The Right to Bear Harms”, and watch her video.  I cannot imagine her loss.  But I did have one of my own.

When I was nine years old, they told me that my grandfather had been murdered.  He owned a store that sold guns in a small Texas town.  He was shot by one of his own guns.  This was the first time in my life I had ever seen my father cry.  My mother only told me he was shot because she knew people would be talking about it.  It had been on the news in his home town, and they didn’t get much news there.

I wasn’t really close to my grandfather.  I heard later he wasn’t the best father.  But he was the only father my father had.  Mostly I remember going to his store and sitting on the pool table and listening to the jute box while I ate chick-o-sticks.  But no matter what kind of person he was, he didn’t deserve to die on the floor of his shop.  And my father didn’t deserve to have to live with the grisly death of his father.

People came to his funeral – people who didn’t know anything about him, because it was a scandal.  They were curious.  They thought it was exciting.  They didn’t think of his family when they crowded in that funeral home.  I was too young to understand this at the time.  I was told later.  I was also told later, by an aunt, just how he was shot, and how many times.  Now I have that imagery in my mind.

None of us should have had to see the special they had on TV about the executions in Texas, when they spoke about the execution of his killer, and put up pictures of my grandfather, a person, on TV.  Yet much of his family still support guns.  They watched the killer get executed.  Let me repeat this.  They watched another person murdered in front of them.  Have we really come that far from the Middle Ages?

I remember when hearing about a school shooting was a rarity.  Now it seems to happen once a month.  Remember how the media played up Sandy Hook?  How many people still even remember Sandy Hook?  Those parents do.  They will never forget that day for the rest of their lives.  Some of these people are working, tirelessly, reviving the memory of their children, over and over again in an attempt to get better gun legislation.  Too few are listening.

My father is a pacifist.  He went to Vietnam as he was told to do.  They had the soldiers raise their guns and shout “Kill!”  My father raised his gun.  But they couldn’t make him shout kill.  By sheer luck, he was able to be a medic during the war, and he was eternally grateful that he got to help people, not hurt them.  Soldiers even now return, having had to kill, and are forced back into everyday society where suddenly it is a crime to do so.  Many have nightmares for the rest of their lives.  Some have taken their lives.  Others have taken the lives of their family.  And for what?  Do we even know what we are fighting for anymore?  Do not misunderstand me.  I support the troops, every single man and woman and child, because, I’m sorry, 18 is a child.  I support them by wanting to keep them alive.

After Sandy Hook, many people wanted to put the blame on mental illness.  The man was mentally ill – that’s the real problem, not the gun.  We should help mentally ill people.  That’s true.  But here’s the kicker.  If he hadn’t had all those weapons – clips with so many rounds, he wouldn’t have been able to shoot so many children so fast.  Sure he could have used a knife – but chances are far greater he could have been stopped before killing an entire classroom.  Instead, he walked in, and blew them away in seconds.  Seconds.  In seconds all those lives were snuffed.  All those names of those babies were read on the news.  And what did people say?  Clearly, we need more guns.  We need to arm teachers.  We need armed guards outside the schools.  We need, apparently, to function like those war torn countries we send our soldiers to.  We need to do this to protect our rights.  Our rights to own guns.  Our right not to have to have a three day waiting period, a license, training in using the weapons, or child safety locks.  The NRA fights against any legislation having to do with gun ownership.  Any.

Recently, I wrote a post about the insane day we had at our college when a man robbed a nearby convenience store.  In wake of all these tragedies, the entire university was shut down for two hours while police officers tirelessly combed the area, making sure that an armed robber had not made his way on campus.  As it turned out, the robbery was all staged, and there was nothing to be worried about.  But because of the tragedies, we must react this way, because we don’t know when it will be real.  And that same afternoon I put up that post, there was another shooting at another university.  The same day.  Yet even with all this insanity, the university is considering letting people bring guns on campus – for defense.  Guess what?  When you’re acting like Rambo, the cops don’t know who the bad guy is.  You aren’t helping anybody, just making the jobs of the police officers harder.  At best, they’ll shoot you because, as part of their jobs, they don’t have time to check and see if you’re “good” or “bad”.  They see someone with a weapon, they shoot.  So please quit fooling yourself.

Do you think you need one for  home protection?  How likely do you think it is that you’ll be able to wake up from a sound sleep, grab your gun, and shoot the intruder, all while your body is reacting to stress?  And if you keep that gun in your bedside table drawer, loaded and unlocked, how likely is it that a child or someone else could get hold of it?  Many gun deaths happen because someone shot their own family members while defending their homes.  Many gun deaths happen because children shoot each other.

My husband is a gun owner – I’m sure that surprises you.  They were passed down in his family.  He shoots targets.  He would never harm anyone.  And he has been trained in operating his weapons.  But not everyone is like him.  As a compromise, the guns are kept unloaded in a locked gun cabinet.  I still don’t like them, but I deal with it.  So I’m not completely ignorant.  I know guns aren’t always used to kill.  But I also know that the only real purpose of a gun is to kill something, whether animal or human.  Unlike cars, and knives, that is their only purpose.

I could link you to the many, many news stories talking about gun deaths and statistics.  And I’m sure those on the other side could do the same.  But I’m not talking about numbers right now.  I’m talking about our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends.  Kylie’s father is not a statistic.  My grandfather is not a statistic.  Those children at Sandy Hook elementary school are not statistics.  They were people.  And now they are all dead.

We live in fear of the next shooting now, just as our elders feared the atomic bomb.  Why?

Go U.S.A.

Go U.S.A.