The Heartbreak of a Nation

Last week was a sad one, not only for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, but for the entire nation.  Two students, survivors of the mass shooting at the school in February 2018, have ended their lives in the past week.

Sydney-AielloThe first was Sydney Aiello, the second an as-yet-unnamed male student.  These two are victims just as much as the 17 who died on that fateful day.  How many more will there be?

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, many of the students who survived the attack rallied in protest of the United States’ current gun non-laws, and they did a fine job making their voices heard.  Those of us with live cells in our heads applauded their efforts and hoped their resistance was only the beginning.  I thought their protests would help them, knowing that they were doing something positive to try to change this nation, to try to make sure this never happened again.

But while most of us were applauding these young people’s efforts, others were putting them down.  Representative Steve King was one such … you’ll remember I wrote about his bigotry and racism just a couple of days ago.  Mr. King put down Emma González, one of the leaders of the protests, in a Facebook post whereby he criticized her for having a Cuban flag on her denim jacket.

“This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self-defense.”

What. A. Jerk.  Senator Marco Rubio from Florida … the state where the shooting took place … jumped on the criticizing bandwagon, as did many conservative media outlets.  Could it possibly be that all the criticism played a role in the deaths of the two young people?  First, they were traumatized by a classmate shooting up their school.  Then, they found that they had lost dear friends and teachers.  Then, they try to take positive action to ensure others won’t have to go through what they went through, and they are criticized by the very people who should be helping them!  Gee, I wonder why they were depressed?  I wonder why they felt that this nation had let them down.  I wonder why they gave up hope?

For months, the name-calling and trolling of these young people continued, even crossing into conspiracy theories when it was suggested that these students were paid actors.  Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, all nationally syndicated television personalities, jumped on the bandwagon criticizing the kids, not the NRA, not lax gun laws, not even the shooter, but instead the kids who are sick and damn tired of living in a country where guns are more important than human lives.  In my book, every single one of these people have the blood of the two who died last week on their hands.  That includes every single member of the NRA.  That includes every member of Congress who has taken NRA money in exchange for voting against a ban on assault weapons or other gun safety regulations.  That includes Donald Trump, who has been bought and paid for by the NRA.  That includes every single person who puts his “right” to own a gun above human lives.  These are the ones that killed these two young people.

The NRA and the gun lobby supporters in Congress keep telling us that “now is not the time” to discuss gun regulation.  Our young people, the future of this nation, if indeed it even has a future, are being killed, and the idiots who put their 2nd Amendment “rights” before human lives have the unmitigated gall to tell us that it isn’t appropriate to discuss gun safety regulation???  To hell with the 2nd Amendment!  THIS was not what the Founding Fathers of this nation intended when they wrote the Constitution.  The damn fools have interpreted it to mean what they want it to mean.  And why?  Because a bunch of men cannot feel like a ‘real man’ unless they are carrying a weapon that can kill.

Meanwhile, children are dying … needlessly … senselessly.  Think about it.

27 thoughts on “The Heartbreak of a Nation

  1. Dear Jill,

    The fact is that if those mass shootings had never happened, it is likely that 3 good decent peoples would be alive today. It’s not just the victims who lost their lives and the survivors who were present, its the fall out, the broken marriages; the horrible memories, the extreme grief that never ends. To pile on the pain that these peoples carry in their hearts is unconscionable.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there will be consequences for the families of both victims and survivors for the rest of their lives. And yet, nearly every GOP member of Congress are taking NRA money to keep voting down the proposed regulations about guns. This is unconscionable, especially in light of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who called for new gun safety laws banning assault weapons, and had them within 6 days! Our government does NOT care about the people of this nation!


    • I fully agree! I think what may finally turn the tides is when the school shooting involves a child of a member of Congress. Then, perhaps, they will put life before $$$. My hat is off to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government … in under a week they managed to pass new laws! Here, even if everyone agreed on it, it would take at least 10 months!


  2. My condolences to the family and friends of these Parkland survivors. They have been victimized once again by a system that places profit over ppl. I have given up on this issue. No matter how many protests, lawsuits or massacres, nothing fundamental will change until we ban campaign contributions from gun manufacturers/ lobbyists. Our representatives should be ashamed for accepting blood money. I know a few Democratic candidates running for 2020 agreeing to PAC money from the gun lobby. Very sad.


  3. It might have been said before but it still needed to be said again. I’m saddened that two more young lives have been ended, It may not have been through violence at the moment of their death but I’m sure every moment of the violence at school led up to this, There must have been a great deal of disappointment that the people entrusted with the care of the country and it’s inhabitants were distracted by their NRA paydays and therefore unable to take action in the form of a sensible gun control bill. Those who take their thirty pieces of silver are sick and I hope will suffer in the elections.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s been said before, and it’ll be said many more times, and still nothing will be done. At least, nothing will be done until we start holding our leaders accountable to US instead of to the gun lobby. I’m thinking this needs to be one of the major issues of the election campaigns next year. We need a government that thinks of the people first, not the fun manufacturers and lobbyists. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An excellent post and I totally agree! The long reaching effects of these school shootings has claimed yet another victim today, Jeremy Richman Ph.D. of Newtown Conneticut. Dr. Richman was the father of 6 year old, Avielle, who died in the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, founded the Avielle Foundation to prevent violence and build compassion, just months after the shooting. The aim of the foundation is to prevent violence through brain health research and fostering community. Dr. Richman, age 49, was a neuroscientist and neuro-pharmacologist. He spoke often of the devastation and grief that remains since the loss of their daughter and how their grief has also turned to anger as the government has done nothing to address gun control as school shootings continue. They were among the families that sued Alex Jones…remember him? He is survived by his wife and two children, born after Avielle’s death, Imogene and Owen. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind when I read of Sydney Aiello’s death was…her poor parents. They must have been understandably relieved that she had survived the MSD school shooting, only to tragically lose her now. I can not attest to how one survives the murder of a family member, but I can tell you what it is like to be left behind struggling with a family member’s suicide. IT HAS NEVER GOTTEN BEARABLE! Thank-you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re BACK!!! I’ve missed you so!!! I hope you are feeling much, much better!
      I knew who Dr. Richman was, of course, but was not aware he had died in another tragedy!!! How awful! After reading your comment, I checked a few news sources and was sickened to find that none other than Alex Jones, the man who called Sandy Hook a hoax, sent his ‘condolences’.
      I sense that you have personal experience in this … I’m so sorry. 😥

      Now … how are you and how is Benjamin? I truly have missed you both!


  5. Jill, from a terrible tragedy to a very normal tragedy. By far, more gun deaths are suicide. We never seem to deal with our real problems. I am in great admiration of how quickly New Zealand acted on assault weapons. Were too busy posturing to do anything. I am so sorry these two teens felt suicide was the only path forward. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is a terrible tragedy and one that should be waking people up, but you and I both know those who need to take the cotton out of their ears and hear our voices, will not. Yes, I applauded the government of New Zealand and especially Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern .. I’m jealous.


    • Thanks Nan. No, I didn’t like it very much either, and in fact it took me 3 tries to complete it. A very sad commentary indeed, and not one that’s likely to change any time soon no matter how loud we scream. But, I will keep screaming anyway.


  6. WOW! Jill, this is beyond poignant. It speaks directly to the ignorance running our country. I no longer take a stand of compromise on any of these issues destroying USA. They have made it clear that it is them against us. 😡

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Larry. No, the time for compromise has long since passed. There can be no compromise when our death toll by guns exceeds 40,000 every year, many of them children. I’m done trying to meet halfway. I will call out those fools in Congress who are lining their own pockets with NRA money. I’m done … just done. 😥

      Liked by 2 people

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