Only in America

It’s September, and you know what that means!  Shorter days, cooler temperatures, the leaves on the trees starting to turn from green to vibrant gold, purple and red.  Pumpkins and apples, the smell of woodsmoke in the air, and … oh yes, those big yellow buses once again rumbling down the street – back to school! school-bus.pngYou won’t see a back-to-school ad like this in France, Germany, or the UK.  You won’t even see an ad like this in Syria or Afghanistan.  Only in America would you would ever see an advertisement like this one.

That was a Public Service Announcement by the Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-violence nonprofit founded by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012.  Raw, jaw-dropping, disturbing?  Yeah, it was meant to be.  Only in America.  What a claim to fame, eh?

This morning, I watched the neighborhood kids walking down the street, backpacks slung over their shoulders, heading to the corner to await the big yellow bus.  I was thinking, as I watched, that I hope they all make it home safe and sound today.  Only in America.

We do everything possible to make sure our kids are safe from the day they are born.  We spend hundreds of dollars on the best car seat to protect them in case of a crash. We spend even more on monitoring systems so that we can listen for the slightest aberration in their breathing while they sleep.  We sterilize their bottles and insist on only the purest ingredients in their food.  We buy them helmets and other safety equipment to protect them in the event of a fall from a bicycle or skateboard.  But the one thing the citizens of this nation refuse to do to protect their children is to demand Congress pass laws to limit guns in the hands of unqualified civilians.

I’ve often wondered, if Mitch McConnell’s grandchild were the victim of a school shooter, would he then be willing to talk about gun legislation?

Only in the U.S. will you find these …backpacksYep … kid-themed bullet-proof backpacks.  Wow, huh?  According to a CBS News report …

“Demand for bulletproof and bullet-resistant backpacks and related products are soaring this back-to-school season amid growing fear about mass shooters.”

Of course, they are only useful if the child is shot in the back and if he happens to be wearing his backpack at the time he is shot.  What next?  Full body armour and bullet-proof helmets?  Only in America.

Nearly a quarter of a million children have been affected by gun violence in their schools since Columbine in 1999.  Think about that one for a minute.  And we’re not talking about New York City, Houston, or Los Angeles, folks!  We’re talking about Newtown, Connecticut, population 27,560.  We’re talking about Parkland, Florida, population 32,202.  Columbine, Colorado, population 24,280.  The madness isn’t just in the cities … it has come right to a neighborhood near you.  Or, maybe it has come to your neighborhood.

school-shootingsThe NRA and our own lawmakers have suggested that arming teachers is the solution … more guns.  But we all know it isn’t.  Guns don’t belong in schools.  Period.  Not in the hands of teachers, and for damn sure not in the hands of students.  Only in America would such a ludicrous proposal even be considered.

The only answer is serious gun regulation.  You know it and I know it.  Our legislators know it, but their children are safe, they go to posh private schools with the latest technology to protect their children, and thus their interests lie in lining their pockets with donations from the gun industry.  What does it matter if a few of our children die?  Only in America.

Think of your children, your grandchildren, the kid down the street who brought you a handful of wilting wildflowers last week “just because”.  I think the video by Sandy Hook Promise should be required watching for every single lawmaker in this country.  Let them think how they would feel if that little girl in the bathroom at the end were their own child.  Only in America.

45 thoughts on “Only in America

  1. Wow, that video is really shocking. If that doesn’t make voters think, nothing will. How can anyone ignor that today’s kids face the kind of dangers that even trained soldiers rarely do. Something has to change to stop the rampant violence and gun control is a necessity to stop the loss of innocent lives.

    Liked by 5 people

    • The video quickly went viral, and I think everyone has to have seen it at least once. But … word on the street is that it’s nothing but a democratic ploy to scare people … nothing to see here, folks, move along. Sigh. We live in a nation of fools.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The saddest PSA I’ve ever seen in my life. | Ospreyshire's Realm

  3. I had missed this post of yours and I posted this same video on Wednesday. I had found it by accident, and it clenched my heart so much that I had to share it. I had tears at the end. You wrote this so well, and poignantly, yes, very sadly, only in America!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • The video has gone viral and it’s almost everywhere you look … which was the intent and I hope everyone sees it … mostly, I hope members of Congress see it … over and over! Thanks, my friend, for your kind words!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. That is absolutely chilling and so utterly foreign to me. I can hardly imagine it. I cannot believe that Americans really believe that arming everyone with semiautomatics and assault rifles is a sane policy. Seems utterly insane to me. When are we going to get sane people in charge?

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Even the NRA won’t allow guns into their assemblies now, let alone someone with an AR-47. So why do they support the sale if these weapons? For some stupid misreading of the 2nd Amendment! Just for the money, half which they are giving half or more to knowingly crooked politicians.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. A very sad commentary on our country, though eloquently stated indeed! I am old enough to remember when the words “Only in America” had a positive connotation, how far we have fallen. I cannot tell you how many times yesterday that I came across this Sandy Hook Promise PSA , first from them and then in other places that continues today. I watch it every time and every time it brings me to tears…for what the Sandy Hook children and children all across this country have already endured; and for those children, as yet unknown, that in all likelihood may also be subjected to the same. As a young parent, I never would have given any thought to the possibility of a school shooting. Now as a grandparent, the fearsome possibility is never far from my mind. As I said elsewhere yesterday, I encourage all to become members of Sandy Hook Promise and donate to support their programs. I shall also repeat the words of John F. Kennedy : “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” PLEASE, let’s make sure that they have a future! Thank-you!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Ellen! Like you, I remember a time when the phrase “Only in America” was a positive thing, but today … in so many ways, the reputation of this nation is being destroyed by people who place more value on money than they do human life. Sigh. I hope every member of Congress somehow sees this video. Not, mind you, that it will make any difference to those who are already in the pockets of the NRA, but perhaps it will make some stop and think.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Someone told me about that Sandy Hook Promise video yesterday. That is one of the most disturbing, yet accurate PSAs I’ve seen in a very very long time. I didn’t have to deal with lockdown drills when I was a student and experienced my first one when I worked at a high school a few years ago which was sad in itself. I didn’t even know they made consumer-grade bulletproof backpacks. Another trend are transparent backpacks that have become mandatory in multiple districts near me because of the rampant school shootings that have plagued America. You bring up a good point about how most of these school shootings happen in suburbs or smaller towns. Using my home state as an example, people kept complaining about Chicago this, Chicago that (mainly as a dog whistle term), when there was a huge school shooting at Dixon High School last year and Dixon is a small city in Northwest IL with just over 15,000 people living there. Those shootings rarely happen in urban or majority Non-White schools since they have metal detectors, cameras, and campus police on presence where the suburban and rural schools don’t have that kind of security with the exception of cameras. I’ve worked on both sides of the school environment spectrum, so I’ve seen it firsthand.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. George and I saw this for the first time late last night…we both cried. Like David, we thought it was just another back to school commercial..then I heard the shots. Those bastards in Washington all need to see this…and see it over and over again until they make some changes!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I saw this on Wednesday and at first thought I was watching an advert for back to school goods but something made me watch on. I almost wish I hadn’t. By the time I’d watched that young lady at the end I felt I had a grape in my throat and it was growing into an orange.I did want to rush out and wring Trump’s neck for not ensuring regulation to protect your young.

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  10. Hello Jill. Strong post, I hope the people can put enough pressure on the legislators to pass some meaningful gun control laws. We just got legislators to understand bullying was bad, now we need to push hard on making them see the horrors of this. Did you see where Colt has decided not to make any more AR15’s? They claim it is because the market is flooded right now, but I think they are afraid of the liability. This is one day going to come down on the gun makers the same as it did the tobacco companies. Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks Scottie! Yes, I hope so too, but it seems that even in their weakened state, the NRA’s voice speaks louder than that of We the People. Yes, I saw that about Colt, and like you, I am pretty sure they are getting out before the laws change such that they can be held liable for damage from their product. I wrote about it in this morning’s post. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Yes Jill, only in America. I never thought we’d have a president like the one we have now either. I don’t recognize this country anymore. I really don’t.

    Liked by 5 people

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