emma gonzalez

On February 14th, 2018, seventeen students and staff members died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students were heartbroken, and they spoke out, letting us know that this was beyond tolerable, that they were fed up with we “adults” allowing these things to happen … think Columbine, think Sandy Hook and many, many others. One of the young activists was Emma Gonzales, a courageous young woman who said, “No more!” And still today, the government and the people of this nation are letting our young people down.

Every time there is a mass shooting, especially a school shooting, we are horrified … for a few days … and then, while we don’t exactly forget, we let other matters take precedence and we put it out of our minds. How many of our children must die before we wake up, before we force our legislators to put our children ahead of the profits of the all-powerful gun lobby?

Our friend Larry has written an excellent post featuring a tribute song by Madonna. Thank you, Larry, for this post and your permission to share it.

QUEST

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photo by SIMON MATZINGER

“So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it yet, and for those who will never speak again. We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and this happening again.” EMMA GONZALEZ

We rise every morning anticipating a great day filled with joy, happiness and safety in our daily endeavors.  We hug our loved ones as they go out the door about their day’s agenda.  We expect to see them later, don’t we?

We know life has no guarantees, but we trust in goodness and mercy.  Emma Gonzalez chatted with friends before classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas not knowing that there were a few whom she would never again see alive.  Shots rang out, young people were murdered and…

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Repeal the 2nd Amendment …

Hello again, regular blog followers and those of you who may have just wandered in via a random Google search.  Pull up a chair, grab a drink and make yourselves comfortable, for this is a wee bit longer than my average post.

Recently I wrote a post to this blog about an 11 year-old boy who was charged with 1st degree murder in the shooting death of an 8 year-old girl.https://jilldennison.com/2015/10/08/11-year-old-boy-shoots-and-kills-8-year-old-girl-over-puppy-where-the-hell-were-the-parents-boy-charged-with-1st-degree-murder/  That was, for me, the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”, the defining moment, if you will.  In the past, ever mindful and respectful of those of you who wholly support the conservative interpretation of the 2nd amendment, I have been fairly low-key about the issue of gun control (or lack thereof), 2nd amendment rights, NRA, etc. Those of you who know me or have followed this blog for any length of time know my sentiments.  My passive, aw shucks, “let’s just agree to disagree” attitude ends now.  Done.  Kaput.  Over and Out.  I will state my thoughts and feelings, I will not hold back any more.  Don’t like my opinion?  Fine … feel free to rationally state your views, which I will respectfully listen to, although you won’t change my mind any more than I will change yours.  Feel free not to read my blog.  But as of today, I will put forth my thoughts and beliefs in any venue I can find.   I side with Hillary Clinton in fighting the NRA in any way I can!

Firearms are popular in the U.S.  To many, the value of their guns supersedes the value of the safety of their children.  It would appear that most males in this nation do not feel that they are “real men” if they do not own at least one gun, the bigger the better.  In the past, I have come out, albeit subtly and respectfully, in support of more restrictive gun control laws and stronger enforcement of such laws.  I have been ridiculed and told that citizens “need” assault-type weapons in case they ever need to rebel against the government.  I have been told that I should be the one to die in the next episode of gun violence. I have been told that the more guns that are in the hands of “law-abiding citizens”, the safer our nation is.  I kept my mouth shut, but as of today, to all of you who make these statements, I say “BULLSHIT”.

 No longer am I rallying merely for stronger gun control laws, but I am making a stand to establish a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the 2nd amendment.  That’s right … I said “repeal the 2nd amendment” to the Constitution of the United States. The Founding Fathers never dreamed how irresponsible future generations would become.  You know, a right is one of those things that, if you abuse it you stand to lose it.  For those who think that the 2nd amendment guarantees the unlimited right of every citizen to own any gun, any time, any place, etc., here is the exact wording of the amendment:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  That’s it, word for word. Nothing more, nothing less.  Look around … does anybody see “a well regulated militia” around here?  I certainly don’t.  What I see is a nation gone crazy, people going into schools, churches, theaters and other public venues, toting guns that can fire up to 800 rounds per minute, and shooting innocent bystanders, in many cases children.  In this decade alone, there have been 114 school shootings in the U.S. resulting in 122 deaths and 164 injuries.  And the decade isn’t even half over!  Is this a result of more guns in the hands of “law-abiding” civilians?  Ask me how many school shootings there have been in Australia during the same period. There has been one (1).  Yes, one.  At Modbury High School in May 2012, a student took a gun onto school grounds and shots were fired.  Nobody was injured and nobody died.  That is it.  One.  Only one.  Nobody died, nobody was hurt.

So let us talk about Australia for a minute.  In April 1996, a gunman opened fire at a seaside resort, killing 35 people and injuring 23 more.  As a result, the government of Australia said “ENOUGH” and replaced a fairly lax firearms policy with strict gun laws, banning semi-automatic rifles, enacting a 28-day delay between getting a “license to acquire” and getting the gun itself, buying back some 600,000 guns and requiring all guns to be registered.  As a result of the new stricter regulations, homicides by firearm decreased some 60% in a 10-year period, suicides by firearm decreased 65%, and there was no increase in home invasions. [i]

To hear the NRA tell it, gun laws only make the population weaker and more liable to be attacked, and any move for a national gun registry is only in preparation for a Nazi takeover. Does anybody really believe this?  My best guess is that the little boys (age 18-75) just want to keep their toys and will say anything to achieve that goal.  In my opinion …. and please understand that this is only my opinion, but since it is my blog, I am allowed to express my opinion … there is no justification for gun ownership for the average citizen, and there is absolutely no justification for laws that will allow almost anybody to carry a gun into a church, shopping mall, theater, grocery store or school.

In the year 2013, there were 32,888 gun-related deaths in the United States.[ii]  This equates to an average of 2,740 per month, nearly as many every month as the total number of murders by terrorists on 9/11/2001.  The statistics show that while the U.S. sees, on average, 10.64 per 100,000 people killed by guns annually, the U.K. sees 0.26 per 100,000.  In other words, the U.S. sees 41 times as many deaths by guns as the U.K.  Gun proponents and NRA members keep telling us how much safer we are where there are more guns in the hands of civilians.  I don’t know about you, but I absolutely do NOT feel safer!

[i] http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2012/12/16/gun_control_after_connecticut_shooting_could_australia_s_laws_provide_a.html

[ii] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm