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

4k-wallpaper-beautiful-flowers-clouds-1266810

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…

View original post 363 more words

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.

A Tribute to the Victims …

Wednesday’s tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has left a dark cloud over this nation.  While I will have more to say about how avoidable this could have been, and how sad that we, as a nation, place the value of our steel toys above the lives of our children, for today I find it more appropriate to honour the victims.  I cannot possibly do any better job than ThinkProgress has done with their tribute that includes pictures of 14 of the 17 victims, as well as a brief bio and some comments from friends.  And so with that, I ask you to please click the link below to learn a little bit about each victim in order to make this senseless tragedy a bit more personal, a bit more real.  And please keep the community and the families of these victims, many of them children, in your hearts and thoughts.

The Victims of the Parkland Shooting

Parkland 2