Again. A-fucking-gain






Seventeen this time. Seventeen lives lost because a mentally ill boy had access to a gun.

And the president sends his “prayers and condolences,” and congress sends their thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are a good sound bite, but they can’t bring back the dead. Thoughts and prayers are nothing to a family who will grieve the rest of their lives because they sent their child to school. So, like, take your thoughts and prayers and shove them up your ass.

We have moved beyond thoughts and prayers. We have moved into a space where none of us are really safe anymore. These shootings are taking place everywhere. Schools, movie theaters, churches, nightclubs, concerts.

But it’s probably not time to talk about it. You know, the dead and all. We should just send our thoughts and prayers and not be disruptive. We can talk about it when the grieving is over, except for it will never be over and this mass shooting will turn into the next mass shooting and the next and the next.

Did you know that 15 of the 20 worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred since  Columbine in 1999?  The five worst shootings have all occurred since 2007, and three of those five were in 2016 and 2017.

People say if we didn’t do anything after Sandy Hook, where little kids were the victims, we never will. But the thing is, we can. We can do something and it’s up to each of us to react. This is a take to the streets moment. Because if you think, you think you’re safe, your kids aren’t going to be the victims, those you love would never be in this situation, you’re kidding yourself. You. Are. Kidding. Yourself.

This is not an easy problem to solve, but doing nothing and relying on thoughts and prayers to battle the issues of mental health and easy access to guns is not even trying.

We have to do better before this escalates. And make no mistake, it is escalating. If you’re depressed, it is now an option to wipe out a public place with a gun that’s as easy to get as a box of Wheaties.

What can you do today?

Call your congressman. Call your senators. Watch out for one another. Be alert. If there is strange behavior in a neighbor or a child’s friend, or your child, a co-worker or anyone else you come into contact with, consider what you can do, who you could tell. Help to de-stigmatize mental illness by talking about it openly.

We need to take care of each other. It’s our only hope. Us. Each of us.


MAD-A-TUDE-A-THON: No place is safe


We should have signs at every border like McDonald’s: does “One billion killed in mass shootings.”


Again. Again. AGAIN.

A man walks into a church in a small town and shoots 26 people dead.

Questions swirl–“Is he is mentally ill?” OF COURSE HE IS MENTALLY ILL. Nobody shoots  innocent people unless they are mentally ill. You know, in case you were wondering about this, wonder no more.

We have become a nation where mass shootings happen, everybody offers prayers and thoughts, a week goes by and all is forgotten. Amnesia sets in. Nothing is done. The people affected are changed forever, and the rest of us all go on as if the event never occurred. And by the way, I include myself in this do-nothing crowd. You know why? Because I don’t know what the fuck to do. I don’t know how to make change here. I feel helpless to make a difference, because I know the almighty power of the NRA. I know that lawmakers can be bought and sold. I know the most this president will do about this situation is tweet about it. And the tweet won’t make sense, either. I know the pro-gun set is holding the second amendment in front of themselves like a bullet proof vest.

Kiss your loved ones goodbye everyday, and wear clean underwear, because there is no place that is exempt from the being the next mass casualty shooting.





gratitude-a-thon day 1091: shots heard


IMG_4424I was in the kitchen unpacking groceries, where I spend half my life, I swear. The sound on my phone was turned off. After I unpacked the groceries, I stuffed a big plate of food in my fat mouth, while reading the paper. Then I grabbed my phone to head up to my office to do some work. That’s when I saw the five way text that was discussing the active shooter at USC. WHAT? I was in a panic as I dialed my son’s phone. The first thing he said was that he was at home and safe. I was relieved, but what the hell was going on?

We were all googling and going on Twitter to figure out what was happening. Jake was getting texts from the school telling him to shelter in place, and friends were texting to let him know it was in the building next to where the class he was on his way to, was. We kept texting. I tweeted to see if USC could confirm for a freaked out mom in Boston, but only got an answer from an L.A. woman saying that there had been gunshots, but police had yet to find a shooter and kids were out of harm’s way. We kept actively texting with Jake for the next 15 minutes. I saw video on Twitter of kids running through the quad where the Tommy Trojan statue stand loud and proud. Was this the next mass shooting, I wondered?

Jake got the all clear from the school and a message that there had been no shooting. His friend told him that he’d heard (AND WHO KNOWS IF THIS IS ACCURATE) a teacher who’d lost several friends in Las Vegas the previous night (and might not have been entirely stable) thought she’d heard shots and called police during a class.

These are the times we’re living in. Nothing happened here. But the sad thing is that it could have. And lawmakers are doing nothing to stop this scenario from happening anywhere, anytime. Nobody needs an automatic weapon to feel safe or to hunt. Let’s start there. This Tweet couldn’t be anymore true:

Retweeted Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley):

Sandy Hook was the point of no return. As soon as legislators signal no opposition to mass child murder, anything goes. #LasVegas

Is this who we are? Will it be my kid next time? Will it be yours?


We’re not alone.

We’re together on so many things. We’re so much more the same than different, the lot of us. We all have blood in our veins and a heart that pumps approximately 7,000 liters of that blood daily. We’re all looking for ways to experience more happiness than sadness. We all want work that’s meaningful, and dare we say, fun, love that gives us the shivers. We’re all searching for connection, looking for a binge-worthy tv show, and a dinner routine that lets us eat a fabulous meal without spending 72 hours in the kitchen. We all love our kids and want them to have the capacity to be happy in their lives. We all want more vacation time. We’d all like to have killer abs without hours at the gym. We all love a good bargain, wish we could change the weather, hate to take out the garbage.

But we’re letting ourselves down right now. While there are multiple reasons for the mass shootings that have been occurring in the States, from the complexity of mental health issues to terrorism. One thing, however, is as clear as a Swarvoski crystal: whatever the reasons behind people shooting up a school, or movie theater or nightclub, they could not do so  without a gun in their hands.

How is it that we are more the same than different, but that we cannot seem to grasp this simple concept? Make it harder to obtain guns, and you will still have the mentally unbalanced, the political differences, but with some measures in place, these people would not be able to obtain a gun with the ease of obtaining a package of Juicy Fruit gum.

Stop with the personal safety arguments, and the personal freedom amendments, and take a look at what we are allowing as a country, to happen.

Yesterday was a perfect example of why I am a democrat and will be one until the day I die (and hopefully it won’t be in a mass shooting, but fuck-all, it could be). Yesterday the Democrats staged a sit-in, led by rock star civil rights activist John Lewis of Georgia, in an effort to pass gun legislation. This heartened me, gave me hope that all human responsibility had not gone to hell in a hand basket. All they were looking for was this: to ban gun sales to people on the government’s terrorism watch list, and expand and toughen background checks for gun buyers. Speaker Paul Ryan all but ignored the protest, pushed through a spending bill, and stormed out of the House chambers like a kid runs thought the halls on the last day of school.

None of us wants the people we love, or ourselves to be in the next mass shooting. And yet, partisan differences are blocking the view of our basic humanity. C’mon Republicans, can you please see past your noses to the fact that we are more the same than different. If you don’t, the next  massacre is on you, so like you might want to invest in Irish Spring, or Dial or Dove, because you won’t just be washing the blood off your hands, you’ll be washing the blood off your souls.



gratitude-a-thon day 889: another day, another mass shooting


I sit like a zombie in front of the tv. Once in position, I cannot move. Like I’m crazy glued to the couch. It’s sunny outside and I have things to do, but I can’t seem to get myself to leave my post. I am incessantly toggling channels. I want to know more. I want to understand. I keep waiting for someone to explain how something like this happens. As if there could be any reasonable explanation. Like Wolf Blitzer is going to give me the 411.

I watch Obama speak and I can see the pain behind his eyes. He is kind and just and I know if he could he would like to go house by house to rid this country of assault weapons. He says, “To actively do nothing, is a decision as well.” Yes, it is. We are all guilty.

I cannot move. But then I do. I make some dinner and try to watch the Tony Awards, but after James Corden’s smashing performance, when I actually smile, I can’t watch anymore because I have to see if there is any more news, any more clues, or if maybe this was a crazy hoax, and there really was no mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 50  people were killed. People like you and me. People out on a Saturday night. People with moms and dads and friends and careers and hope and hobbies and a whole life waiting for them. I vow to read about them, to honor who they were. Who they were.

I can’t pull myself away, but there is nothing new. Just a sobbing mom who can’t find her son, a friend who lost his friend, people standing in line to give blood, politicians discussing the implications on the election. Oh, and Donald Trump embarrassing himself. Again.

I lay in bed and watch, and scan the computer for some bit of information that will help me understand what is not understandable.

Here, from the Huffpost is an easy way to find out who your elected representatives are and how to contact them. 





gratitude-a-thon day 471: what’s it going to take?


Another day, another school shooting. Don’t worry if you missed it, there will be plenty of others. Maybe next week. Or next month. Or maybe even tomorrow.

It’s ordinary now, to go to grammar school, high school, or college and expect that a student might turn into a rabid John Wayne. It’s a graduation requirement now that you know what to do if a guy with a gun comes into the library, or the art room, or shows up in the fucking hallway telling you that he’s going to kill you. Kill you, right there in the confines of the place your parents send you to because for years and years it’s been a place that was safe to spend the day learning.

But it’s different now. Now it’s different.

We have lockdown drills. We had one just the other day at Brookline High School, which my daughter missed because we were visiting her brother at a big university where a gunman could show up tomorrow. Or tonight. Who knows. It’s a thing now. It’s a thing to kill people at school. Kids at school. KIll them dead, because you’re depressed, or because you’re unhappy, or because nobody is paying enough attention to you to notice that you need some assistance, or just because you can get a gun, and in moment of despair, that gun can speak the words that you cannot.

This is our country 2014-style. Kids not only have to cope with being cool, they have to cope with thinking about who it is in their class that might bring a gun to school tomorrow and kill them. Um. Yeah.

And what are we doing, we adults, we educated adults, educated during a time when people brought lunch boxes to school and not weapons, WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THIS?

I can tell you what we should be doing. We should be standing in the middle of every street in D.C. until there are stricter gun laws and improved mental health care coverage. We should stand there and block traffic with signs, screaming at the top of our lungs. Because this, killing kids, in the prime of their lives, in the place they go to learn, is unacceptable. It’s just fucking unacceptable. What’s it going to take to get you there? A text from your own child that says: “There’s a gunman in the library. I love you.”

gratitude-a-thon day 19: Obama’s Gun Violence Proposals

Connecticut School Shooting
It could have happened anywhere. It shouldn’t have happened at all.

The gun thing. There are two sides of it. And yet, I can’t imagine anybody not THINKING EXACTLY LIKE I DO HERE. I can’t help myself. It seems clear to me. BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS. WHO NEEDS ASSAULT WEAPONS TO HUNT, OR PROTECT THEMSELVES? WHO NEEDS ASSAULT WEAPONS UNLESS THERE IS A WAR GOING ON AND YOU ARE A SOLDIER ON THE FRONT LINES OF SAID WAR, or you are a hit man in a Scorsese movie? And even then, I hate them, even when they’re pretend. BECAUSE WEAPONS KILL PEOPLE AND I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS (and I don’t actually understand why we can’t do what we tell our kids to do when they’re little and trying to solve a dispute: USE YOUR WORDS). As the whole country was shocked by the Sandy Hook shootings, I too, was devastated. Not because I knew anyone, but because it could have been my kids, or your kids. Having grown up in the town next to Sandy Hook, it felt even more real to me than some of the other unspeakable things that have happened concerning guns over the years. I could imagine the streets, and the kind of people who live in Newtown, because that’s the kind of place I’m from. People scream “Second Amendment.” I say let’s mature with the times, shall we? There are no more militias, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. The second amendment was written a very long time ago. THE ONLY ARMS I’M IN SUPPORT OF BARING ARE THOSE OF MICHELLE OBAMA. I say, let’s all pray, or meditate, or whatever you do internally when you want something to happen (I do a sort of a mixture of a prayer/meditation/plea/wish/beg/make-a-deal sort of thing.) that the President can create an environment where Congress will thoughtfully put aside “politics” and the Republican vs. Democrat mentality, and pass the proposals that will at least take some guns out of our hands. Yes, I’m also for more funds and less stigma when it comes to mental illnesss, too (but that’s another post). Right now, let’s get rid of the magazines, unless you’re talking about The New Yorker, or People. Sadly, it took one mentally ill person to shoot up a classroom full of six and seven year olds to make something happen, to cause outrage, to get people talking. Let’s not wait for more children to die in the safety of their school, or street. It’s time. No background checks at gun shows? Let’s remember that we’re all people. Let’s use our words as weapons here, and act as our best selves.