gratitude-a-thon day 2028: these kids

Some people persist in believing the gun laws will never change, but there is a new element in the latest blowback of the most recent school shooting.

The students of Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School.

They are fearless and passionate and they are fucking angry. They have the energy and importantly the vote (now or very soon) that might begin to make the difference in this thus far losing battle against the NRA and background checks and assault weapons that you can get as easily as a gallon of milk.

These kids lived through something that will run through their heads for the remainder of their lives. They went to school, as usual, only on this day,  there was a mentally ill boy who had been able to get an assault weapon (not to mention several other weapons) who shot at them like they were in the bowels of war. Running down the hallway, hiding in closets, quietly texting their parents that they loved them, these kids lost 17 classmates and any shred of belief in the government who make laws.

These kids. These ordinary high school kids have become extraordinary, speaking out, defying authority, organizing rallies to discuss one of our country’s most pressing issues. These kids, who just a week ago were thinking about classic high school kid stuff, like what’s up for the weekend and what colleges to tour, are now thrust into a decade’s long debate that divides our country like a file folder divides office memos.

These kids. 

These kids with all their idealism and fresh energy and anger might just change what has been the unchangeable.

Gratitude to these kids in this moment.

 

 

Again. A-fucking-gain

 

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Again.

Again.

Again.

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

 

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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.