Friday, February 16, 2018

Have you seen their faces...............

17 beautiful lives have been lost this week in yet another mass shooting.  Lives have been shattered,  no one related to these victims and this school will never be the same.

Our country has had yet another massive shooting and again our politicians offer prayers and kind thoughts but don't do anything about it.

If you have voted for these politicians do you feel accountable?  I think you should.  While I may yet again lose many of you there has to be accountability here.  Where is it?  Who will finally start the momentum of change?

My senator, Marco Rubio has accepted $3,303,355 in campaign donations from the NRA.  How much has your Senator or House Representative accepted?  Do you think with over a $3,000,000 payout Marco Rubio is about to make any changes to our current gun laws?  I don't.  We will all hear the big talk about this is not the time to politicize shootings, really?  When is the right time?  When?

Did you know this is the 7th fatal school shooting at a school in the United States this year?  Did you know that 150,000 children have been exposed to shootings on campus since 1999?  That number does not include the teachers, principals, therapists, counselors, maintenance staff, nurses, caregivers, lunch room staff, office staff and their families, neighbors and so on.  And while this is the 7th fatal shooting that does not include the 11 other incidents where either no one was hurt or they were not killed during school hours, but a gun did go off at a school.  That is a total of 18 incidents my friends, and we are not even through with the second month of the year.

Did you know that it is legal to buy a firearm at the age of 18 in the United States but we don't trust those same young people to drink alcohol?  

While our politicians want to make this a mental health issue, which surprisingly enough they have cut funding to mental health facilities and plan to cut more funding to Medicaid and Medicare where many people receive their mental health treatment, it is at the most basic level a gun issue.  And if guns are available, then those who want to use them irresponsibly will find them and use them to damage lives.

When I was at work this past week I saw a horrible commercial on FOX News that showed what was supposed to be an illegal immigrant shooting a young woman. The Mother at the house I was at told me that was on because of the horrible shooting by an illegal immigrant.  After I regained my composure about that commercial being on during the day with little children around I had to have my say.  Many, many more people are killed by american citizens than illegal immigrants.  To politicize that event in order to say we need more guns to protect ourselves is unbelievably ignorant.  

So while I want to blog about the Olympics, puppies, cute little boys, and hearts and flowers for Valentine's Day that all seems so unimportant right now.  So very senseless.  My husband treated me to an unbelievable gift, a concert with Andrea Bocelli on Valentine's Day.  While we sat there listening to the most beautiful voice ever created all I could think about was those 17 people and their families.  How Valentine's Day will never be the same for them.  Actually no day will ever be the same for them.  17 beautiful lives have been lost, and they will be added to the list of those lost before them that is increasing at a rapid rate.  When is it enough?  Look at their pictures and read about their lives so they aren't just a statistic, they are human beings that have been murdered because we think the NRA and gun laws are more important than human life.  If you voted for these politicians than you should be held responsible, we all should. 

And this just in, our current president has received over $31,000,000 from the NRA.  Just some food for thought.


Teresa Kasner said...

I posted my Valentine's post before I heard of this school shooting. It's so horrific. I've been thinking about you and worrying about you knowing this happened in your state. I believe that the platitudes from our "leader" are NOT helpful.. it's time for ACTION. Oregon lawmakers passed a gun control bill one day after the Florida massacre and they passed another one yesterday. Our Democrat Senators Wyden & Merkley back bills on gun control, background checks, etc. Our Republican Representative Greg Walden takes money from the NRA.. guess how he votes? I think every school should have a guard on duty. And the age to buy a gun should be 21, not 18. And anyone who has mental issues should be banned from buying a gun. More money needs to be spent on counseling. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. And don't VOTE for any politician who takes money from the NRA. Our leaders should not be bought and paid for by any special interest group.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

You eloquently expressed the sadness, disgust and outrage many feel. I don't ever want to hear a politician who takes this blood money speak about the "sanctity of life" again.

gigi knits said...

It’s hard to believe our children can not go to school an be safe.
Something has to be change with our govt.
Prayer to everyone 🙏

Karen said...

This hits so close to home for you, as Columbine did for us in Colorado. I'm so sorry, Meredith. When it's right there, in your state, it is even more earth shattering. Our Senator Corey Gardner is the fifth highest beneficiary of contributions from the NRA in the country. He sickens me.

CJ said...

Well said Meredith. The gun culture in America is terrifying. And you're right, those who support the gun lobby in any way have to take their share of the responsibility. There will always be those who lose control or plan to do harm, but where guns are less easily available then on the whole they aren't able to do as much damage. I fear mass shootings will continue unchecked while guns are so prevalent. A sad week indeed, and many lives altered forever. Hugs, CJ xx

Betsy said...

I have been thinking of you dear Meredith, and wondering how close this was for you. Our society as a whole has so cheapened life that it makes me sick to my stomach. There is no right. There is no wrong. Whatever each individual feels is right, is right. I fear there are no easy answers because no one, on either side, wants to hear what I believe is the root cause of the violence and evil that is happening day by day. More and more. What has changed in the past 20 or so years that has caused such a horrible spike in violent acts? It may make me unpopular, but I have to say that I feel it is because we, as a nation and as a whole have turned away from basic morality which comes from God. I love you Meredith and my heart aches for you and each of the families that has lost a precious family member or friend because of this senseless violence. I pray this will be the wakeup call that is needed to change hearts and attitudes.
Blessings always my sweet Meredith.

Araignee said...

I got suspended from Twitter for 12 hours after what I tweeted at the NRA on the night of the 14th. I just finished writing letters to Ryan and McConnell where I enclosed a campaign contribution check made out for "thoughts and prayers" along with a scathing letter. Someone posted their check and letter and I shamelessly copied it. I hope they get a million of them. I am so full of rage. 2018 has to be the turning point. Has to.

Neighborhood Watch said...

All of this is so terrible isn't it? We did a lock down drill in my classroom just a few weeks ago. We all felt a little weird doing it, me and 37 fifteen year olds. While we crouched on the floor by the walls, I heard them talking amongst themselves about what it there ever really was a shooter, brandishing around lots of bravado that only happens in a drill. And I felt so sad for them. This is a "normal" for them. Hiding from bad guys with guns. They are mostly all kids with immigrant parents who came here hoping for a better life. At times like these, I wonder if this is better. I know at times like these, I feel like leaving, going somewhere else for a better life. Thanks for your words.

Lorrie said...

As a neighbour across the border, I am saddened by yet another shooting and another 17 lives senselessly lost. And I'm once again baffled at the rhetoric that defends the ownership of weapons of mass destruction by private individuals. Shaking my head in frustration.

bittenbyknittin said...

Well said. I'd like to see a list of politicians who do *not* accept money from the NRA. Are there any? Politicians today have no spine, no integrity, no shame.

Zuzu's Petals said...

I am with you 1000%!!!!!
So glad you let all of your readers/followers know the REAL TRUTH!

Babajeza said...

I believe the right of freedom is very important in the USA. And it seems that the right to have a gun is connected to freedom. Do you think it's just the money?
All I can see that the many guns that are "around" are a big threat to freedom. If I am scared, I am not free. I'm 100 percent with you. It's a complex matter though. So sad. Hugs, Regula

The Well Fed Wheel said...

Maybe everyone should stop sending their kids to school until something is done

Kate said...

Thank you, Meredith. This violence takes such a terrible toll on all of us. I almost can't bear thinking of children afraid to go to school, and practicing ways to try to keep their small and innocent selves safe when terror bursts into their schools.

Every one of us "ordinary people" has to stand between children and bullets, even though it's hard to see what we can do. But we can certainly start with all of us saying, "NO MORE!" And saying it as loudly and publicly as possible.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Months ago the FBI had a name and they say they couldn't come up with a suspect, it was a dead-end. They are the FBI. It is their job to investigate, track down suspects and criminals, and they couldn't find one 19 year old boy. How utterly pathetic is that? An 18/19 year boy can purchase an assault rifle but can't legally drink a beer. Absolutely absurd. Money talks and the hypocrisy is an insult to our common sense. Do you know how many people when considering visiting the states have asked me over the years if it is really safe to go there. All they hear about is guns and violence and murder on the news and they think every town and city is like that. Well at the rate we are going lately, that may turn out to be what life is really like if we don't get a handle on gun laws. Several students from the Florida school are raising their voices and I hope they continue to rise up, demanding to be heard, calling for immediate change.

Nana Go-Go said...

Couldn't bear to look at their faces. Almost on the same anniversary as our Dunblane. The world's a dangerous place.

Janice Smith said...

I share your anguish. My most recent blog post was entitled "Wanted: Politicians with Integrity and Backbones." After the massacre of little ones and their teachers in Sandy Hook, we all thought that surely change would happen; we were wrong. Maybe this time it will finally spark a movement. The women's movement is changing our culture, so too should a movement rid us of assault rifles, bump stocks, and other killing machines.

Delighted Hands said...

No, I don't feel accountable, Meredith. Why should I ?
What law would've stopped this-he broke laws to do this on every level. Yes, it is horrid; do we need someone to blame to feel better? It is a false hope. We need mental health care-that is the way to really help people before they get this desperate and hateful...........

Nance said...

If 20 dead elementary schoolchildren wasn't enough, it never will be. If a shooter aiming right at congressmen at a ballfield wasn't enough, it never will be. Blaming the guns doesn't "make us feel better"; I wish it did. It merely puts the blame exactly where it needs to be. If this mentally troubled young man did not have such easy access to that gun, we wouldn't be having this discussion. This country has the most lax gun laws of any nation, and it has the highest number of school shootings of any nation. Period.

I'm so glad to be retired from teaching. My former school was evacuated the day after the shooting, as it has been after every shooting, due to copycat threats and an abundance of caution.

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

We are not unique in having people with mental health issue in our country. We ARE, however, unique in that we allow them to purchase guns, thus arming them. One of the first thing the Fake President did when he was (not) elected to office was to change the Obama law that said people with mental health diagnosis couldn't purchase guns. That was in violation of their FREEDOM. What about our freedoms? And the freedom of our kids to attend school and not anticipate being gunned down? If someone says that we should offer thoughts and prayers, I walk out of the room. That is not a solution, those are ridiculous words. Should we stop doing research on cancer and offer thoughts and prayers instead? As ALWAYS, if we follow the money we see where it goes and whose hands are filthy with it. They ARE responsible for all these kids and others who have lost their lives. How do they sleep at night? Happily with their money, I assume.

kathy b said...

Meredith, I had the same thoughts about Valentines Day and these families. I see no need for guns in the hands of civilians. My community felt this horrible pain, when my own first child was going to kindergarten. My prayers go out to all whose lives have been shattered. I appreciate your thoughtful post. I will go find out which of my officials who are up for re election have accepted money from the NRA. Thank you

tammy j said...

I live in a state that worships guns.
this is a literal quote from our current state policies on guns:

" Owning or possessing a fully automatic firearm is not illegal under state law, but is still illegal under federal law unless the automatic firearm is registered under the National Firearms Act.
Local and State authorities are not obligated to enforce federal firearms law or notify federal authorities of federal firearms law violations, however they may, or may not, choose to do so. "

what a load of doo doo.

that last paragraph says it all. in our state both senators are bought and sold by the huge corporations. big oil. and NRA. there is no doubt a file on me from all the letters I've written.
every time I vote about ANYTHING I know my vote is futile. I stand in line to vote with a majority who believes what Charlton Heston said "out of my cold dead hand!"
while he held his rifle in the air.
when your state majority of people believes as mine does let me just say ...
if I had children they would be home schooled by ME.

it's about GREED and MONEY. and the fact that the basic sense of 'family' has been so eroded in this country that we will have to start there to fix it.
children (and NOT little Buddy!) are being raised by their cell phones and IPads.
the NRA and big oil and the military industrial complex think NOTHING of the family structure in this country.
they deal only in the bottom line. and for decades their bottom line is GREAT. appealing to them on any level other than their own profits is futile.
appealing on an emotional and empathetic level is spitting into the wind.

the gun stores always do a sellout business here after one of these horrific shootings. the reason I know this is a journalist did a piece about it on the news. it showed a smiling gun store owner with almost empty shelves.
to say it's appalling is an understatement.

I had lunch last summer on the terrace of a favorite restaurant. two tables away sat a man with a shoulder harness and a pistol under his left arm. who knows who else was carrying them on that beautiful late spring day.

I also had lunch last summer with two elderly ladies. they sat opposite me and I offered to hold their purses on my side of the booth to give them more room.
one lady apologized at the weight of her purse. her friend smiled and said
"she carries."
come to find out there was a Glock 45 pistol with additional ammo in her purse.
she is 75 years old. and when I took a bite before they did ... the gun owner bowed her head and said grace over the meal. ???!!!
gun culture anyone?
we need people like you and your sister Claudia on the hill.
sending you unarmed love and total admiration.
and p.s.
I will keep voting anyway. some day when dropped the piece of chalk may fall UP!

Christina said...

It is awful, just awful. I imagine children in America to live in fear of going to school and I cannot begin to imagine what this does to their wellbeing. It took one school shooting in the United Kingdom to change the gun legislation and to make it private gun ownership illegal. There was also a gun amnesty to take weapons out of circulation. It's simple, the solution is so simple. I think there is so much wrong with the political system in the United States and the consequences that this has on the people of America that it will take more than one generation of good women and men like you to fix it. I have seen some tweets from young people, teenagers really and maybe there is a change in the air? I am hopeful. I am glad you are not fearful to write about your feelings and to state facts that many will not want to hear. One blog post at the time, change will come. I am thinking of you. xx

kate b said...

Your post and the comments have made me so incredibly sad. I have many negative things to say about the UK government and I wish they'd do many things differently, but I am so incredibly glad that we do not have gun laws like the US. Even our police are mostly unarmed and for that I am incredibly grateful. I won't send you thoughts and prayers, but I do send my love, and I live in hope that someone in the US will one day have the ability to see sense and do something about it.

mamasmercantile said...

I am lost for words..something has got to change. Like Christina we can only hope that one blog post at a time, will make a difference and change will come. I too am thinking of you and all those that this has affected.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I was at my daughter's house for dinner Valentine's day. I spent time loving on my beautiful Grands. After coming home I saw the news about the school shooting. My heart is so broken. So many beautiful lives lost because of what? Money? Power? Mental Health Issues not being addressed. I really have no words.

Lee said...

Those heartbroken families,life will never be the same for them,those Beautiful young students another senseless shooting in your country.We have never forgotten the Dunblane shooting in the UK which shocked us to the core because again the children were so very young.Thinking of you.Hugs xx

Melanie said...

I couldn't bear to look at the children's faces when the article came across FB. I have done my share of crying over this and have had such a heavy, sad heart. I just don't understand our country and these ridiculous laws. I also don't understand why we our country severely lacks in mental health care. Anyway...all what you said...amen.

Debby said...

It's just unfair that our children have to worry about this.
No one with mental illness should have a gun.
No one that isn't military or law enforcement needs an assault rifle.
We are in Florida right now. What area do you live in?

Jodiebodie said...

I couldn't help my long response and blogger demands that I cut it across two comments...

Dear Meredith, I am so sad that this is going on in your own state. How distressing. You have written an excellent piece from the heart - your own heart and from someone in the heart of Florida. I totally understand your frustration with politicians who say they "don't want to politicize these events."

Shootings not political?? I'm sorry but when there are protest actions and community outcries they are politicized. When these events occur as the result of government and social policies, they reflect the political. "The personal is political and the political is personal" and all that - how personal do the lawmakers want it to get?

When I hear accounts of 13 year old girls being given handguns for their birthdays so they can keep them under their pillows at night to feel safe, that sounds pretty personal to me! When I hear about schools that need to hire security guards to frisk students, staff and visitors for weaponry before entering, that's pretty personal too!

I was disgusted to hear that Mr Trump was visiting the victims but not willing to discuss gun control policy. If I were in a hospital bed suffering the trauma of gun violence, that is precisely the conversation I would be demanding of lawmakers, especially the one in the top office. I wonder if he was able to look any of those people in the eye.

One school shooting is a shocking, outrageous thing. The lack of action from the USA in response is bewildering to those of us who live outside the USA. To have more than one school shooting begs serious questions. We ask ourselves over here, "What is going on (in the USA)??"

This may sound callous, but this is the truth (and I wonder if it applies in other countries outside the USA): the news of this shooting did not arrive at the top of the news bulletin where it deserves to be and where previous school shootings were (e.g. Columbine, Sandy Hook). Despite the number of people affected, the news was buried towards the end of the news, before the sports report and after other foreign news items.

As foreigners, we are getting tired of hearing about it - "Again???" (rolling eyes) - if the USA is not going to change, then the same will keep happening until it is no longer news but a way of American life. Those of us outside the USA are losing patience and sympathy because it seems that the people of the USA have decided that their need to carry guns outweighs the risk of being caught up in gun violence and they are willing to accept that risk.

( be continued)

Jodiebodie said...

(continued from previous comment ...)

This is not to say that I do not have sympathy for the individuals hurt by these outrageous events (I won't call them tragic because they were pre-meditated). My heart goes out to all of those who are hurting from them, especially for the direct victims and people like you, Meredith, who are wanting change and are fighting for change and I did shed a tear for the innocence and lives lost. People are people wherever in the world they are and while I have no tolerance for the inaction of your lawmakers, my compassion for the innocent people still remains.

But how innocent are they really? You ask some pertinent questions, Meredith, questions which require introspection and courage to answer.

It is easy for those in power to use immigrants (and other vulnerable, powerless minority groups) as scapegoats and a means to abrogate themselves from responsibility - a form of personal denial.

The argument of needing more guns to protect people from 'more guns' reminds me of other areas of life: the bigger one's house, the more furnishings and stuff are found to fill it up; studies have shown that the more roads that are built and the wider the roads, the more traffic comes to fill them up. I can't help putting these ideas together with the 'more guns' to see what is happening in your country right now: the more guns that people have, the more they will be used, the more gun violence there will be.

Every little choice and action we make in life reflects our personal values and by extension our political values. It's in the way we do things, what we say, how we treat others and where we spend our money. I wonder whether the latest mass shooting will cause people to make different choices this time...

Blondie's Journal said...

No use to add more to what you and the commuters have written. My grief is not going to ebb for a long time. And this bastard we have for a leader is doing thumbs up and a smirk smile down in Florida. I could vomit.


Gracie Saylor said...

Just a few hours after I published my last post wishing all who read it a lovely day I was heartbroken to learn of the deaths and injury of those in the Florida school. I have been angered since then to learn that authorities failed to protect the public after having been warned of the danger the young man posed to himself and others. Finding and voting for those who will uphold the laws we have/change them so that we all can better pursue life liberty and happiness is a daunting task ever before us and one I pray we improve on exercising.
I am so glad you got to go to the concert and hope you absorbed the beauty in spite of the tragedy so near to you, Meredith. Thanks for investing in loving those you can. xx

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

So tragic and so unnecessary. Living in a country where you just don’t see people with guns, I find the whole gun culture in America so hard to understand and so terrifying xx

Lisa said...

I am so glad you post about this because it is a very important issue. I think it is so sad that this happens so often an that children and families have to be in constant fear of this happening. I feel so sorry for all the families who lost children to this gun violence and I wish there could be changes made as well. It is sickening to hear that the NRA paid Trump that much money so like you said why would there be change? It is so sad that this is all about money and those poor families affected by this tragedy lost their whole worlds that day. There has to be a change to this gun violence soon! It has gone on way too long with no change.

Una said...

I was shocked to hear that that was the eighteenth school shooting this year. They no longer make the news in the UK. Something like that happens maybe every decade here, or less. Could it be because we generally cannot buy guns? Someone near the school was interviewed about guns and said that you can kill someone with a pencil. Yes, that's true. But not 17 people in a few minutes. What will it take to end the madness?

Val said...

I'm so, so sad for those children and their families. I live in the UK and at almost 70 years old in all that time I have never known anyone who owns a gun and have never seen a gun in real life and I never want to. I have visited your beautiful country and stayed with friends on several occasions, have met some loving, kind people and cannot equate that to the 'gun culture' that seems to be enshrined in the American way of life. I can only think that fear drives that culture now because I can see no other reason, apart from the obvious money made from the gun industry. Neither of which it seems to me are worth all the lives that are lost.

handmade by amalia said...

It breaks my heart, there seems to be no end to the violence.

Lulu said...

its beyond sad and horrific..they went to school and never made it one is safe anywhere ..

Peggy said...

You are a fine person if ou lose some bloggers for stating your caring you have lost nothing
Thank you for your thoughts