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mass shooting, gun control, LGBTQ, Orlando, Florida, Pulse, Shooting, Gay Community, Pride, Omar Mateen, Eddie Justice, Mina Justice

My heart has been breaking since learning about the mass shooting that took place at “Orlando’s Premier Gay club”, Pulse, early Sunday morning leaving 49 victims dead and 53 wounded. I’m saddened and sickened for so many reasons. I could write about ISIS, terrorism, bigotry, racism and hate but what saddens me the most is that 49 mothers and fathers lost their child last night because a lunatic with a gun decided he wanted it to be so.

49 unsuspecting people thought it was just another Saturday night. Actually, it was a pretty special night, it was the eve of Pride Day. If ever there was a night to celebrate as a LGBTQ person (or a human being for that matter) it is the night when we all feel like there is a little less hate and lot more love and acceptance in the world. A day when we feel closer to a world of human equality and further from separation.Today the entire world feels vulnerable and helpless; victimized and terrified. We are angry that this was allowed to happen again but don’t let the anger turn to hate. Hate is what got us here to this moment of childless mothers and fathers, in the first place.

That’s what I was feeling yesterday, as I rode the 15-hour drive home from Boston and saw all the smiling, celebratory faces of my friends, celebrating at Pride Parades and block parties. I felt the pride all last week while I was in Boston and glorious rainbows adorned all of the buildings and landmarks around the city. I could feel the acceptance in the air, it was palpable.

But last night, the ugliness of hatred and stupidity reared up its head and stole the lives of 49 children from their parents. No, they were not small children like the victims of Sandy Hook but anyone who has a child knows that our children are always “our children” no matter how old or how big they get. It is our most primal instinct to protect them and love them as fiercely as our hearts will allow; to give our lives in place of theirs without hesitation or thought.

When I read the story of Mina Justice and the texts that she received from her terrified son, Eddie Justice, while he hid in the bathroom from a gun wielding bigot, afraid for his life, my heart shattered into a million pieces. It’s horrid that any one person had to die so senselessly in such a brutal way for no reason at all other than for being who they were meant to be and loving who they were born to love. But to see his own words in the texts to his mother; to know his fear was almost too much to bare. I can only imagine what his mother must have been feeling.

As a mother, I wanted to crawl into the fetal position and die. I wanted to run to this mother and hold her and tell her that it was all going to be alright. That her son was fine. Like this was some primetime drama and at the end, everybody would walk away just fine and the bad man would be apprehended but that’s not how it happens in real life.

In real life, bad things happen to good people. Terrible unthinkable things happen to unsuspecting people who’ve done nothing more than live their lives, openly and freely. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, lose their loved ones because bad people with no scruples are allowed to obtain guns because, apparently, the right to bear arms trumps the right to live in our United States.

We are becoming desensitized to the point where when we see shootings on the news, it’s no longer shocking unless it’s a mass shooting.

People are outraged, screaming that terrorists are targeting and murdering the LGBTQ community and I agree with their outrage but for me, it’s much simpler. Someone murdered 49 children, his name was Omar Mateen.  He was an American-born man, a domestic terrorist, who called 911 before carrying out this ghastly task and pledged his allegiance to ISIS, while referencing the Boston Marathon bombers. He then chose to gun down 50 innocent people. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11.

Mateen somehow managed to carry an assault rifle and a pistol into a packed club around 2 a.m. Sunday morning and started shooting, he murdered 49 people and wounded at least 53. After a three-hour standoff, while 350 people were trapped inside the club desperately calling and messaging friends and relatives, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades and killed Mateen.

Omar Mateen was 29-years-old, lived in Fort Pierce, Florida and had been interviewed not once but twice, in 2013 and again in 2014, by the FBI but was found both times to not be a threat. They were wrong. In the past two weeks Mateen legally purchased a Glock pistol and a long gun, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Trevor Velinor told reporters.

Authorities spoke with Mateen’s father and ex-wife and both said that Omar Mateen was not particularly religious but his father said that recently, Omar saw two men kissing in Miami and it offended him. His ex-wife says that she thinks he was bipolar but was never formally diagnosed. Sounds to me like he was a bigot with a gun; a bully.

49 moms and dads are beside themselves trying to figure out how to live without their children alive to love. 49 childless mothers are sobbing primally because their world has been destroyed. 49 childless fathers are looking at the door expecting their child to return, knowing they never will; feeling a void that is so massive that it feels as if their heart will crush beneath the weight of it.

Today the entire world feels vulnerable and helpless; victimized and terrified. We are angry that this was allowed to happen again but don’t let the anger turn to hate. Hate is what got us here to this moment of childless mothers and fathers, in the first place.

Channel your hatred, anger, helplessness and vulnerability into change. Donate blood. Be kind to strangers. Treat people as humans. Don’t judge people for who they love, the color of their skin or the God they worship. Be a voice for the mothers and fathers who cannot speak or barely breathe, those who lost everything because one evil man was able to possess a gun and with that gun he chose to murder people just because he could.

We have to say no more, stand up for those who need protection and be the change we want to see in the world. The time for  expecting others to make things happen has passed. We have to vote, risk and force the change. Next time, it could be one of our children.

What would you be willing to risk in order to prevent another mass shooting?

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gun control, san bernadino, mental illness, parenting, parenting in the time of chaos, throat punch thursday

My mind has been swirling with all the mass shootings and talk of gun control or should I say, lack thereof? Between Trump, shootings and racists using a burned out van to vilify all the Mexicans, I felt I was due for a Throat Punch Thursday post.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately feeling nostalgic for my “good old days of blogging.” You remember, the days when I used to stay up to all hours of the night documenting my trials and tribulations of early motherhood after the babies went to sleep? I miss the whole exhausted, cut your wrists, open up a vein and bleed all over your keyboard days.

I miss the days before monetization, SEO and giving a damn who was reading and who I might be offending. I really miss my regular Throat Punch Thursdays so here I am, opening up my veins.

I know sometimes I’m controversial. I know that I’m political and opinionated but I think you come here to read the real truth through my mom goggles not rose-colored bullshit that’s strictly politically correct. Nothing I say should come as a surprise. I’ve never changed my opinion on gun control, ever.

Anyone who has ever met me knows that I am a lot of things but politically correct is not one of them. I have a giant heart with all the feels and not a lick of filter on my words. I’m passionate and I need to write things out to navigate the mucky waters of my mind.

Which brings me to todays rant, first Throat Punch Thursday in awhile, gun control. If you have ever read me before, you know that I believe that there should be stricter gun control. My belief is that people with guns kill people. Guns are not necessary. They were once, when we needed people to readily mobilize into a militia but we are way passed those days.

We live in a world where we’ve had more mass shootings this year than we have days in the year. We are no longer shocked when we hear that there has been another mass shooting, we expect it. We simply hold our breaths until we find out that our loved ones are not within range and then we exhale and pray to make it through another day. It sickens me that this is what it has come to.

Every single morning that I drop my daughters off at school, I kiss them and tell them that I love them. I watch them as they walk into the building. I watch them until they are through all three sets of glass doors and then, as I pull away, I pray that no one shoots them while they are trying to get an education, trying to grow up. I hold my breath every day until they walk back through the door. Every siren makes my heart jump into my mouth. This is what the world has come to.

My daughters have “drills” they do on the regular to learn appropriate protocol for what to do in case a gun wielding “madman” gains access into the building. I pray a lot. The Democrats say we need stricter gone control and the Republicans say we need better mental health. I agree with both.

Honestly, I wish we lived in a world where there were no guns. I hate violence and I think most people who have guns don’t need them. We live in a country where a person dies every 16 minutes from a gun. The scariest part is that people are being shot in places where they should be safe, where people are most vulnerable. No one is expecting to go to church, the movies or school and get shot or die.

Current gun control is not acceptable.

The staggering reality is this, anyone can buy a shotgun and almost anyone can get a handgun by applying for a license and waiting a few days. There are no required classes, training or enforced restrictions on keeping and owning a gun. Simply apply, wait, take your gun home and hope you don’t shoot yourself of your kids don’t find it.

This is what REALLY scares me. I had an actual conversation with someone I know, who appears by all accounts intelligent and worldly. We were having a deep conversation about mental health and a suspected diagnosis. My suggestion was get help; make an appointment, see a psychiatrist to get an accurate diagnosis and a psychologist to talk it all out.

On mental health, I am a firm believer in get help. Screw “what people think”. I’ve been on both sides of it and it’s always better to seek treatment than to try to deal with it on your own. The response I got shocked me, “I’m afraid to see a psychiatrist because if I have an official diagnosis in my record, it may restrict me from being able to purchase a gun in the future. “ It was everything I could do to not let my jaw hit the ground. This is a person who already owns guns and is not a hunter. These guns are for protection but with an undiagnosed, untreated diagnosis his biggest danger to him is himself.

So basically, our gun laws are just making those who might be mentally ill avoid getting treatment because it might interfere with their right to bear arms. Is this really what we want? Mentally ill people ignoring their mental illness so they can have guns in a full on state of crazy? Wouldn’t it just be safer for all of us if there were no guns?

What kind of world do we live in where the mentally ill are so afraid of the stigma of illness that they’d rather be suicidal and a danger to themselves and others than go to a doctor and have to disclose that they got help for a diagnosis? Wouldn’t we rather people be treated and healthy than undiagnosed and on the loose buying guns at will? How did our values get so screwed up? When did we start vilifying sick people? Why do we need so many fucking guns anyway?

I feel like I’m ranting but it’s because I’m mad that this keeps happening. Isn’t this the exact definition of insanity? What is it going to take for people to realize that its time to change our policies? I don’t want to be afraid to send my girls to school. I’m tired of being afraid that every trip to a public place could be our last.

gun control, san bernadino, mental illness, parenting, parenting in the time of chaos, throat punch thursday

We need more than just thoughts and prayers, we need deeds and actions if we want to make this world a safer, better place for our children to live in. I’m sick and tired of living in a world where every time I see my girls walk away, it could be the last time.

What are your thoughts on gun control, San Bernadino and all of this?

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gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster, semi automatic weapon

I’ve been mulling over my thoughts on gun control, the Nay voters in the Senate that essentially voted for the rights of terrorists to have guns, the NRA and today’s Senate sit-in. There is so many terrible things happening in the world lately and with the mass shootings especially, to me, it feels like voting against people on terrorist watch lists having the right to purchase assault weapons would be a no-brainer. We don’t allow them to fly because they used planes against us on 9/11 but domestic terrorists use guns against us so often that it’s becoming common place and yet, we still allow them access to assault weapons. Let me tell you, it’s a hell of a lot harder to hijack a plane than it is to shoot someone with an assault weapon that it took 7 minutes to buy at the gun show. I honestly think the real problem is that most people don’t truly understand the 2nd Amendment so here is a better explanation of the right to bear arms. I have degrees that focused on Political Science, History, Government, law, criminology and sociology and sometimes, I forget that not everyone has the comprehensive understanding that I do.

semi automatic weapon, gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster

Just one week after a Senate filibuster forced a vote on gun control measures and a few days after the Republicans stymied that vote (and we all became aware of what each senator was paid in exchange for his/her part in supporting the NRA) the Democrats in the House of Representatives are done with this political bullshit! Enough is enough. Hell no! We won’t go! They are holding a good old-fashioned sit-in on the floor to try to get the Republicans to relent and I’ve never been prouder to be a democrat than I am today. This day in Congress brought to you by the Democrats!

I have been pissed off since June 20th when I found out that most of the Republican party voted Nay to the gun control measures and instead voted for the right of suspected terrorists and their right to bear arms. Yes, our Republican party is so hell bent on not crossing party lines that they would rather sell assault weapons to people on the Terrorist Watch List than protect our children from being shot while sitting in a classroom, dancing in a club in Orlando or just living in general. There are a lot of shitty, hateful people in the world with access to guns.

gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster

What’s worse still, we found out that almost everyone on the Nay list has taken funds from the NRA. Some of the Senators on the list sold their soul for free while others voted for your children to have the right to be shot for as little as $2000. Think about that? That means these people think your child’s life is disposable.

gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster

Thankfully, there are people in the Senate who care about our children’s lives than some macho misconception that in order to be free you must be able to own an assault weapon. Unfortunately, most of our Republican senators think the right to bear arms is more important than your right to hold your children in your arms. I’ve never made a secret about the fact that I’m anti-gun and my feeling that the right to bear arms is an antiquated one. Yes, I’ve been called all the names by all the right wing NRA, gun waving “true” Americans; liberal left wing C*NT seems to be the most popular. Anyways, f*ck your right to bear arms. What about my right to see my children grow to adulthood? What about my right to not worry every single time that I leave them that it’s the last because some psycho with an assault weapon might decide he’s having a bad day and needs to kill some people to feel better about himself?

The second amendment was added to our constitution at a time when we needed a militia. PERIOD. We don’t need general population Americans to be able to assemble and fight for their freedom. We have troops for that now; men and women who have been trained in combat. I don’t need John P. Anybody who lives next door having ready access to assault weapons to shoot kids walking through his yard for trespassing. No one hunts with a semi-automatic or automatic assault weapon, unless the point of the hunt is to obliterate the animal for sport.

I know that many people hold on to their right to bear arms like their right to breathe but I assure you that the second amendment has outlived its usefulness.

Gun control reform is needed in order to protect our citizens from real people with guns more than gun owners need to protect themselves from imagined threats.

 

gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster

“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.”

It is a dinosaur and it needs to be changed. It is not your right to own a gun so you can wave it around whenever you feel like someone has wronged you. It’s not your right to shoot people you don’t like because they looked at you wrong. It’s not your right to shoot someone you hate because you don’t agree with the color of their skin, their religion, their culture, their race or their life choices. You are not God just because you own a gun.

But today, I feel hopeful because people are standing up (well, sitting in) for what’s right. What I can’t understand is how the same people who are adamantly Pro-Life for unborn children, don’t give a f*ck about my living child’s safety. My living children’s lives are worth less to them than their personal right to bear arms. Are children like cars do they start losing their value the moment they leave the womb?

Finally, some politicians are getting it right.

gun control, NRA, Right to bear arms, John Lewis, Filibuster

The time for silence and patience is long gone,” Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and hero of the civil rights movement who is leading the sit-in, said in a stirring speech Wednesday morning.

“The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage; do we have the raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?”

“Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary.”

“Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way!”

Then Representative Lewis and his fellow Democrats sat down on the floor and began chanting,

“No bill, No break!”

It’s time we all do our part. We’ve been backing down in the face of the right to bear arms for far too long. The NRA would have you believe that to revoke the second amendment would be to infringe on the human rights of our fellow Americans. The NRA is full of bullies. It’s like a gang of big, dumb kids who don’t know how to use their words and resort to violence in the face of controversy. We Democrats, we are like the smart kids at school. But we can’t be scared of these small minded bullies anymore, our children’s lives might depend on it. We can’t back down this time.

Gun control can’t be more important to us than children’s lives.

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florida school shooting, gun control, alan feis, Nikolas Cruz, Parkland Florida, High School shooting

Yesterday, 17 unsuspecting students and adults, including Aaron Feis, were murdered in a South Florida school shooting massacre by 19 -year-old, Nikolas Cruz. Gun control failed us again. The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, 19, pulled the fire alarm shortly before 3 pm at his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. As the students and faculty exited the building, he started shooting at them like fish in a barrel. But that wasn’t enough for Nikolas, he followed the people running back inside for cover and targeted those huddled in classrooms hiding. Then, he blended in with the students exiting and evacuated the school. He was arrested later that day in Coral Springs.

They’re calling it the “Florida School Shooting” to differentiate it from the other recent school shootings because they happen so frequently now. This is how we measure life and death now, by geographical location. Quick somebody drop a pin so we know where to send the SWAT team next. I’m not being funny. I am utterly disgusted at how little life means to the people of this country. We’ve done nothing since Sandy Hook. Gun control is still the same shit show it ever was.

You know, the world makes fun of helicopter moms but we’re just being rational in an irrational world. How are we ever supposed to let our children go out into the world without worrying ourselves into an early grave? No wonder so many people homeschool now because at least there you can keep your child safe. Thank God for men like Aaron Feis.

Are you there God? Where were you on Ash Wednesday 2018 when 17 people were murdered by a disgruntled ex-student, Nikolas Cruz in the Florida School shooting? What makes a person hate the world so much that they want to kill anyone and everyone that is not as miserable as they are? Don’t tell me mental illness. It’s meanness. It’s calculated. It’s evil and its people killing people with guns because they can because everywhere you turn guns are readily available. If you can’t buy the gun you want, you can buy a gun and modify it. If they won’t sell you a gun because by some miracle your crazy ass is on a list, you can build it by buying parts on the Internet. Why is this not regulated?

Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 cases of premeditated murder. News at 11. It was said on one newscast so matter a factly that you would have thought they were talking about a baby monkey being born at the local zoo. What kind of world are we living in? Where is the outrage? Where are the grief-stricken parents of the living students with pitchforks and torches demanding that our government do something? I mean, of course without a whole lot of people make a whole lot of stink the government is not going to do shit because they got paid a whole lot of money not to.

Former classmates said they were not surprised at the identity of the suspected shooter. Cruz loved showing off guns, student Eddie Bonilla told CNN affiliate WFOR.

“We actually, a lot of kids threw jokes around Iike that, saying that he’s the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out everyone predicted it. It’s crazy,” Bonilla recalled.

Why did no one call the police on this kid? He was clearly exhibiting unstable behaviors.

Cruz had once been expelled from the high school over disciplinary problems, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said.

 

He purchased the gun legally. He passed the background check. At 18 you can buy an assault-style weapon but you have to be 21 to buy a handgun. Let that sink in for a minute.

I find it interesting that as they were interviewing former classmates of Nikolas Cruz they were saying things like yeah, sure, Nikolas was the guy most likely to shoot up the school. He had lots of guns. The faculty at one point forbid him from carrying a backpack because of the fear that something exactly like this might happen. Yet, here we are. It happened and instead of anyone stopping him, they all just shake their head and go, we knew he’d do something like this. What the f*ck?

“This has been a day where we’ve seen the worst of humanity. Tomorrow is gonna bring out the best in humanity as we come together to move forward from this unspeakable tragedy,” Runcie said.

This is supposed to be our consolation. Humanity is going to be “better” for a few days.Celebrities are going to tweet out their prayers and condolences. Regular people are going to feign outrage without actually ever doing anything about it becoming themselves willing parts of the problem. Yeah, like the days and weeks after Sandy Hook. Nothing has changed. There are more school shootings than ever. I mean, what are the statistics for the likelihood of your child getting shot or murdered at school these days?

What’s worse, our government makes sure that these weapons are available because it’s a “constitutional right”. So when it’s your kid, or your wife or your husband or mom or dad who gets shot in the face and murdered just living their life tell me how important the freedom to have guns really is. I dare you to. I wouldn’t stand too close to me when you did it.

I keep seeing images of the teacher with ashes on her head, the hero Aaron Feis and a girl with a mylar balloon. It was probably one of the best days of this teen girl’s high school life and now, it will always be one of the worst days of her life. It’s traumatic and I think it’s the worst kind of monster who attacks people at their most vulnerable. Why do these shooters never open fire where there are trained people ready to protect themselves? Because they are cowards and they are afraid. They want to exact horror by murdering innocent, unsuspecting people because then they have the upper hand. Better yet, be a real man, come pick a fight…hand-to-hand with someone your own size and get your ass kicked the way it deserves to be. But they won’t because they are cowards of the worst kind.

But you know who are the bigger cowards? The politicians who allow the NRA to buy their votes. They value money over human life. Worse still the parents who fight for the right to bear arms and then send their children into the world to be slaughtered by people with guns. If not for yourself, do it for your children. Unless we are going to train and start sending every student to school with a weapon to protect themselves or impose real gun control, then we need to all be sterilized because I’d rather not bring a child into this world than to bring one into this world to be murdered by an NRA enthusiast.

We live in a world where every drop off good bye could be “the goodbye”. I know this. You know this. We choose our words more carefully. We hold tighter. We coddle. We spoil because any minute could be the minute someone sprays the hallways of the elementary school with bullets and paints the walls red with the blood of babies… our babies..my babies and your babies. Anyone’s babies because that is the truly scary part, no one is safe. Not even the child of a parent who is a staunch supporter of the NRA because a gunman with a semi-automatic weapon doesn’t stop to ask.

How do you explain to a parent who’s lost everything that your right to bear arms trumps their child’s right to life?

It feels like I’ve written this piece a few hundred times before because I think I have. Why have I? Why does this keep happening? Why does our government stand by and do nothing but come up with sound bites and excuses? Why do we the people accept this? When is enough too much? When it’s our own child whose tiny body lays limp and lifeless in the quad? When it’s our child who cowers and hides for hours as some person with a gun plays a sick game of hide and seek where if you’re found… you’re dead? When it’s your child, who even if they’re lucky enough to survive they are damaged forever. They are not the same child you sent to school that morning and that child may not have died but they are never coming back.

Nikolas Cruz, Parkland Florida, High School shooting

We live in a world where our children have to think fast enough to put their backpacks full of books on before running for their lives just to try to avoid getting shot in the spine. They have to remember to bob and weave. They have to stay silent and stifle tears and terror while their friend a foot away is shot dead in front of them. They have to play dead and pray the shooter doesn’t issue a kill shot to the head “just to be sure”.

Do something!! Stop waiting for your government to figure it out. Demand that they do something to protect our children. When is enough ever going to be enough? How many children have to be slaughtered in the streets, how much blood has to be on our hands before we have the balls to stand united and demand that there be stricter gun control and regulations on parts being bought? We need to make it impossible for everyone to get guns. It shouldn’t be a right, it should be a privilege and if you don’t earn it, you don’t deserve it. If you are not mentally equipped and stable enough to own and trained to operate a weapon, you should not be able to purchase one.

I know gun advocates like to say they need guns to protect themselves from intruders and government. To you I say, 1 you are more likely to be shot with your own gun from an intruder and 2, no gun can protect you from a corrupt government.

But amidst all of this horror, remember the victims like Football coach Aaron Feis who died while using his body to shield three female students. He threw himself in the line of fire to spare them. He suffered a gunshot wound and died after being rushed into surgery. The thing is he shouldn’t have had to die.

“He died the same way he lived — he put himself second,” Lehtio, a student and football team member, said. “He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero.”

 

Don’t let the Florida School shooting and the lives of Aaron Feis and the other 16 people who died yesterday have been in vain. Take action. Demand our government to change our current gun control legislation.

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run, hide, fight, how to survive an active shooter event, Shelter in place, gun control

How do you feel about raising kids in a time when it is necessary that they are taught run hide fight protocol as a means to how to survive an active shooter event. It’s not weird to them. It’s the norm and that scares me. There’s even a handy Run. Hide. Fight. pocket card to help you remember what to do in those stressful times.

They don’t even come home freaked out when they are told to run, hide and fight when there is a potential that there might be a “wild polar bear” loose in the hallways.  Yeah, that’s what the principal has code-named “active shooters” as to not “frighten” the children. They’re not frightened. I’m terrified and I have been since Sandy Hook.  Every single morning at drop off, every time I hear a siren during the school day and I cross my fingers, pray and hope that at pick up two in tack healthy children are returned to me. This is my life.

But our government is having an issue pulling the trigger on common sense gun control, which is ironic because I believe they are all very concerned with the citizens of the United States maintaining their “right to bear arms.” You think at the very least, they’d know how to pull the trigger and shoot.

The bottom line is that people like me want all the guns to magically disappear because we’d feel safer sending our kids to school for 7 hours a day, out from our watchful eye learning to live in the world, like normal people. People who place a higher value on keeping their guns can’t seem to reconcile how to protect our children and keep their right to bear arms. So, they deflect; mental illness, a rogue gunman, anomaly, and my favorite, “the bad guys will still find a way to get guns! I need to be able to protect myself!”

The response is that maybe we should arm our teachers. What? We don’t pay teachers enough money for all the work they do, as is. We entrust our children’s education and safety to them for pennies. It’s insulting really. Teachers should be paid like doctors because as far as I am concerned they are doing something just as important, every single day. Why would we add to their responsibility and give them guns? They are trained to expand our children’s minds not take down an active shooter. They are not trained officers of the law. This is ridiculous.

I would never expect a teacher to be the marksman who has to stand between my child and an active shooter. Have you met a teacher? They are, generally, wonderful, good people who genuinely care about children and want to help them learn and grow in the world. In the moment of truth, I think most teachers would throw themselves in harm’s way to protect their students but they shouldn’t have to.  This isn’t the world we should accept. We need to protect both the teachers and the students.

A school shouldn’t be a dangerous place to go. Going to see a movie shouldn’t be risky. Shopping at the mall with your tweens shouldn’t be potentially life-threatening. I, you, we shouldn’t have to hold our breath and pray every single time our children walk out the door that someone doesn’t murder them simply because they can and they have access to guns.

Today, I was scanning my Facebook feed and a video was shared of a thing called “Shelter in Place” which is basically, a bulletproof room built into the classroom equipped with cameras on the outside so that the classroom after loaded into the makeshift panic room can see when it’s clear. They say takes a few days to install and about 30 seconds to load the entire classroom of children and teacher into the “shelter”. I’m wondering what your thoughts are about this?

Here are mine, do I love that it can potentially save my children from a gone wielding maniac? YES! Do I want to live in a world where my children have to live every minute of every single day on the defensive just in case a lunatic with a gun decides he’s having a bad day and wants to shoot them because our government won’t impose common-sense gun control because their egos are more important to them than my child’s life? No!

People have told me that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. This is true but if there were no guns, people couldn’t use guns to kill people. They’ve told me that no matter what.. the “bad people” will always find a way to get guns. And I ask them, is there a secret “bad guy” arms dealer that passes out cards and everyone knows how to find because I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of lazy people out there and if it were harder to get guns, they’d give up trying. Maybe they’d use knives or fists like a real man, give a victim a chance to retaliate.

I’m pretty positive that not every thug on the street or mentally unstable person with an ax to grind would find a gun but when you can walk into any gun store and get one, that makes a difference.

I won’t lie, if it were up to me, no one would have guns but the police and the military because they are trained to use their weapons and that is their job. I get that people don’t like to be stripped of their rights but people also need to realize that the constitution was written at a time when the right to bear arms was necessary. We didn’t have a competent military yet and the people needed to be ready to form a militia and fight if need be. They needed to have their own arms. It was like a BYOB party but the second B was actually a gun and the party was a war. Make sense now?

What I’m saying is that your right to bear arms argument doesn’t hold water these days. Just be honest, you “want” to own firearms because it makes you feel powerful in a world where most of us are powerless. It makes you feel strong in a world where we are vulnerable. But it’s false bravery. A gun is only as effective as the gun owner who is holding it. If you are not properly trained, just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you can actually protect yourself. In fact, you’ll probably just piss off an attacker and he’ll shoot you in the face.

That’s the thing, the bad guys aren’t announcing their attack. They are getting you when you are vulnerable; when you’re sleeping, watching a movie with your kid or your kid is at school trying to figure out that damn common core math or taking the iStep tests. My point is that if the guns were not available, a lot less innocent people would be getting murdered. Statistics don’t lie and as much as you want to argue with me and call me names, you know that is true.

I don’t want to take your guns away from you. I want to keep all of our kids safe. This isn’t about you or making you feel weak; it’s about protecting our children. It’s about not living in a world where our children don’t even scoff or think anything is scary about being taught to run, hide and fight. They just do it. It’s about not having to teach my girls to bob and weave if they escape. It’s about not having to have secret words and panic rooms in classrooms. It’s about not having to worry if your child’s teacher is the sort who would through himself between a bullet and your child. It’s about all of us feeling a little safer, a little braver and a little kinder. It’s about polar bears not being a threat in the hallway, a movie theater, a concert or a mall ever again.

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Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

At least 58 people were killed and more than 515 people were injured when a gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night creating the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. He fired at the crowd from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage when the shooting began and chaos ensued.

Trigger Warning: Some of the photos included in this post are very graphic.

How do we ever feel safe again with gun legislation that allows gunman like Stephen Paddock to just open his window at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay resort and open fire on a group of music festival goers like they were fish in a barrel? How is this the country we live in? This is the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. of September 11, 2001.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

64-year-old, Stephen Paddock fired shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and killed at least 58 people (as of now) and injured more than 515 people. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Police used an explosive breach to break down the door to his hotel room, and Paddock killed himself. Police said Paddock was found dead with as many as 10 firearms. I’m not sad to say he killed himself but at the same time, I am so sick of these monsters being killed before we get any answers. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter why they did what they did, having that question answered will not change the outcome but at least maybe we could understand. Maybe we could try to make sense of it all.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

Another morning, another news story about some crazed lunatic taking his semiautomatic weapon and senselessly killing innocent people. It happens so often that not only are we becoming accustomed to it, we expect it. We fear it but it’s our new reality and we live in a world where we know every single day might be our last.

I don’t accept this. I am angry. I am outraged. I am pissed off. Just last week, we took our daughters to a concert. This can happen anywhere. Do you understand, we.took.our.daughters???

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

So to break it down for you in parenting today, you can keep your children in a bubble and be labeled a “helicopter mom” with all the negative connotations that come with it. Or you can be cool and just go about life like it’s normal that sometimes people get gunned down at movie theaters, concerts, and school for no good goddamn reason. I can’t take it.

It’s too heavy. This responsibility of raising kids and keeping them alive when so many random acts of violence just keep happening. How are we supposed to do it? How are we unarmed with nothing but our unconditional, never-ending love for our children supposed to protect them from the boogie man that lurks right beneath our noses…the neighbor next door, the kid who delivers your newspaper, the old guy who hands out hard candy for Halloween or the shy, quiet kid who stays to himself at school and even though your kid goes out of their way to be friendly and inclusive, because that’s what we’ve taught our kids to do ( though I’m not even sure anymore if it’s to be kind or just as a defense mechanism, last-ditch effort to stay off the shit list) so maybe when that freak comes to school with his semiautomatic weapon he’ll remember somewhere in his broken brain that YOUR KID didn’t laugh at him.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

I can’t take it. Politicians talk about gun control like it’s just another political discussion, like taxes or health care, but it’s life or death. You are deciding that in order to get the votes, it’s ok to let maniacs have semiautomatic weapons…or firearms at all. If you’ve got problems and you hate someone, why can’t we live in a world where you have to get up close and personal and use your hands, face-to-face, not like a coward shooting from atop your tower at unsuspecting people?

I am sick to death of the NRA and all the other groups arguing for their right to bear arms. Read the constitution you morons, it was written in a time when the American people had no strong army and had to be ready to organize into a militia to fight and protect against the British army. We have a full military in place now and the need for Stephen Paddock, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Omar Mateen, Seung Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and so many more to have ready access to weapons does not exist.

When I think of all the mothers and fathers who grew, raised and loved these children who have been killed (because yes, even adults are someone’s children) I can’t even swallow the lump in my throat is so big.

Marilou Danley,Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

I was talking to someone and they argued, “Well, the problem is that if you take away the right to bear arms the bad guys will still find a way to get them. The gang bangers and deviants will find a way to arm themselves.”

The thing is, while maybe this is true since there are so many guns already floating around the United States, do you really think this weirdo, average white men like Stephen Paddock, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold would have the wherewithal to be able to find a gun runner? It’s not like that sort is hanging out with or even trusting these oddballs. Nope, these assholes are going to their local gun shows, Walmart or wherever the hell else it is that weird guys go to buy their guns…off the rack, like the rest of us go buy toothpaste.

Maybe new gun legislation wouldn’t stop all the gang violence and drive-bys but I bet it sure would slow down the frequency with which we see mass shootings by lone weirdos. Because yes, if you just hoard semi-automatic weapons and plan to go into a place of business, worship or anywhere people are congregating just to shoot and kill as many people as you can because you are sad or mad or whatever the hell else you are with the world because you’re pathetic, then yes, you are a lone weirdo. This is what you have chosen to be. There is no excuse for this behavior. We all have shit days; we don’t all go on mass shooting sprees.

Nevada has some of the loosest gun laws in the United States, and has no limitation on the number of guns that can be purchased at one time. It is legal to own, purchase, or sell machine guns there if the weapon was manufactured before 1986. The state has no law regulating large-capacity ammunition magazines, according to the Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence.

You know, I keep asking myself when will it be enough? Who has to be killed that we collectively say, “Nope, that’s too far!” But I guess in the United States there is no such thing, after all, Adam Lanza killed a bunch of innocent kids and yet, Stephen Paddock was able to get his weapons, get them into the Mandalay Bay resort and go on a shooting spree from the comfort of his room like the coward he was. Once America decided killing children was bearable, the gun control debate was over. It’s like we allowed the most heinous thing in the world to happen and that still wasn’t enough to stop it. We got over it. There apparently is no rock bottom.

Maybe there needs to be a mandatory psych evaluation before anyone can buy a weapon beyond just a background check? I know for a fact that there are people who refuse mental health treatment for fear they will be labeled mentally ill and not be able to buy guns. So to recap, mentally ill people purposely forgo treatment so that they can still have access to weapons. Feel safer now?

How many moms have to bury their babies? How many dads have to get that news in the middle of the night? How many brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters have to go on living with such a giant, senseless hole in their world?

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and their families, who have been irreparably damaged. I hope you can find some kind of peace again in this world. BUt we need a hell of a lot more than just thoughts and prayers to stop this sort of thing from happening again.

To those who fight so hard for the right to bear arms, your right to carry a weapon is systematically killing our children. Is the price worth the right?

 

Update: 4:07 p.m. More than 19 rifles were found in the hotel room of the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting, a law enforcement official confirmed, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Among the weapons authorities discovered were two rifles with scopes on tripods positioned in front of the two windows that had been broken out, a law enforcement official said.

 

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Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut, Adam Lanza, Mass shooting, gun control

I woke up this morning, then, I remembered what today is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.  It’s 11 days before Christmas. It’s the third day of Hannukah. It’s also the 5-year anniversary of one of the most heinous mass shootings in the history of America. The day 26 innocent children and adults were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

My girls gleefully squeed this morning when reminding us that TODAY is the day that we adopted our puppy, Lola. She was a Christmas surprise for our girls in 2012 after a particularly hard year; we lost a baby, we lost our family dog and we moved away from everyone we ever knew. But, I know today is something else.

Five years ago today, a man murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. On Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old named Adam Lanza fired his Bushmaster rifle through the school’s locked front door and commenced a killing spree. At the time, it was the second deadliest mass shooting in US history. What seemed to shake the nation the most was the age of the victims, children who were just six and seven years old. On December 14, 2012, my daughters were 5 and 7-years-old. The Sandy Hook events shook me to my core.

Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut, Adam Lanza, Mass shooting, gun control

Today is December 14th. A day that changed the way I parent forever; a day that changed me. Today, on a morning just like this in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, parents dropped their children off at Sandy Hook Elementary and kissed them goodbye like I did on that same morning in a sleepy town in Indiana.

You drive off, probably listening to Christmas music with your heart all full of that feeling of positivity and cheer we all feel at this time of year because it’s in the air. People are nicer, friendlier and generally, the world is just slightly better.

I remember dropping our girls off and the Big Guy and I took the day off to finish our Christmas shopping. In fact, we spent most of the day playing with a certain puppy and the rest was spent wistfully having lunch and laughing as we ducked in and out of stores thinking of how happy each this or that would make our daughters on Christmas morning. All the while, we counted ourselves lucky that our children were safe at school.

It wasn’t until the pick-up line that afternoon that we actually heard the horrific news of what happened to those 20 beautiful children and the 6 adults who tried to protect them and my heart broke as all of my faith in humanity drained slowly from my body, as I held it all together at pick-up. It wasn’t until after bedtime that night that I could fully digest the scope of what Adam Lanza did that day.

Lanza then entered a first-grade classroom where Lauren Rousseau, a substitute teacher, had herded her first grade students to the back of the room, and was trying to hide them in a bathroom, when Lanza forced his way into the classroom.[44] Rousseau, Rachel D’Avino (a behavioral therapist who had been employed for a week at the school to work with a special needs student), and fifteen students in Rousseau’s class were all killed. Fourteen of the children were dead at the scene; one injured child was taken to a hospital for treatment, but was later declared dead. Most of the teachers and students were found crowded together in the bathroom. A six-year-old girl, the sole survivor, was found by police in the classroom following the shooting.The surviving girl was hidden in one of the corners of the classroom’s bathroom during the shooting. The girl’s family pastor said that she survived the mass shooting by remaining still, and playing dead. When she reached her mother, she said, “Mommy, I’m okay, but all my friends are dead.” The child described the shooter as “a very angry man.A girl hiding in a bathroom with two teachers told police that she heard a boy in the classroom screaming, “Help me! I don’t want to be here!” to which Lanza responded, “Well, you’re here,” followed by more hammering sounds.

Lanza next went to another first-grade classroom nearby; at this point, there are conflicting reports about the order of events. According to some reports, the classroom’s teacher, Victoria Leigh Soto, had concealed some of the students in a closet or bathroom, and some of the other students were hiding under desks. Soto was walking back to the classroom door to lock it when Lanza entered the classroom. Lanza walked to the back of the classroom, saw the children under the desks, and shot them. First grader Jesse Lewis shouted at his classmates to run for safety, and several of them did. Lewis was looking at Lanza when Lanza fatally shot him. Another account, given by a surviving child’s father, said that Soto had moved the children to the back of the classroom, and that they were seated on the floor when Lanza entered. According to this account, neither Lanza nor any of the occupants of the classroom spoke. Lanza stared at the people on the floor, pointed the gun at a boy seated there, but did not fire at the boy, who ultimately survived. The boy got up and ran out of the classroom and was among the survivors.

Hartford Courant report said that six of the children who escaped did so when Lanza stopped shooting, either because his weapon jammed or he erred in reloading it. Earlier reports said that, as Lanza entered her classroom, Soto told him that the children were in the auditorium. When several of the children came out of their hiding places and tried to run for safety, Lanza fatally shot them. Soto put herself between her students and the shooter, who then fatally shot her. Anne Marie Murphy, the teacher’s aide who worked with special-needs students in Soto’s classroom, was found covering six-year-old Dylan Hockley, who also died. Soto and four children were found dead in the classroom, Soto near the north wall of the room with a set of keys nearby. One child was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead. Six surviving children from the class and a school bus driver took refuge at a nearby home. According to the official report released by the state’s attorney, nine children ran from Soto’s classroom and survived, while two children were found by police hiding in a class bathroom.[41]:14 In all, 11 children from Soto’s class survived. Five of Soto’s students were killed.[62]

I was mad. I was devastated for those who lost their lives but even more so for the parents and family members who, just like me, dropped their beloved everythings off at school that morning and that very night sat sobbing with empty arms. It was so unfair and so horrific that I almost couldn’t allow myself to believe it.

I’ve never been one to live my life in fear but that day and every single day since I’m afraid every time my children leave my arms. Every morning I send them to school, I pray God sends them back to me. Every time I hear a siren, I hold my breath and hope it’s not a shooting at their school; that a man with a gun having a bad day doesn’t decide to take his hatred for the world out on my children. His collateral damage will be my complete undoing.

I think often, almost daily, about the parents and children of Sandy Hook. I can’t imagine what the world must look like to them. I don’t know how they’ve survived these past 5 years. I’m assuming with a lump in their throat and a fight in their bellies.

I know they will never get justice because they will never get their tiny loved ones back and each passing year is a reminder of what should have been. I imagine this time of year has lost all of its glisten and glean for those families and in its place moroseness and sorrow has settled in. I wish there was a way to bring their children back to them but I know that is impossible. But what we can do is make their deaths not have been in vain.

We must continue to fight for stricter gun control laws. No one’s right to bear arms should outweigh a parent’s right to hold their child in their arms; to watch them grow up and spend a lifetime loving them.

My husband dropped our girls off at school this morning. I kissed and hugged them all just slightly longer than I should have this morning and I began to pray the moment they walked out the door. Please let them return to me. This is my daily prayer that I say with earnest but even more so on this morning, December 14th because I know there are the parents of 20 children whose hearts are being shattered all over again this morning.

So please, whatever you are doing this morning, wherever you are in the world, whoever you may be, stop and pray for those families who lost their children and those children and brave staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary who went to school on a day just like today, five years ago and never got to come home. Pray that those parents have the strength to continue carrying on and they can someday get some peace.

But don’t just pray, do something. Fight for the safety of our children. Stand up for better mental health coverage and stricter gun control. Make good choices and remember that while you are listening to your Christmas music, doing your last minute shopping at Target and drinking your latte, there’s a mother in Newtown sobbing uncontrollably; there’s a father whose loss has turned to bitterness and he doesn’t know how to fix it; there are a brother and sister who will never get to hear the laugh of their little brother again. There are gifts that never got opened and holiday celebrations that had to be repurposed into funerals.

I’m begging you, if you are weary from all of these mass shootings, tired of innocent children being nothing more than collateral damage to a system that continues to value an outdated right to bear arms over its children and tired of being constantly afraid that your children won’t come home because guns are too readily and easily accessible stand up and fight like your life depends on it ( because it might) for stricter gun control and legislation to regulate the purchase of parts to assemble semi-automatic weapons because even though we do have weak gun control laws in place for purchasing guns, there are none for buying the parts and assembling your own at home. Think about that for a moment and do something.

Whatever you do today, never forget the 26 innocent children and adults who went to school on a day like today and never got to come home because a sick man had easy access to guns and rained down devastation on the world. Hug your children tight.

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birth control

Birth Control, Smirth Control! What a Friday it’s been. My boobs are sore, I’m so freaking irritable that my mom offered up one of her precious panic attack halting Xanax,I’m exhausted and annoyed and craving fruit like it’s crack and I’m Whitney Houston. But for some reason, my Mom is hell bent on asking me..”Are you pregnant?” This only further irritates me. Hell really hath no fury like a woman on the verge of menstruating.

“No,Mom! It’s that time of month…why else are you throwing Xanax at me?”

But then I started thinking, as I do every single month, because I like to play russian roulette with my reproduction…am I pregnant?

birth control

Birth Control

Due to the stress of my life, after many years of EVERY kind of birth control under the sun, I gave up birth control almost 2 years ago. I’ve tried various pills, the patch ( that left a crusty bandaid rash..Ooh so sexxy), the Nuva ring ( which slipped out with increased cervical fluid, effectively defeating its entire purpose), vaginal inserts coupled with condoms ( why yes, it is very attractive when my vagina was frothing like a rabid dog. Why no? My vagina does not have a hangover and I did not insert an alka seltzer into my vagina for this occasion.) Hell, there was even a day in there where I considered getting an IUD (desperate times, desperate measures, my friends.) So when my doctor told me that I’d have to relinquish and go to a natural method, let’s just say I not so much gave it up as had it pryed from my cold dead hands by my gynecologist. Apparently, when you are over 35 and crazy stressed, birth control pills can cause you to stroke out or some shit like that. Well, you know what else can make a woman over 35 stroke out? A surprise baby!

 

Every single month, I spend a good 3 days wondering…”Am I pregnant?” It’s really not ever a possibility because between “other” forms of birth control, abstinence, knowing my ovulation, only seeing my husband on the weekends and being prone to exhaustion and migraines…it’s more of an irrational fear. But still, every month it’s the same thing. 1 day of  wondering where the hell my period is? 1 day of thinking,Oh my God, maybe this could be the illusive little boy ( our unicorn). And the 3rd day, praying to God that I’m not pregnant.Then like magic, with a choir of angels singing in the background, I am visited by the gift of eve.

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Birth control

Michal Zacharzewski, www.sxc.hu.

Birth Control

Why do I do this to myself? Maybe it’s that 2.5 dream that’s been beaten into my head since I was a child. Maybe I really do want another kid? Nah, I think I just like having the option and I’ve always liked living my life on the edge. Keeps things interesting. The smell of a friend’s newborn is all it takes for me to develop a sudden onset of amnesia. Luckily, my girls snap me out of it by throwing an epic bedtime tantrum, reminding me that I’m STILL wiping asses and co-sleeping. Worse still I’ve lost half my hair from stress and my mom won’t be around to supply me with Xanax after the summer break.

Birth Control

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caroline Sparks, Kristian Sparks,gun control, gun safety, NRA, parenting, Kentucky

Throat Punch Thursday,Guns, gun control, gun safety,guns, Caroline Sparks, Kristian Sparks, Crickett Rifle, parenting, child safety, NRAHow many children have to be “accidentally” shot and killed before people start to lock up their fucking guns? How many children have to die before we accept that our babies and their safety is more important than being able to own a gun? This week’s Throat Punch goes to gun owners who do not lock up their guns and give their children guns before they are even in Kindergarten.

In Southern Kentucky, the cutest little 2-year-old girl, Caroline Sparks, with big blue eyes and blonde hair was accidentally shot dead this week by her 5-year-old brother, Kristian Sparks. The little boy received the .22 caliber Crickett rifle, with which he fatally shot his sister, as a birthday gift.

The little Crickett is a single-shot rifle that has a child safety. How ironic is that? The Crickett website features .22 –caliber rifle models for little kids with stock colors ranging from pink to red and white and blue swirls, for the ultimate girly girl. “My first rifle” is the company’s slogan. Sweet, does that come with a camo jacket that says “Kills People Dead!”

caroline sparks, kristian sparks, gun control, gun safety, NRA, Kentucky, Guns, gun control, gun safety, Caroline Sparks, Kristian Sparks, Crickett Rifle, parenting, child safety, NRA

In that part of the country, it is not unheard of for young children to learn how to handle a gun for hunting and many of them have guns handed down to them or given to them for special occasions. I know this to be true because I lived in Tennessee where they share that mentality. I used to teach 5-year-olds who would regularly look forward to going hunting with their daddies.

The children’s mother said she was cleaning and stepped out for a second when she heard the shot. The little boy was playing with his rifle when it accidentally discharged and killed his baby sister. The family insists that they kept the rifle in a place considered to be a safe spot.

Okay, I don’t even know where to start. First off, I don’t even believe in giving kids play guns, let alone real fucking guns with actual bullets. Secondly, obviously this “considered to be safe” spot was not very hard to access or safe. This rifle should have been locked up and not loaded. Unless this little boy was being trained to be a sniper, or they expected a 5-year-old to protect the family from intruders trying to enter their trailer, why the fuck would it be loaded?

The gun should have never been in the house with children that small in the first place, especially if it was not locked up. A 5-year-old sees this as a toy. He has no way of having the reverence and concern for safety that an adult should.

I know this was an accident and this family tragically lost their little girl but why would anyone leave children unattended, even for a second, in a home where the gun is not unloaded and locked up. It’s like playing a game of Russian roulette with your children’s lives. Guess what? The bullet was in the chamber and now a little girl is dead and a little boy has to grow up and live with that.

Even more shocking to me is the accompanying video in which the Grandmother, Linda Riddle, looked like a deranged lunatic who kept smiling, which I am assuming is a nervous tick. Riddle said she is devastated, but comforted knowing that her granddaughter is in a better place.

“It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess,” she told WLEX. “I just know she’s in heaven right now and I know she’s in good hands with the Lord.”

WHAT??? It was not God’s will that the little girl ended up with a bullet in her. It was bad parenting and poor choices in birthday gifts. Hey, people stop giving your kids guns as gifts and for the love of God, Lock up YOUR FUCKING GUNS!!!!

I am sick to death of children dying senselessly because they had access to a gun. Please don’t give me the ”guns don’t kill people, people do” response because if this country weren’t flooded with guns ( licensed and not) we wouldn’t be mourning all of these senseless deaths. Bottom line is that people are just not responsible enough to own guns and procreate so we need to eliminate one or the other. We have to keep having children so the species survives, so that leaves one answer; GET.RID.OF.THE.GUNS!!!!

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