Parkland last straw
Thoughts and prayers are not going to solve America’s gun violence problem. God is not going to bail us out, even though God weeps over our plight, which we created. It is up to “we the people,” voters and lawmakers, to find solutions.
To date, Americans are unwilling to do anything about the guns problem. There are so easily accessible and the number increases each day.
The politically powerful National Rifle Association keeps saying guns are not the problem, while pushing for more manufacturing and selling of the weapons. They falsely tell us an armed-to-the-teeth America is safer, stronger.
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The horrible mass shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida, is the last straw. The 2018 mid-term elections offer us an opportunity to do something to solve our gun violence problem. We cannot become a great nation unless we elect legislators who have the courage to buck the NRA by refusing to take their tainted campaign contributions.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
Wake up, oh sleeping nation. Our minds unable to grasp the horror of a child killing a child, we fall into a post-traumatic faint. We ask why. Weapons are killing our children and politics propels the debate. The real root cause of continued violence goes undiscussed and unchecked. Our tears dry, and we move on, afraid to really know.
I am daring to pull back a layer of our fears to ask. Why are our teenagers and young adults so troubled? Without searching to find the answers to truly deal with this bitter root, no symptomatic solution will deter future violence. It’s time for us to be brave, to truly talk with each other, our kids, mental health experts, and clergy. Have we taught our kids that we all face pain, given them the strategies to cope? Have we shown them they are more resilient than they know? Have we given them safe havens in our homes? Have we taught them the power of work and love? Do they believe there is a higher power? Over and over, we will feel gut-wrenching loss if we don’t ask and answer these questions. Yes, it will be difficult, but worth it in the end. Oh sleeping nation, will we arise from our slumber?
Don’t blame NRA
The National Rifle Association has over 5 million members, who are dedicated to the preservation of the second Amendment. They are well-trained in the safe handling of guns, many being sportsmen and hunters.
I am a life member and my guns have never shot up a public space or killed innocent people. I was taught right from wrong growing up. All of these shootings are a “people problem” not a “gun problem”. It takes hands to load and hold weapons and fingers to pull triggers.
Did not Nicholas Cruz see the signs, “weapons are illegal on school property” that day? Sure, but persons with criminal intent don’t obey laws.
So, leave the NRA out of the shootings. Our members are blameless in these matters. Instead, focus your wrath on the bumbling, fumbling, FBI and the cowardly armed deputies who waited so long to enter the school building.
Only women will lead
If we want to reduce the multiple victims of violence caused by guns by 75 percent, all we have to do is ban ownership of rapid-fire military-style weapons and require that everyone purchasing a gun have the same extreme vetting that President Donald Trump now requires for refugees who apply to enter our country.
However, women will have to lead this change. The men we have elected to our various legislatures are so intent on protecting their positions of power, prestige and wealth that they are gutless when it comes to offending the powerful NRA.
It will take strong women who are more concerned about the safety of their families than the safety of their pocketbooks to take this leadership role. This starts with voting in every election.
I have had a bumper sticker made up that says, “Walk Your Talk—VOTE.” I would be happy to send one to anyone who would like one. Email me at email@example.com. In addition, more women must run for office.
James C. Leadingham