Op-Ed

Why I could not vote for anyone

Santa Fe High School student Dakota Shrader is comforted by her mother, Susan Davidson, following a shooting at the school on Friday, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. Shrader said her friend was shot in the incident.
Santa Fe High School student Dakota Shrader is comforted by her mother, Susan Davidson, following a shooting at the school on Friday, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. Shrader said her friend was shot in the incident. The Galveston County Daily News via AP

Last Tuesday, after many weeks of research to find out how each candidate stood on support for the National Rifle Association and gun control reform, I decided to forgo my freedom’s right and not vote in the 2018 primary election.

I made my decision to not vote because all the candidates I was able to contact (federal, state and local) support the NRA and would not support any gun control reform. One local candidate would not commit in either direction.

I also received robo-calls requesting my vote with messages supporting the NRA and declaring they were pro life. I find this to be hypocritical: Invoking “pro life” while supporting the very weapons that are killing our children.

Our nation seems to be suffering an epidemic of school shootings, week after week, but our politicians at all levels don’t want to try to stop these tragic events.

Kentucky’s own, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, stuffed $9,900 from the NRA into his campaign coffers in the 2014 election cycle, while sending the Parkland, Fla. community the message, “I’m deeply saddened by the horrific violence in Florida. Praying for the victims, their families, and the Parkland community.” You have to wonder if he’s really sad because he didn’t get as much money from the NRA as Richard Burr, R-N.C., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., or Roy Blunt, R-Mo., just to mention a few.

The NRA owns a bit of stock in about all the nation’s politicians one way or another, and I will not be part of supporting the NRA nor its efforts to end what few gun controls we now have.

In early 2013 — just months after the Dec. 14, 2015 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — I accepted the fact that nothing would be done to stop the idiocy.

Indeed, the message was sent at that time; if you care nothing about the 20 six- and seven-year old babies being gunned down in their classrooms and do nothing about it, then you condone these killings. The epidemic continues and proves politicians and others just do not care.

Plain and simple, the NRA has poisoned our nation and the nation’s politicians with noxious blood money and it seems, sadly, there will be no end.

I have already been chastised by many for my thoughts when I expressed them on social media, and I’m sure it will get worse, but I have grandchildren and soon will have great-grandchildren in elementary schools. I care for all my family, so why would I vote for any politician who opposes gun control laws or supports the organization (NRA) that owns these people?

I would never do that.

Stanley Sturgill of Lynch is a retired underground coal miner and federal mine safety inspector.

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