Thoughts & Prayers are No Longer Enough

So Wednesday was hard. Not the Valentine’s part of it, but the national news part. I won’t mention it here because you already know what happened in Florida. How can you not?

The media (it really doesn’t matter which station or paper you’re familiar with) capitalizes on it, even perpetuates it with live coverage. The shooter then gets the “fame” and attention he is after. And what do we do?

We sit back and watch it happen. And we shake our heads and we pray. And we send empty condolences to people we don’t know and will never think about again.

Every. Time.

And nothing changes.

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Half of us (a very loose estimation) have been touting stronger gun control since Columbine High School in 1999. I was a senior in high school when it happened. The shock from that was felt all throughout the country. The other half (again, a very loose estimation) will argue that guns have been around ages longer than our shameful new “normal” and remind us that making things illegal does not make them go away. I fully admit that I used to be one who honestly believed that my part was fulfilled at thoughts & prayers. The big-wigs have the power to take care of the rest. They’ve got it from here. 

Except, they don’t have it. We’re still waiting for Policy & Change to make a difference.

I still can’t look at a trench coat the same way and it’s been almost 20 years. As we all know, it wasn’t the last. I’m not going to get into the exact numbers or statistics of school shootings here because that’s not my point.

I’m not a gun control activist. Neither am I a cheerleader for the NRA. And I’m certainly not saying to give up praying, or that thoughts and prayers don’t work.

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But I am a mother and I’m saying, “We can’t stop there.”

Obviously, our cyclical reactions to these recurring tragedies have so far led us nowhere – except to each other’s throats. I feel like we’ve been so caught up in whether our rights are being infringed upon or not that we are completely missing the point: we’ve got to put aside our differences and find a common ground. That’s the only way we’ll get through this.

I don’t like to fill my Facebook page with political posts, so I’ll invite any of my connections to come here to add their voice to the sounding board. If you’re reading this, that invitation extends to you, too.

There will be no hate, no name calling, no trolling tolerated in the comments. I only ask that we all be respectful and open-minded as we listen to what others have to say. Understand where each other is coming from. See more than one side.

The goal? Brainstorm together. Share experiences, knowledge, and ideas to break this cycle, and then flood our government leaders’ ears with it.

 

~ns

 

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts & Prayers are No Longer Enough

    1. I think “Thoughts and prayers are not helping” is a blanket statement that doesn’t quite take everything into account, which is what I was trying to say in the blog. When people make such statements, it’s alienating those who find hope in spiritual guidance. It also is quite condescending. Alienation and condescendence are not helping — hence the whole “Let’s put our differences aside and find a common ground.”

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  1. What if QUALIFIED teachers were allowed to carry firearms on campus? The process could be very strict because there doesn’t have to be many of them. Just a few unnamed and unknown individuals so that the school would have an immediate first line of defense?

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  2. My first reaction was “I don’t like guns. I think guns should be illegal, but it’s a losing battle so I accept that I live in a country where some loose canon can open fire on me at any moment.”
    The truth is, I don’t accept it. I also know that I can’t convince 50% of the population they are wrong. I mean if the overwhelming statistics showing that if you have a gun in your home, it will be 41% more likely to be used in a homicide, 244% more likely to be used in suicides and 22 times more likely to be used in a criminal assault than for self defense, doesn’t sway people’s opinions. Or that a bunch of innocent 5 year olds are murdered in cold blood and people still want their guns. There is nothing that will convince these people. My solution? Split the country.
    If it can be done peacefully, why not? I would gladly give up my American citizenship if I could live in a gun-free, education focused, open minded, taxing society. A society that actually works with the poor to break the cycle. A society where the people who choose to live there are by nature peaceful. I understand that this would leave us vulnerable to attack so military protection including border control and drones are a must. That’s where military spending would go. If the other country wants to have armed guards in their schools, by all means, raise property taxes and spend the money for that. In my country, our education money will be spent on the actual learning in the classroom. This argument is exhausting It is not a difference if opinion. It is one side that has overwhelming evidence, statistics and bodies to prove their point and the other side who just really likes guns. Let them live together and do their own thing. .

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    1. So no one in this split country idea is permitted to own a gun at all?

      There is a lot of misconception about what “stricter gun laws” look like. Some people immediately assume that it means no civilian American will be allowed to own a firearm at all. Others realize it would make obtaining firearms legally that much more difficult.

      That leaves to question: What happens when the ill-minded American with an illegally-obtained firearm decides to break into your lawfully-abiding home in this new split country? Who will come to your defense in the time it takes a bullet to leave the barrel of a gun aimed at you if you yourself are defenseless?

      I’m posting these questions to urge further thought on the subject – mostly because I don’t believe “dividing” the country will have the effect you are looking for.

      I would like to also bring into the discussion the following examples:

      Knife-wielding attackers kill 29, injure 130 at China train station —
      https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/01/world/asia/china-railway-attack/index.html

      China knife attack: 2 dead, 18 injured in stabbing spree — http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/29/china-knife-attack-2-dead-18-injured-in-stabbing-spree.html

      Beijing mall stabbing: Knife attack leaves 1 dead, 12 injured (Sunday, February 11, 2018) — https://www.cbsnews.com/news/beijing-xidan-mall-stabbing-knife-attack-leaves/

      Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: China https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/china.php

      One Killed in Knife Attack at Texas Home Church Service After Parishioner Attacks Pastor (United States) — http://people.com/crime/knife-attack-home-texas-church-one-killed/

      Pensioner injures three refugees in knife attack outside church (Germany) — https://www.thelocal.de/20180219/pensioner-injures-three-refugees-in-knife-attack-outside-church

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      1. No it’s certainly not a perfect idea, and I’d be naive to think it’d actually happen. But yes, I’d prefer a country where guns are illegal. Will there be violence still? Of course. Some people are just violent. Another reason guns should be illegal. Will these violent people find other ways to hurt people? Of course. But it’d be a lot harder for some disgruntled 19 year old to go into a school and murder 18 people with a knife. Will people get there hands on illegal guns? Probably. But guns are legal now and do absolutely nothing to defend people when some nut goes off the handle. They want to arm teachers? I can think of 5 reasons off the top of my head why that idea is insane, but I’ll speak the language that many pro-gun people listen to, money. Spending all our education money on guns? What happened to learning? I’d hate to see how dumb society would get when all that money is going to arming teachers and training them to shoot rather than teaching them to teach. The fact is, and stats support it, guns are more likely to be used in assaults, suicides and homocides than for protection. A locked unloaded gun is useless in a home invasion and a ready and loaded one will most likely become a toy for a child to murder their sibling. For every example of knife violence in other countries you found, how many examples of gun violence did you find in the states? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1?
        If I can’t convince gun enthusiasts to think like me, and I’m pretty sure I can’t, why is it so crazy that I’d prefer to live with the Americans who do think like me?

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  3. My husband reminded me of the incident in England – where police officers do not carry guns – in 2013 in which a veteran & police officer was beheaded in broad daylight.

    If someone has it in their mind they’re going to kill you, they’re going to kill you.

    So how do we stop a deranged lowlife from walking into a school full of innocent children and murder them all by other means in an America where guns are illegal?

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