Okay, this was going to be a post about beauty products. It just seemed wrong this week. I’m too sad. I cannot begin anything without addressing the Florida school shooting. I have shared my thoughts on gun violence before. As a Californian, I am pretty lucky we have some of the strictest laws in the country and people here generally are not gun toters. Still, I fall apart when these massacres happen. How sad is it that I have to speak of these in plural terms? Good grief, our country needs help and if we adults cannot have the guts to fight for change, then by God the children will, as those in Florida promised this week. They seem to be our only hope as we finally have people up-in-arms and screaming for change in a state with some of the loosest gun laws. I cannot believe about Florida and how it’s been held hostage by one woman and her NRA agenda.
Most importantly, do not buy into this argument that it is a mental health thing. This is gun issue. I care very much about kids and others who are distraught and need help. Yes, there are many with mental health issues, but those people also exist in Australia, Scotland, Canada, England, Japan and so many other countries with strong gun control and less guns. Those nations have zero school massacres. We don’t have more unstable people, but we have more guns and there is the problem.
Calling this a mental health issue is the number one tactic of the NRA, those in Congress who receive their funding, and our President; all using the same agenda to benefit gun manufacturers. It’s sickening. Yet the same Congress and the President revoked an Obama era law in February that made it harder for people with mental illness to get a gun. His new budget calls for funding for the mentally illness to be slashed and even money for school safety to be cut $25 million.
Some people say they will never give up their Second Amendment Rights and that they are not safe without a gun. That is faulty logic as those who own guns are more likely to die from their own gun in the home by accident or suicide than use it on an intruder. The facts are that the risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms.
To those who hold their guns so dear, I ask these questions… Can you give up your weapons for the safety of children? Can you give up your guns for the safety of your community? Can you give up your weapons for the good of the country and in the hope of creating a more safe nation and a less violent world? Would you give up your gun if it meant never to hear again of a school massacre? Can we agree to disagree about Second Amendment Rights? Can we agree to forgo some of our rights in return for the safety of our children? We have agreed as a country to do this already for safety from terrorism from abroad.
If we can frame the message in these terms I believe in the good of the people in this country and the hope that they can see the insanity of the gun proliferation we live with here. In the U.S. there are 88 guns for every 100 persons. That has turned us slowly into a country that abides vigilante justice and glamorizes weapons of war.
These are the things this week that got me choked up and unable to think straight today and every day since this shooting.
- Someone’s quote that ‘Children must die so guns can live, ‘ from a reader in the NY Times.
- From a Washington Post article comments section, what people are actually thinking
- Parents of one little girl put a door stop in her backpack with instructions to put it on her classroom door if she hears shots – she’s six years old.
- One little kid told reporters that he would rather die protecting his classmates because he wouldn’t want to be the only one left alive if they’re all dead – he’s 10 years old.
- Another little girl told her mom that she couldn’t wear her blinky shoes to school any more because the shooter could track her in the dark. She’s 8 years old.
What We Can Do
We need to get gun owners to see the change they could make by changing their minds. We need to get very single human who is eligible to vote on the next election to vote those beholden to the NRA out and those for sensible gun laws in. We need to keep up the dialogue, let our voices be heard and share the facts about scourge of guns in our country. We not let the mental health excuse cloud our ability to see that the guns are the problem. We need to spend billions not on a wall, but on fixing our gun problem and protecting us from our own American grown gun toting terrorists.
I feel powerless, but one thing I was able to do was start a fundraiser on my personal Facebook Page. I did it for Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the best anti-gun groups. I was shocked friends donated almost $700 in 24 hours. People want to make a difference and this was a way and their Facebook page makes it easy and people can use Paypal. I highly recommend that if you have friends and family who feel the same about this. Here in California where we already have strict gun laws, we can help by donating to a national organization can help change the laws in all our states, which is what we need.
Let’s hope we get a huge groundswell on March 24 when the March for Our Lives will take place in Washington D.C. and across the nation, not unlike the women’s march. This was begun by students and we must join them in our towns and cities to let the world know we are better than this. This is not the nation I love. I refuse to put guns above the lives of children. Let’s be the change and get off our butts and do something. Our kids deserve to not live in fear and go to school in happiness without dodging bullets and cowering in classrooms sending their last goodbyes to loved ones on their phones.
Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear your suggestions on how we can stop the madness in America.
More organizations helping to bring about change to follow or donate to:
- The Brady Campaign
- Mothers Demand Action
- Everytown for Gun Safety
- Coalition for to Stop Gun Violence
Hi Kim. Great post! I am beyond sad at what happened in Florida. My son is in 10th grade and goes to a NYC school with metal detectors and I am so glad! I don’t think anybody should own a gun, at all, and I think those AR-15s and their ilk should be outlawed. No private citizen should own one. However, I sadly feel that nothing will change in this country, not one thing! If they wouldn’t change the laws after those beautiful children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, they never will. I would love to see it happen, I will vote to make it happen if I can, but I feel it never will. It is very very depressing.
I hope all is well with you. Hug your kids! xx
Hi Jill! Wow metal detectors. I guess that is coming next and may be needed sadly. I agree weapons made for war have no place in civilian hands. I am hoping that things will change as the next generation gets involved and votes. One thing this is good for is getting young people out to vote and we need them to help get these creeps who are taking the NRA money and think they are untouchable out. I have to have hope or I couldn’t go on if I thought the country was going to keep going this way. People are getting fake news and we need to combat that with the facts!! Thank you so much Jill. xo
Jill, One other thing, my son goes to a high school where they have an open campus. I would hate to see them live on lock-down because of fear all the time. That is why we cannot accept this. We alone have created this mess by allowing lobbyists to make our rules and let them use our congress as their puppets. We have to take our country back and get these people propped up by the gun lobby OUT. That is all they care about is getting re-elected. At one time congress people cared about making a better country. Our president leads the way on the only caring about himself. xx
Kim this is an excellent post. I’m so scared and upset by all of this. I love America and I can’t believe that this is where the American Dream of freedom and independence has gone. Things MUST change. First of all you’re right, the gun lobby has to go. They are in control. And American needs leaders, Leaders who lead by LEADING not following. Where are these leaders? America has such strong spirit I know they’re out there.
The whole mental health argument is ridiculous. Of course there are mentally ill people, they have always existed in our midst and they do need help but mental illness is not the cause of gun violence, guns are the cause. Here in Canada anyone with a history of mental illness in the slightest will not get a license to own a firearm. We also have a tip line to the RCMP to report someone displaying mental illness who might already be a gun owner. These tips are taken seriously and investigated.
I’m so excited about the march and I hope the momentum on this issue builds and builds, as American citizens you have every right to demand a safe country for your children. American should not be the most dangerous nation among its peers to raise a child.
Nothing is more important that the lives of our kids. I’m thinking of you and I’m with you. I’m not on Facebook but I’m going to try to donate to your fundraiser on your page.
Love to you Kim xxxDani
Dani that is the big question- where are the leaders in this tragedy? Our president is tweeting about himself and those in charge are happy to do as told by the NRA. A few brave Democrats are the main voices in this disaster. I ask you why is there not a total outcry by the government and all adults? We can do better and must!! Canada’s tip
line seems like a smart idea. Clearly we dropped the ball somewhere though this man had his mental problems noted by many over the years. It’s sad, but most of all we failed him by making weapons available to him. I cannot believe we are going to become the most dangerous country to raise a child. 🙁 Thank you Dani for your voice here!! ❤️
You are so brave to put this out here on your blog. I heaitate to write anything from my vantage point above the 49th parallel, but I have family scattered all over the US and have always loved your country. The issue of gun control and the reluctance to implement it is baffling. I really think that change will only come when more people like you speak up, but I understand the fear.
Dear Pondside, I am so impressed with how much Canada has done right. They should be a continual source of inspiration for our country in so many ways, yet that is not the case. The U.S. has to look outside itself for solutions and how your country and others have dealt with guns seems to work and have the support of citizens too. I hope soon these NRA funded creeps will be voted out and we can get down to the truth about guns and enact change! I know people don’t always like politics on blogs, but I feel like this is so scary I cannot be silent! Thank you so much for being here. Kim
Kim, I am so glad that you continue to write about these issues with such heart and fire – but, of course, we all wish you didn’t have to. I feel so proud of those Florida students who are speaking out – I sincerely hope that they will make a difference. I do feel that they will. Certainly, it seems like most of the adults around them have failed. The NY Times article you linked to makes depressing reading. “We’re pretty comfortable that freedom works.” Really??!!
Patricia, Could you even believe that comment? Ugh so maddening. It’s easy to believe things are not going to change, but like you said the kids are my hope and the common sense of the good people of this nation. God we cannot give up. Thank you for putting up with my rants and being part of the conversation! ❤️ Kim
Ms. Mary says
Kim- I applaud your post and hope that people will take your words to heart. We can turn the sadness to action.
I have never commented before, but have enjoyed your blog.
-Mary (mother to jill, friend of Elizabeth)
Mary thank you so much for your note. I agree that we need to turn the sadness to action! I miss Jill..You raised a great woman. Such a caring person. Elizabeth is another. You all are a great group of ladies! ❤️
Kim, You have written another thoughtful, well-researched piece…I applaud your courage in speaking out…THX for the name of the group to support anti-gun laws……We absolutely cannot give up and give in to the NRA and its minions…..
I thought when 20 precious first graders and 6 teachers were mowed down at Sandy Hook and NOTHING was done that living in the gun culture was going to be a way of life for Americans….
But…listen, I feel HOPE when after Parkland, the kid are speaking up and speaking out…STOP this thoughts and prayers which is empty rethoric and DO SOMETHING…These brave kids are not sitting by but rather speaking up and marching…BLESS THEM….they gave my heart just a smidge of light and hope…..There is a better way and there are thoughtful, caring Americans…
who must get out and vote in November to get rid of this mentality that supports guns…and continues to take down our America…
THX for letting me rant…
THX for letting me rant…
Don’t know how to get off the two THX…Sorry..DEEDE
Deede, I feel hope more than I ever have with these kids from Parkland and the marches that are planned!! Thank you for being part of this chat! We need the hope here and the will of us all to believe we can change! You are awesome. xo
Becky Jones says
Kim, this was so well written. I have been a mess since last Weds. but, I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the stand and fight these young people (students that have seen and experience a living hellish nightmare) have shown us. It finally hit me that the very worst example I could be to Grey (although we have tried to shield him from television reports and ongoing videos) is if I do nothing. For him to see me say “the NRA is too powerful” or we can never stop the conservatives who have the NRA support…well, that would be the worst life lesson ever. So I will fight and I will register vioters, I will call and do my best to inform people. I will bug the shit out of Congress people with my calls and letters. I will attend local meeting of @momsdemand . I will be an example of a Nan that says ENOUGH . YOU WILL NOT TAKE ANOTHER CHILD!
Thanks again, Becky
PS—-you and I are totally on the same page on the genius “mental health excuse” that the NRA is pushing.
Becky, I know with a young one in school it is beyond frightening. You are the best nan and Grey is so lucky. What a terrific example you are to him! I agree I am doing the same with my boys, even thought I get the occasional eye roll, they now come and tell me about people’s stupid reasons for wanting guns and other things so I think I am rubbing off on them. Yes that mental health excuse is the number one thing that is holding us back from making change here. When we convince the rest of the country that the problem is the guns plain and simple, we will get progress. Hugs to you. xo Kim
LA CONTESSA says
I have NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY A PERSON needs to OWN A GUN!!!!!!!!!
Met a woman from TEXAS Once she NEEDED GUNS !WHY I ASKED to protect herself from the bad people and the POLICE!!!!!!That was her answer!!!!!
Cigarettes are BAD for YOUR HEALTH………….
GUNS are BAD for YOUR LIFE!
Everyone wants PEACE…………….so what is the PROBLEM!Get those women out there with KIDS. LETS MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!
SINCE, the SCUM BAG in the White House who lost his hair boarding his plane cannot get enough PUSSY from his WIVES and has to watch Fox News BEFORE coming down at 11 am to START HIS DAY AS OUR PRESIDENT has other things to worry about than I think it is HIGH TIME HE LEAVES!
GREAT ARTICLE in the NY TIMES TODAY about what he isNOT DOING.( seems there may be a video of him having SEX with a MISS UNIVERSE CONTESTANT over yonder in RUSSIA!!!!!OR RUSSIA OWNS HIM!!!!!!!
This all makes me SICK!!!!!!!!!
THE MAN CANNOT EVEN SPEAK!
NO GUNS IN AMERICA and DEFIANTLY NO GUNS SOLD TO A TEENAGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
H E L L O??????
What ever happened to COMMON SENSE????????????/
Elizabeth, I am right there with you on all these points. I am hoping he is out of office soon as he can’t even see fit to address ideas for solving the gun crisis this weekend, but only Tweeted about himself. Be a leader for Godsakes. At least Obama visited every family and survivors during these horrible incidents. Our president has gone to see 2 victims in the hospital, and gave a thumbs up photo. WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHERS??? Seventeen kids were gunned down and more hurt. Where was the compassion for the families? The truth of the matter is he cannot face the music. He cannot answer to them as he cares not at all to do anything about this. What a pathetic excuse of a man.
Personally, I have the hope that one day guns will go the way of cigarettes. Everyone used to smoke and ignored all the dangers, because they didn’t want to change. When it became common knowledge for anyone with half a brain that smoking kills (besides what the tobacco lobby said and still says), and hurts children and others, people got smart and smoking became distasteful and something only the really clueless were doing. This will happen and is going to happen with guns as we look outside our own country for answers. Other countries don’t live like this and we don’t need to either. Others who have had tons of guns – Australia for one, did make a change so it can be done. We just have to get the message out there -louder and over and over again over the NRA. We will do it!!
God why can a teenager buy a gun????
Love you! xoxo
LA CONTESSA says
YES!YOU said what I was THINKING the bit about CIGARETTES!!!
I had just finished reading the WASHINGTON POST NEWS when I wrote this and I WAS MAD!!!!!!!
Hard for me to even OPEN up THOSE EMAILS!!!!!!
OF COURSE OBAMA went to visit those families………He is a WONDERFUL MAN.BIG HEART,EDUCATED……..can SPEAK without using CARDS!!!
Right? I haven’t seen the president go to the families as Obama always did. So much caring came from him. Something about Trump is missing- a heart perhaps? Yes the cards thing- He needed to be reminded to say ‘I hear you.’ SAD!!
Dale Janée (@Savvy_Spice) says
I am so happy you wrote this and it’s been so strange living in both CA and now TX to see the differences and how people feel in different ways. It was so horrible watching the news last Wed. and I am so proud the students from Parkland are fighting and just hope something can finally be done. It is so upsetting the NRA is so powerful and they are having their annual convention this Spring in Dallas just down the street from my house and this city official is trying to stop it – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/02/20/the-nra-convention-is-coming-to-dallas-this-city-official-wants-to-keep-it-away/?utm_term=.4716c3e07d07
Maybe if cities and people also started boycotting any business or venue that hosted their events/conventions it could have a big impact too? There is so much that needs to happen to stop future massacres and it seems Congress is so controlled by them. 🙁 Thank you for writing such a thoughtful piece on this.
Dale, Thanks so much. I was very excited that Dallas was taking a stand against this!! Go Dallas. The more things happen like this we can see the mindset changing in this country. I do believe as a country will make our own changes, even if Congress won’t. They will be gone.Look at what has happened just this week with the boycotts and two big gun sellers made changes. Change is happening. These kids will lead the way too. Thanks Dale for your kind note! xo
Susan Yarnall says
Thanks for writing such a great piece for your blog. I am so sick about the propaganda that is being spread by the NRA, and of course, the lack of any real action by elected officials. Like you, I live in California and didn’t think that there was as much of a gun culture as in other states, but just recently saw a billboard for a gun shop and then an ad for a gun show, so we can’t be complacent in our blue state.
I also thought this article from Bloomberg about how to go after the gun companies was very eye opening – as I contacted Amazon about the NRA channel and heard that they (Jeff Bezos) will not be removing it from their apps. Thanks again – see you at the March for Lives in San Jose.