My journey starts with a single step towards healing from the experiences I have had in my life. It isn't always pretty, but it is honest, candid, and cathartic. By telling my story, I am breaking 10 years of silence. Each step is a step towards exorcising the demons of my past, discussing the present state of things and moving forward to a hope filled future.
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Reflections on a Violent Day
I had originally intended to post something different tonight, but as some of you may have heard there has been yet another mass shooting, to be more specific another mass shooting in a school, in my country today and I can't remain silent.
The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution states that, "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." This amendment was necessary at the time in which it was written. It was written at a time when the Revolutionary War was ongoing. This amendment gave citizens the right to bear arms in defense of their families in the face of enemy soldiers. I highly doubt the Founding Fathers thought that 200+ years later the number of guns in the United States would be roughly equal to the total of every man, woman and child within her borders.
The first school shooting that I remember vividly was at Columbine High School. I was in my college dorm room sitting around the TV with my roommate and friends. We watched in horror as a badly injured student was pulled from a window to safety by police and as students ran for their lives. We prayed that it was something that we would never see again in our lifetimes. We were wrong. Since then we have seen mass shootings at shopping malls, offices complexes, churches and schools. We have seen the Virginia Tech massacre and the Sandy Hook massacre in which 20 little children were killed, yet nothing has been done. Why? Because the National Rifle Association (NRA) has deep pockets and they use it to buy whatever legislation they desire. Our Congress voted against a gun control bill that 90% of the country was in favor of. How is that serving their constituents?
As President Obama said, in the coming days we will learn about the lives that were taken far too soon. These are people who were just going about their day, going to their classes. They were innocent people who did not deserve this. So I ask, what will it take for there to be a change? How much innocent blood must be spilled before it is in the NRA's best interests to work with the Congressmen/Congresswomen who live in their back pocket? How many more of these mass shootings have to take place before our government says enough is enough? How many more people have to die before sensible gun control legislation will be passed? Tell us! Let us know how many more we have to witness before it is cost effective for you!
Please take the 12 minutes and 42 seconds to watch President Obama's remarks. It is worth it. In the meantime, my thoughts, prayers, and love go out to all of the victims of this horrible shooting at Umpqua Community College. UPDATE - October 2, 2015
The names of the victims have been released. Please join me in sending prayers, love and good thoughts to the families of those who have died: Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, Lucero Alcaraz, Jason Johnson, Quinn Glen Cooper, Lucas Eibel, Lawrence Levine, Sarena Dawn Moore, Treven Taylor Anspach, Rebecka Ann Carnes.
There is also a man, Chris Mintz, who acted heroically and defended his fellow students even while being shot 7 times. He is in the hospital with a very long road ahead of him. His cousin set up a GoFundMe page for him to raise money for his care. If you are interested in making a donation, here is the link. https://www.gofundme.com/s75ge9y4