Is It Soon Enough?

Virginia Tech University, Virgina: April 16, 2007 — 32 dead, 17 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Fort Hood, Texas: November 5, 2009 — 13 dead, 30 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut: December 14, 2012 — 26 dead, 2 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

San Bernardino, California: December 2, 2015 — 14 dead, 22 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Pulse Night Club, Orlando: June 12, 2016 — 49 dead, 58 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Las Vegas, Nevada: October 1, 2017 — 59 dead, 527 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Sutherland Springs, Texas: Nov. 5, 2017 – 26 dead, 20 wounded – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Parkland, Florida: February 14, 2018 — 17 dead, 19 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Santa Fe High School, Texas: May 18, 2018 – 10 dead, 10 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue, Pennsylvania: October 11, 2018 11 dead, 6 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Thousand Oaks, California: November 8, 2018: 13 dead, several injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Sebring Sun Trust Bank, Florida: January 23, 2019: 5 dead, several injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Aurora, Illinois: February 15, 2019: 6 dead, 6 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Virginia Beach, Virginia: May 31, 2019: 13 dead, 4 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Gilroy Garlic Festival, California: July 28, 2019: 4 dead, 12 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

El Paso, Texas: August 3, 2019: 22 dead, 24 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Dayton, Ohio: August 4, 2019: 10 dead, 27 injured – #GunReformNow we cried; Too soon they replied

“Too soon?” Too soon for whom exactly?

The tens of thousands of victims of gun violence who died waiting for the opportune time to speak? Cognitive dissonance aside, more like “too late.”

When exactly is the right time to have that conversation anyway? We’ve been waiting more than 10 years. Turns out there’s been a victim of gun violence each and every one of those days so apparently the time is never right. It’ll always be the opportunist liberals politicizing a situation.

Well let’s make this clear. This isn’t about politics. There are fanatics on all sides. No political party, religion, race or creed has a monopoly on crazy. What we must do is come together and devise common sense ways to keep instruments of terror out of the evil hands of domestic terrorists.

This is about common sense, free will, rationality, and basic human decency. There is never a need for a civilian to own an “assault” rifle. Never a point in legalizing the means to create fully automatic weapons of mass destruction. No justification for one individual to own dozens of firearms. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We owe it to each other to act #NeverAgain

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If this is pro-life…

Only in Trump’s America can you;

Favor the death penalty,

Oppose universal health care and a living wage,

Preach preemptive war,

Oppose sensible gun control,

Defend the rights of white supremacists,

Oppose those who fight systemic racism & promote social justice,

Yet still call yourself “pro-life” #HypocrisyAbound

This Is Us

We never learn, we been here before. Why are we always stuck and running from the bullets, the bullets? Just stop your crying it’s a sign of the times. We gotta get away from here. We gotta get away from here. Just stop your crying it’ll be alright.They told me that the end is near. We gotta get away from here” – Harry Styles

The man who my five year old daughter described as having “the most beautiful lips,” perfectly captures Trump’s America.

Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “shithole countries,” “animals,” “enemies,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow, to erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled as an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accept the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo. So long as we separate child from parent at our borders,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Monsanto and Boeing and not every Trayvon, Fatima, Ellen, Matthew, and Mohammed,

This is us.

So long as we rely on the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the ones that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. So long as we lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

The Sunken Place

I find myself once again plunged into the sunken place. The echo of the gunshots as they ring through the halls of our schools must mimic the sound of a spoon clinking gently against a delicate teacup. Transports my psyche to that powerless place from which we can observe, but not act.

By now I should know better than to fight it. To scream out the answers that will go unheard. That will be met with thoughts and prayers. To demand sensible gun control and comprehensive reform. To highlight the fallacy of the 2nd Amendment, the analogies to traffic laws, the hypocrisy of pro-lifers.

By now I should know to temper my expectations. Realize that it is naive to think the slaughter of our children will awaken our elected leaders from their slumber. Foolish to hope it will remind them that their responsibility is to serve and protect “we, the people,” not the monied interests of corporations and NRA lobbyists. Understand that it will always be “too soon.” That thoughts and prayers is all they will ever offer.

By now you’d think I’d have grow immune to the pain. Indifferent to the sorrow the friends and families of the victims must feel. Hardened to the feelings of empathy that awash me as parents reunite with their kids; devastated for the ones who never will.

By now you would think I’d cease correcting the reporters each time they referred to the disturbed gunman. Each report in which they refused to brand the latest act of domestic terrorism as such. Failed to identify the undeniable trend among the perpetrators. To ask the obvious, “where were they radicalized?”

Perhaps that’s the plan. To normalize these school shootings to such a degree that we accept them as inevitable. Abandon efforts at prevention in favor of those that mitigate damage instead. Redesign our schoolyards to more closely resemble a prison yard. Arm our teachers and security officers to better control threats. Relax our rights of privacy to allow for profiling and stop and frisk of suspicious groups. Enhance communications to allow for quicker response times.

Let me be clear. They may expect that but it will never happen. To settle for that is a disservice to our children and future generations. It is to spit on the graves of our founding fathers. To admit that fear trumps freedom.

Do not give into those impulses. This fight is too important. They may want you to perceive that this fight is in unwinnable, that it requires compromise, but reality tells us otherwise. We’ve seen what happened in Australia when they resolved to solve the core issue. We know the success Japan, Europe and most of the civilized world has had in implementing common sense reform.

The feeling of helplessness you may experience today is real, but so long as you continue to have breath there is hope. So long as you continue to observe, you have a voice. A way to “Get Out” of the sunken place. So long as a even a small part of you exists you have a choice.

Choose to keep reaching for those tissues.

Choose to keep screaming from the abyss and asking the relevant questions.

Choose to keep demanding action of our leaders and common sense gun control.

Choose to protect our future and to act a patriot.

Choose to #MarchForOurLives #SantaFeHighSchool