It’s been a little over a month since the Feb 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Fourteen students and three teachers were killed making it one of the world’s deadliest school shootings. Nikolas Jacob Cruz (19 years old) was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
I don’t want to report more than that because, admittedly, I don’t know much more. I’ve been completely and totally underwater since the end of October. We opened a new business, a family business, and I have found it’s a lot like having a new baby—and if you’re starting a new business while gutting and renovating the space, well, that’s like having a new baby and moving all at once!
And that’s just crazy.
But that’s what we did. So, I’m a little behind on pretty much everything and everyone. And when it comes to the shooting in Parkland, Florida, I admit I don’t know everything, but I know enough.
The shooter was a depressed 19-year-old kid. He suffered the loss of both of his parents, he had been bullied, he was mentally unstable.
We get the WHY. His background is sad and horrible. All those things that happened to him, the things he had to go through? Horrible. But that is a separate discussion.
School is a place where kids and faculty are supposed to feel safe and secure, not where they go to die.
The gun Nikolas Cruz used to hunt kids in his own school was an AR-15 semi-automatic style weapon. This is not the first time a deadly military-inspired rifle has been the weapon of choice for a school shooting. In fact, that was the same type of gun was one of the three used in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
How did it become more important to protect the Second Amendment than our own kids? Innocent people are losing their lives, families are broken, everyone is scared, and for what?
The Second Amendment doesn’t define WHAT KIND OF ARMS people have the right to have. It simply states: “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.”
Well, WTF is that???
That’s not relevant to the times we live in NOW. I have to believe if our founding fathers knew what was happening in our schools and malls and theaters, they’d re-think the wording on that one.
Is “Self Defense” your defense? You’re telling me you need a military-inspired gun for self defense? I think NOT. You have to have a HELLUVA LOT of enemies who all want to kill you AT THE SAME TIME for you need to need an automatic assault weapon like that to defend yourself.
You also don’t need an assault weapon to go hunting, and if you do you’re literally the worst hunter of all time.
I understand the gun-running business is lucrative. (I am the biggest Miami Vice fan and have seen EVERY episode from the first 3 seasons, so I know.) And I know that the legislators are intimidated (and possibly bought off….?) by the NRA, but how many more times are we going to go through the same cycle? How many deaths does it take?
Whose kid does it have to be to matter??
There have been some changes though:
Some of corporate America has been bad-ass about ending special discounts for NRA members. Others have voluntarily announced they’re raising the age for certain guns, and some have even resolved to stop selling assault-style weapons all together!
Students all over are becoming more vocal about protesting gun violence in the US and the #NeverAgain movement is all over reforming background checks and bans on assault weapons. Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter, Jamie, in the Parkland, FL shooting has devoted himself to “breaking the gun lobby.” He knows a full-on ban on assault weapons is probably unrealistic, so his priorities are to raise the age to buy guns, add a waiting period before gun sales, and ensure a legit background check for gun sales without all the bullsh*t loopholes.
Still, there’s a large amount of national politicians who won’t stand up, and there are many gun manufacturers and companies that won’t either.
So, we need to. We need to make some noise. Because even though these assault weapon tragedies haven’t affected us directly, that doesn’t mean they can’t. Or won’t.
This is me making noise.
And if this little post from this little blog inspires one sharp 20SUM-thing with ambition, or one retired person looking to still be productive and relevant, or one mom who knows it could happen anytime at her own kid’s school…WHOEVER it might be, to do something—something to keep the conversation going—well, that means I did something too.
#DoSumThing #DimSumAndDoughnuts #NeverForget #NeverAgain
Thank you for being a part of this. We appreciate it so much.
PS. Totally off topic, but still important:
Happy “Gotcha Day” to our Daughter
(The Asian Persuasion Chinese Princess we adopted 10 years ago today in 2008)
Hazel M Wheeler says
I agree with everything you’ve said here, Robyn. Let’s add another measure some responsible gun owners would like to see: how about gun education and licensing? We ask our citizens to take drivers ed or at least show knowledge and proficiency of the laws of operating a vehicle and the ability to do just that. Prospective gun owners should be required, like the Boy Scouts, to work with trained instructors until a certain level of ability has been displayed. Rangemasters could potentially be one more safeguard in assessing who should be allowed a license and who is not yet prepared to operate a weapon safely. We need more safety measures intrinsic to the process.
The NRA has a concerning amount of influence, to be sure. My husband is training to be a Rangemaster for the Boy Scouts. The NRA training for this offers prospective trainees the option of paying for a membership and thus, being able to ‘skip’ the next year’s certification training. To me, this is absurd. We would be furious if a teacher could just pay a fee to skip their continuing education requirement–isn’t that the exact same thing, but worse? My husband is working to find another agency to conduct the Rangemaster training for our local scouts groups here, and if unsuccessful, will go to the annual trainings required. We own guns, but he refuses to join the NRA. We want to know how they came up with the idea that paying for a membership somehow exempts you from the same training any other person would be expected to complete. To me, this shows that the NRA is careless and being reckless in promotion of their own brand.
We keep our kids safe in the good, common sense ways as we can (responsible gun owners will lock their weapons, keep them locked away, render them inaccessible to children) and hope that the legislature in Washington DC will see that the time is now. Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts– so many of us share them– that we’ve become ridiculous in our defense of weapons which are only used to kill people. Our children are crying out for the adults in charge to come to their senses…. we, their parents, should take up that cause in their honor. Before another child dies needlessly, before another teacher has to wrestle with the horror and regret of not being able to do enough in a hopeless situation… before we have to see this same rerun of senseless violence on the TV news, again.
Hazel!!! I have missed you!!! I didn’t even know this comment was here until just now! Everyone usually leaves comments on the facebook page! I am so thrilled to see this from you–and, as usual, it’s brilliant.
This part… ” that we’ve become ridiculous in our defense of weapons which are only used to kill people…”
I think you’re right about kids looking to us to come to our “senses” and make change. How embarrassing that we can’t make this better for them and for the teachers who are already doing what they can to help us raise happy and prepared kids.
It’s all so scary and so sad. There is going to be a day when my kids read this and say “I can’t believe people were ALLOWED to have semi automatic weapons and rifles in our country! How messed up is that??”
Because it truly is pretty freakin’ messed up.
So happy to see you here. You don’t even know!!!!!