Tired of being tired, getting angry
I am so very tired of feeling my heart in my throat when I take my 14-year-old son to school in the morning. I am tired of searching for an exit at the movie theater, or fearing for my daughters, and son to attend movie premiers, or large celebratory gatherings.
Shooting after shooting, so many thoughts and prayers relayed, yet nothing happens. Not when elementary school babies are slaughtered in a place that they should be safe, not when families are gunned down in church, or while attending a music festival. Eighteen school shootings by the middle of February, and it's still not the right time to talk about it? When will it be the right time?
Our lawmakers, those entrusted with protecting us, are profiting from the murders of innocent people, receiving thousands of dollars in political donations. Majority leaders Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell can thank the NRA for generous donations of $49,650, and $26,300 respectively.
No wonder why it's never the right time, not even when their softball practice was turned into target practice.
In fact, the NRA donates generously to our representatives here in Colorado. Since 2006, Rep. Mike Coffman has received $34,700 from the NRA, both Rep. Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton have received $19,950, Rep. Ken Buck raked in $10,107. Rep. Cory Gardener has received $5,950 since 2010. The NRA owns our government, not the people, and it's time for us to reclaim it, one election at a time. I started by day by donating to the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, in honor of those innocent children, and those who died protecting them. I am tired of being tired. I am ready to be angry.
What we really need to control
I don't want to be so insensitive to say 'Ho hum-another school shooting, so what?' What I would like to do is to redirect your outrage to the killing every day of about 100 people, men women and children, in motor vehicle accidents, in this country since World War II.
If 100 people were killed in aircraft accidents or a train wreck every day, there would likely be such an outcry that the public would demand politicians do something about it. But a fatal car accident rarely makes a major news story unless it is a 50-car pileup.
There seems to be no effective enforcement of traffic laws. If you are driving at the speed limit whether on city streets or highways, you are often among the slowest drivers on the road. I have found that to be true in most of the country.
Often you can drive hundreds of miles and not see traffic enforcement. If you do see traffic enforcement, usually less than a mile later people act like they are in the Indy 500.
After a shooting makes a big news story, you almost immediately hear that we need more gun control. I think what we really need is more automobile control.
Something is very wrong
Another school shooting and more young lives extinguished. This is becoming a weekly event in America. I went to grade school and high school in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and mass shootings in schools were practically unheard of. I never heard of one in the area where I grew up and went to school. In the first 17 years of the 21st century there have already been as many, if not more, people killed in school shootings then there were in the entire 20th century.
Something is very wrong in our society. I'm sure there are many factors responsible, including mental illness, dysfunctional families, and the relatively easy access to semi-automatic firearms with large magazines. All these factors need to be addressed immediately and vigorously. Better control of access to firearms is an essential part of this process, but conservative politicians keep kicking that can down the road again and again, while more children and teachers die. We require testing and licensing if people want to drive a car, but don't require testing or licensing for people who want to own deadly weapons. A person should be allowed to purchase and own a firearm only after a thorough background check and completion of a firearms safety training course. All firearms should be registered, and owners should be held accountable for their safe storage and use. I am not an anti-gun fanatic.
I own firearms, grew up with them, and in my youth was a member of an NRA sponsored gun club. I have hunted, and I have carried firearms in the line of duty. I feel I have a responsibility as a gun owner, as should every gun owner.
Welcome and essential respite
It's got to be gratifying for a reporter to know when one of his articles gets cut out, framed and mounted in a conspicuous place where the subscriber can look at it every day thereafter. That's what I've done with Paul Klee's piece on TCA's Nathan Johns, the young wrestler whose sportsmanship and faith show the best among us.
Thanks for sharing this inspiration. While tragic news abounds, your work - and Johns' story- is a welcome and essential respite.
The promise of money for kids
Vickie Tonkins' guest column about legalizing marijuana should become required reading for all representatives of the people from every state in the union and in the U.S. Congress. When will we begin to realize that the promise of money for our kids will cost everyone so much more than we can imagine. Thank you, Ms. Tonkins.