Creating more gun free zones is not the answer…

I write this as I am listening to part of the listening session with President Trump and the students from Florida who survived the school shooting. I feel for the families. I feel for the parents. I feel for the teachers and other staff  who lived through that school shooting.  I cannot imagine their pain and sadness.

I am not a parent, but I am a Case Manager in Austin, TX who visits schools in Austin regularly. The security at these schools varies and is even inconsistent from visit to visit. Some schools buzz you in after asking the reason for your visit via intercom, others leave the main door open and you sign in at a desk if someone if sitting at the desk.  In the past two years, I have visited 15 different schools, Middle Schools and High Schools, in the greater Austin area and none of them have metal detectors. Some of the schools  have school district police officers on campus full-time,  but  the campuses are large and have several buildings, which might be hard for one or two officers to monitor or intervene in a crisis.

I am fully aware of the number of school shootings that have happened in the U.S. in the past 20 years. The best assessment of what would begin to fix the problems of youth, school violence, and society at large was written by a teacher. If you have not seen this posting, I would encourage you to read it. I would 100% agree with this teacher. Many active shooter situations happen in gun-free zones, obviously restricting guns doesn’t help or keep people safe. Look at the restrictive gun laws that Chicago has had for years, and continues to have, even after the city and the state of Illinois’ restrictive hand gun/concealed carry laws were deemed unconstitutional and were forcibly updated. BAD PEOPLE WILL DO BAD THINGS!!!

If we look at the violent means by which people are murdered throughout the world and in the U.S., should we ban box trucks? Because terrorists killed people with box trucks.  Should we ban knives? Because knives are used to massacre people in places where guns are banned. Should we ban cars because people kill other people by driving recklessly or while intoxicated? YOU CAN”T BAN EVIL. I understand that we all get desperate when something awful beyond all comprehension happens, but somethings are beyond our control. They are beyond law enforcement’s control. They are beyond politicians control.

I pray for the healing of those families in Florida, and I pray that rash decisions are not made by politicians or by President Trump to further restrict the rights and freedoms of good, decent, law abiding people because of sick and evil people who will do harm by any means they can find.

Image courtesy of pexels.com / gratisography
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Boyfriend and I will spend Thanksgiving with our cat in our new home. It will be just the three of us and we will eat Salmon rather than turkey.  I am looking forward to a few days of relaxation, hopefully to blog a little as well, as Boyfriend and I have continued to settle in.

For the most part, Thanksgiving will be like many other weekend days, but it also gets me thinking. Times are changing, along with society, its view, and the way of life in America. I am thankful to be an American and thankful that I  live in this country, while I know people who no longer share these feelings. I am thankful that I still have freedom of speech, at least for now, and that I can browse the internet for REAL information. I am thankful that we can express our feelings, and our disagreements, even the opinions with which I disagree.gold-happy-thanksgiving-typography-variation-2

On a personal level, I am thankful for our new home. I am thankful for the wonderful partnership Boyfriend and I have, and I am thankful for our sweet cat. I hope that Thanksgiving can come and go without fanfare, violence, or  other types of chaos. I hope that Americans will think about what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about, and that they will appreciate the freedoms we have.

Divide…

In response to the Daily Prompt, “Divide“:

There are divides everywhere, from the boundaries of your home or apartment, to the lines dividing the roads, the oceans, rivers, and streams that divide land and continents, to the languages, cultures, religions, and other ideaologies that divide people in their minds and hearts. In the U.S., many say that we are a nation divided.

courtesy of clipart/finao123
courtesy of clipart/finao123

Families can be divided, by divorce, opinions, age, and location. My family is divided in many ways, which is why I can relate. I am divided from my family by opinions and knowledge. They don’t agree with me at all politically or in regard to other topics, and even my parents and brother differ. As I have written, I am aware of some of the truths behind what is really going on in the world, which has changed my view on things. I like to learn and know the truth, I like to read and research and, while I once cringed and shied away from my newfound knowledge, it has become a hobby and a passion despite the difficulty that comes with it. It is hard to digest the truth behind history and current events and to realize that the powers that be don’t have our best interests at heart, and my family would rather not know, or think my ideas are crazy. My mother listens and sometimes enjoys a polite exchange of ideas, but often has trouble wrapping her mind around somethings. It sometimes feels like I am being humored. The funny thing is that my parents are very divided as well, and I have to stay out of their arguments/conversations so I don’t add to or become involved in their divide, even after over forty years of marriage.

This causes a divide because my family and I avoid certain topics, and I am reluctant to share things that I have learned that I find interesting. I also feel the divide with many people I encounter, whether at work or in casual settings, because you are on a side and they are on a side… there is no consideration for the other person making sense and providing you an opportunity to grow, even if you don’t agree with them. Boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised recently when we were eating at one of our frequent breakfast spots and we struck up a conversation with another customer at the breakfast bar. It was wonderful to meet someone who could share his ideas and teach us something while relating to our thoughts and ideas.

Courtesy of clipart/GDJ
Courtesy of clipart/GDJ

There is a constant divide due to the idea that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” even if someone has feelings about laws that are not being enforced or they have an opinion based on a religious belief. The person who is deemed wrong is just not entitled to their opinion. Laws, local, statewide, nationally and those in the U.S. Constitution  exist for a reason – to provide order to society. Every society has laws. Ultimately, though I am not in favor of overregulation, micromanaging, censorship, and constant punitive action.

I believe that freedom, acknowledgement of natural rights, and a policy of live and let live allows for less of a divide. We are members of the human race, with thoughts, feelings, needs and wants. I am a member of my family, whom I love as much as a disagree with them, and we are all members of a larger family. We need to stop being so offended and starting listening to each other.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

 

Justice Scalia…

I join the many participating in conversation about Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s death, and I am one of the liberty-loving Americans that is greatly concerned about the direction the United States will take without Scalia protecting the U.S. Constitution.  Whether you agreed with his opinions or not, Justice Scalia has been an important part of our government’s checks and balances. May he rest in peace.

Courtesy of clipart/laobc

We can only hope that the Supreme Court is graced with someone just as fair and conscious of the U.S.  Constitution, and what it means for the freedom, justice and liberty of all Americans, not just the Americans who agree with the U. S. Constitution.  Freedom-Graffiti-Writing-2014110421

This means having a choice, whether you support  free speech or wish to ban it, whether you wish to express your feelings or not, whether you believe in the right to bear arms or not. When we lose freedom, we lose the choice and the ability to express it.

*Images courtesy of openclipart.org

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Embrace, Not Ban… Knowledge is Power

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “No, Thank You.” If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

This prompt really strikes a cord with me, which you would guess if you have read any of my past postings. I am a pro-liberty, pro-free speech kind of person who would never support banning a word.

clker.com
clker.com

Once the powers that be start banning words, controlling speech and ideas, re-writing history, and limiting individual freedoms, society has started to give away their ability to think, express, and interact with others the way they see fit, whether they offend someone or not. Wait a minute, I think I’m too late because this has already started happening!

books.simonandschuster.com
books.simonandschuster.com

Likely my opinion offends someone, just as someone else’s opinion likely offends me, but that’s fine. I can learn from someone with whom I disagree, and may learn more from that person than from someone with whom I agree, because I will have to consider a difference experience, knowledge base, lifestyle or culture, even if I still decide to keep my original opinion. I can try my best to see life from someone else’s point of view but I can never be that person – I am not in his/her skin, wearing his/her clothes, walking in his/her shoes, anymore than someone can be me but we can connect on a human level and attempt to meet each other where we are.

I am not for erasing the past because each of us has one, but I am for the truth of what really happened, sharing the truth, and learning from it so I can teach someone else a truth that may prevent future mistakes, whether mine or someone else’s. Part of the problem is that the truth often gets distorted, especially on the grand scale of life and society. Looking up the history of something can be tough because everyone who has written an article or a book has an agenda, just like the politicians that pull form history to perpetuate their policies and the news outlets that create a buzz worthy story so that we flip to their channel.

Banning a word will never fix any problem and will, in fact create more problems. Banning items and pieces of history doesn’t take back what has happened, and it creates disrespect when it was mean to solve a problem of disrespect. We need more expression not less. We need real people to think for themselves and share their ideas with others, rather than looking to people who are trying to tear us apart when we should be banding together against the injustices they are pushing upon us.  Americans should be coming together to fight back against government policies that are hurting all of us rather fighting each other. We should be protecting our rights, instead of give our rights away.

moviepostershop.com
moviepostershop.com

If you haven’t read George Orwell’s book “1984“, I highly recommend it. I read it a few years ago and I was amazed to notice some of the trends in both the book and current society. This book talks about BIg Brother, cameras watching you everywhere you go, “Thought Police’, people being disappeared, government propaganda… it might shock you when you realize what is going on in our world today. Another book I would suggest is “Fahrenheit 451” By Ray Bradbury. It hurt me very much as a lifelong reader and lover of books, and it scares me to think that many important books could be altered, erased, and /or eliminated because they provide knowledge that is inconvenient for us to know because knowledge is power, as the saying goes.

Don’t ban books, words, thoughts, art, history, statues, flags, etc. Embrace the freedom to share with and learn from others before we no longer can.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell