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And the children will lead the way …

Prepare to either love me … or hate me. What else is new?

These past several days following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, have been heart wrenching to say the least. The coverage has left me sick to my stomach and dazed and confused as to how these massacres keep happening. The pain, the outrage, the disbelief; it all echoes like a bad dream. I’m no cry baby, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at me.

It might surprise you to know that I am a gun toting second amendment proponent. I believe in our right to bear arms and trust our forefather’s intentions when they carefully drafted our Constitution. However, (and this is a BIG however), nowhere has it ever been stated that semi-automatic weapons were included in the privilege.

In whose mind does it make sense to allow these killing machines to be available to the general public? Insanity has come to reside in our great United States of America, backed and supported by the NRA, and I think it’s high time we did something about it.

I’ve heard the blame game get bounced around by our media talking heads. God knows, there’s plenty of it to go around: gun control (or lack of it), inadequate mental health safety nets, a culture that promotes violence and a media that glorifies it. I’d like to add one to that list: the village that it takes to raise a child.

It is painfully clear that our great nation needs to do a lot better job at addressing the way we identify, treat and manage those individuals who are diagnosed with mental illness. At the end of the day, mental illness is everyone’s problem. If you doubt it, you haven’t been paying attention.

Yes, our culture does promote violence; you have just to look at the most popular video games out there. You might be surprised (and sickened) at what you find. Freedom of speech has its cost. Though interestingly enough, Japan has a much higher rate of violent video promotion and their death by gun wounds is extremely lower than that of the U.S.

Lastly, I don’t think it takes a brain surgeon to recognize that by placing a killer’s face on the cover of a national magazine or blaring it across television screens around the world it only encourages an already crazed mentality in search of celebrity and fame.

And as far as that village I mentioned; as members of the human race and guardians of our children, we need to take notice of atypical, hostile or potentially dangerous behavior. Lives have been saved when a Facebook rant was reported or a worker was overheard threatening fellow co-workers. How many times have we heard that people were afraid of the perpetrators, or that the person responsible for a massacre was hostile or distinguishably off point? How many times has a neighbor known of an animal abuser (a proven pre-cursor to violence against humanity) but failed to ever report it? Too many.

I hold steadfast to the belief that our second amendment right can remain protected but it does not, and should not, include rapid fire semi-automatic weapons for citizens. Let us leave the war like killing machines to the blood fields of battle. Not where our children play, our citizens worship or our populace shop, eat and seek entertainment. The fact that this logic doesn’t fall under the heading of “common sense” still bewilders me beyond belief.

I have been called un-American for my view. I refuse to believe that I cannot stand by my flag and my child at the same time. A one time supporter of the NRA, I have, for years, found myself grimacing at their close minded policies and “my way or the highway agenda”. My loyalty to America is steadfast. But make no mistake; it does not, under any circumstance, come before my loyalty as a mother. My child’s safety and well being comes first … every single time.

Our freedoms seem to have imprisoned us in a country that is seemingly out of control. If we do not change the course of our present direction, we will continue along the same violent path only with more frequency and in all likelihood, more brutality. Something has to give.

Liberty and civility should go hand in hand. If you own a gun for the purpose of protecting yourself and your home, why then would you not go one step further to protect your family, my family, and all our families? These are the things that now need protecting.

Let us speak our minds and our hearts and allow them to exist on the side of humanity. Contact your Congressman and let him know how you feel. Here is a link that that lists who they are and their phone numbers http://tinyurl.com/5swkqte

If you don’t, it is only a matter of time before humanity disappears and you will be left standing holding (or looking down into) a semi-automatic weapon. Good luck with that.

If there was ever a time to be so angry that you won’t take it anymore … it is now.

If our children’s lives are the price we have to pay for our freedoms, then I, for one, will take less freedom. If we cannot protect our kids, what good are we?

The 6 and 7 year old children, all 20 of them, who were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School have unwillingly led the way to a new uprising. It is up to us to follow through.

The line forms here.

 

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Mel Glenn - Though I can’t see anyone belonging to the NRA, your opinions are most reasonable. The time to banish high-powered weapons should have been done years ago. But all the bans in the world cannot stop the crazy person from coming to the fore. But, as Obama said, the fact that you can’t do everything, doesn’t mean you give up trying something.

Tammy - Mel, you (and Obama) are so very right. We, as a nation, as a people, as parents MUST, at the very least, try! I have not supported the NRA for many years for many reasons. Let us hope that we all pull together in our attempt to stop the insanity. Thanks, Mel, for sharing. So love hearing from you!

Liz - Well said Tammy….my heart is still crying over the senseless deaths of those beautiful children, and for the very brave faculty and staff who gave up their lives trying to protect their babies. So many families have had their worlds turned upside down….never to be the same again. The Newton community have a lot of healing to do….so much pain. Something has to change and soon!

Tammy - Hi Liz, it seems this has touched us and put us beyond the limit of tolerance. As a parent, I can’t imagine ever getting over the loss. The best I could hope for would be to get past it. It is time for the American people to take a stand. You are SO RIGHT, something has to change soon! So very happy to have you here and thank you for your post!

Jeffrey Davidson - WOW! Where do I begin?

I am not a parent so I can only speak from my heart. We must put our children first and then ourselves. That is nature’s way. It is very emotional and difficult for me to think about the children, and adults, in Newtown without tears coming to my eyes.

I too believe in the Second Amendment and own a revolver, pistol and shotgun. They are for both protection and target practice – you couldn’t pay me to hunt!

Our forefathers would have no way of knowing what an automatic weapon would be like or its capabilities. Assault weapons are designed for one thing and one thing only, killing. They belong only in the hands of trained military and law enforcement officials. Contrary to the ranting’s of a past NRA president, Charleston Heston (and others like him) when asked if assault weapons should be outlawed, his non-responsive answer was “I love America.”

There are few laws not already enacted that are necessary to help curb the atrocious violence that we are experiencing against our children, spouses, animals and just each other. I do not claim to have “the” answers; however, I do have some suggestions.

1. Outlaw assault weapons
2. All guns must be registered
3. All felons cannot purchase or legally own a gun, parole violation etc.
4. Background checks required for all gun purchases including gun shows – currently not required
5. Guns may not be sold privately or at gun shows without proper registration etc.
6. Sellers of “Saturday Night Specials” get mandatory long term prison sentences
7. All crimes committed with a gun require mandatory prison sentences without the possibility of parole

I have no fear of my Second Amendment rights being violated since I have no intention of using my weapons illegally, and, therefore, am not worried that the government and law enforcement agencies know that I own them.

There has been an ongoing debate about guns killing people. Unfortunately so do knives, ropes, rocks, sticks, shovels, bats, pipes and the list goes on and on. Shout we abolish baseball and make bats illegal? Get rid of eating and cooking utensils? Plumbing supplies? Etc.?

Of course not! It is the people who use them.

Education helps. Awareness by family, friends and acquaintances of any unusual behavior and making the proper authorities aware. Authorities being better trained and not casting aside reports as meaningless or as “there is nothing we can do until there is a crime!”

I have often said, in my no-professional opinion, that anyone who wantonly kills, maims harms or destroys the life or well-being of others is emotionally disturbed. Without a particular diagnosis, these individuals need to be removed from society whether it is prison or a mental facility.
When people and politician complain we don’t have the money, think of the cost to not provide the protection. Give up the waste in government spending, the waste in bureaucracy and you will be amazed at all the money that is available. Set some reasonable priorities.

This is NOT and should NOT be a political debate, but rather a human issue that we come together to solve for the betterment of mankind.

I too am an American and love my country!

Tammy - Hi Jeff, all very good points. Of course it is the people who do the killing. But it certainly does not erase the fact that allowing access to a semi-automatic assault rifle enables massive bloodshed in mere seconds. NOT okay. Some of the laws you proposed already exist. As you know, not all laws are followed or imposed. When our forefathers spoke of the right to bear arms, they were of course speaking of muskets. How could they know how uncivilized our civilization would become? I agree with many of your ideas and would hope that others would consider the fact that this subject is not political party based but steeped in the need for humanity and our call to protect it. As always, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for your post!

Joan Cooper - There have been 13 mass murders in just one year here in the U.S.

How do you like that statistic. I am sure the people who gave the “right to bear arms” did not have this in mind.

Military or even modified military weapons should never never never be in the hands of ordinary people. One expert said that the principal should have been carrying a gun instead of ‘lunging’ at the boy-killer. Well, with the weapon he had even a gun would be no protection. No one had a chance – because of the weapon.

Money money money – the gun lobby the entertainment (?) violence etc etc. Greed is all.

Joan Cooper

Tammy - Hi Joan, money and greed do indeed have a lot to do with our current state of affairs. I hope there will soon be a change in the tide. One of my readers sent me a private email suggesting that the schools employ retired military service men, fully armed and equipped, to guard each facility each day. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Up front the idea seems plausible, but as you delve into the notion, it also is wrought with potential dangers and difficulties. It feels as though our nation is being held hostage to our freedoms…and we are being killed off as a result. Thanks for sharing…so happy to have you here. Is it me or is it starting to feel a lot UNLIKE Christmas?!

Kellie - I too absolutely believe in the right to bear arms. I also have NO issues with anyone as a member of The NRA we all should have learned a lesson from the confrontation comedian Rosie O’Donnell decided to have on national TV with Actor Tom Selleck years ago after Columbine. To Mr. Sellecks credit he handled the moment with total class…un like Ms. O’Donnell. while I agree there is no reason I can see why someone should have a semiautomatic there needs to be restrictions regarding this gun. We also need to address the mental health issues of our kids who are being over prescribed meds for ADD to so called Autism. While stats showed there was not any improvement on killings from the 10 year band on semi-automatic weapons (as discussed on the Don Imus show this morning, many issues need to be looked at and delt with….fast. I applaud a reporter who was in Obama’s face today at his press conference asking him”where have you been the past 4 years on this issue Mr. President ..MIA?” You talk big but nothing has been address since you have been elected 4 years ago…now you are paying attention?

Tammy - Hi Kellie, I get where you are coming from, but for me, I am way past thinking about the O’Donnell/Selleck incident. Nor do I trouble myself with what Obama did or didn’t do. For me it’s absolutely about NOW and the FUTURE. I want to know what will be done from this day forward. Period. I am sick of being a part of the blame game. I want to be part of the solution movement. No! No citizen, no hunter, no one should have access to a rapid fire assault weapon. The idea is ludicrous. And that comes from a second amendment gun toting woman. I can share with you, unequivocally, that I will firmly hold this President responsible for some action forward on banning these weapons. Just as I will hold my Congress and local state. WE are the people. Not a heavy handed organization such as the NRA. In a democracy, the majority should rule. And over 67% of the people of this country do not want these weapons in the hands of civilians. Let us watch and see how it all plays out. Every voice counts, every opinion matters. I thank you for sharing yours!!

Joan Cooper - If you feel “unlike christmas”, think what it would be like to live where there are funerals every day.

As one parent said – ‘…I don’t want my child to go to school in a fortress…’

What is the answer ?????

Joan Cooper - Well well well – today I hear on the news that the mother of the shooter is not listed as a victim. Now they are putting all the blame on her. Guess what is behind this? I will bet you a million dollars it is the gun advocates that are not going to give an inch.

Joan Cooper

Maureen - Well said Tammy. I absolutely support the 2nd amendment. I understand target practice, I understand hunting. What I don’t get is assault guns; they have no place in either activity, and cannot imagine why this mother needed this type of weapon in her home. Parents, please — lock up your guns. Use a gun safe. Lock the ammunition in a separate location. Lock the keys in a third location. Do not tell your children where the keys are kept. If you want guns, accept the responsibility that goes with them. It’s not about teaching children respect for a weapon, it’s about teaching them respect for life.

Tammy - Hi Maureen, wow, my dear, you sure said a mouthful. It is absolutely about respect for life vs. respect for a weapon. From your mouth to God’s ears! And still the debate continues, with the NRA assuming no stance to help mitigate the distribution of these assault weapons. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. It just may be (hoping) that their money, which buys their power may not hold up against the will of the majority of Americans. Thank you for the sharing of your voice of reason. It is much needed today. So very happy to have you here!

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