By Rosalie Tirella
Our hearts break! We pray for Parkland! Another American school shooting! The 8th of 2018 – and it is only FEBRUARY! Schools, the learning, sports, arts and emotional hubs of so many communities are under siege, and our feckless Congress, the empty Trump, hundreds of our state/local pols do NOTHING! DO NOT LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE THEY WERE ELECTED TO REPRESENT!
Kids, parents, teachers, coaches, lunch ladies, janitors … coming together in their Florida high school yesterday to do the quintessential American thing: EDUCATE ALL American kids! Girls, kids of color, kids with special emotional or physical challenges, rich, very poor, brilliant and not brilliant. All American kids have the American right to free public education! And TO BE INSPIRED BY GREAT TEACHERS/STAFF … DO SPORTS … REVEL IN MUSIC, PAINTING, CREATING ART … FIND AND PURSUE THEIR PERSONAL PASSIONS! And, yes, come together to have plain ol’ fun!
Do you remember high school and junior high? I do! The great Worcester Public Schools! K through 12, for me! Providence Street Junior High, Burncoat Senior High … lot of books but a lot of friends, movies, pizza parties, joking around, being silly, hanging out listening to rock n roll, too! Kids and adventures I’ll never forget, courtesy of the grand old Worcester Public Schools. Years later I would become – for a few years – a substitute teacher in the Worcester Public Schools. A different perspective! What cool kids – many struggling, needing guidance and nurturing but still open to the love and learning you get in all great schools! So many good teachers and teacher’s aides – and lunch ladies and coaches – all so dedicated to their kids and our community!
It was the same in Parkland! But yesterday in that Florida high school – a revered American space – lives ended. Worlds were shattered.
What will it take for President Trump and the Republicans in Congress to stop caving to the politically powerful NRA AND LISTEN TO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS?
Americans want stricter gun laws – not more loopholes! Is being re-elected really so important to scores of mediocre politicians?! “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!” – President John F. Kennedy said that. Do you think President Kennedy and brother Bobby (Attorney General) would lead like sicko Trumpo and our gutless Congress? Let our kids die? Die horrific deaths? By assault weapons – like soldiers in battlefields.
American kids aren’t in a war.
American kids aren’t expendable.
AMERICAN STUDENTS MUST NOT DIE WALKING TO SCHOOL, STUDYING ALGEBRA, KIDDING AROUND WITH THEIR BUDDIES IN ENGLISH CLASS… THE MADNESS MUST STOP! Grieving American families don’t quit grieving – ever. Once the TV cameras are turned off and the news vans drive off they hurt forever, think of their dead sons and daughters every day.
Trump’s response to yesterday’s carnage? Ho hum…nothing new to see here. I am sure he will use the tragedy to defend and get in even better with the NRA. He will push for a plethora of guns in ALL our schools! Trump wants every American teacher, school principal, music instructor armed. Carrying a concealed weapon they may be too terrified – or unwilling! – to fire. The obscenity of it all.
I’m certain President Trump will put his big ugly foot in our hearts and slosh it around – make the families, all Americans, hurt even more with his incoherent, emotionally fucked-up, off-the-cuff remarks given after he reads his official statement off the official White House teleprompter. And his asinine, evil Tweets will bring more pain…
Pray for Parkland.
Pray for America.
From the GUARDIAN. PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK TO THIS TERRIFIC UK WEBSITE (under “FAVORITES”!) to learn more!
We’ve made some sentences bold. We pray for the dead children and their coach … and their grieving families and community. Their lives will never be the same! – Rose T.
How many US school shootings have there been in 2018 so far?
Attack on a Florida high school is the eighth shooting to have resulted in death or injury during the first seven weeks of the year.
Break the cycle: it’s time to end America’s gun violence epidemic
Lois Beckett in New York @loisbeckett
Thu 15 Feb 2018
Just seven weeks into 2018, there have been eight shootings at US schools that have resulted in injury or death.
Seventeen people have been confirmed dead in the latest shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day.
Less than a month ago, a 15-year-old student opened fire at a high school in Kentucky, leaving two students dead and 18 injured. Other incidents have been grave, but on a smaller scale.
In early February, one student in Los Angeles was shot in the head, and another in the arm, when a gun concealed in a fellow student’s backpack went off.
The congressman Bill Nelson, a Democrat of Florida, said on Wednesday afternoon: “Are we coming to expect these mass shootings to be routine? And then after every one we say ‘enough is enough’ and then it continues to happen?”
Congress has refused to tighten restrictions on gun ownership, even after 20 children and six educators were massacred in 2012 in Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.
“We’re lessening the threshold of how crazy someone needs to be to commit a mass shooting,” Austin Eubanks, who survived the 1999 shooting at Columbine high school, told the Guardian last fall.
He was speaking in the wake of catastrophic Las Vegas shooting, where a depressed man took up position high up in a hotel, with a large arsenal of guns and ammunition, and sprayed bullets upon a music concert audience, killing 58 and injuring more than 800. Eubanks said he had watched an increasing pace of mass shootings across the US, in schools and elsewhere, with fear and anxiety.
The fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting last December passed in subdued fashion, with congressional Republicans refusing to pass new gun control laws and instead pushing for a law that would weaken gun restrictions nationwide and make it easier to carry a concealed weapon across state lines. Donald Trump won the White House campaigning on a promise to support the National Rifle Association (NRA), the influential gun rights group, and oppose any limits to Americans’ right to own guns.
In all, guns have been fired on school property in the US at least 18 times so far this year, according to incidents tracked by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group. In eight of these cases, a gun was fired on school property, but no one was injured. Another two incidents were gun suicides, claiming the lives of one student and one adult on school property.
The repeated tragedies and frightening incidents continue to spark deeply divided political responses, with some Americans urging tighter laws on gun sales and ownership and others advocating for putting more armed guards in schools, or making it easier for teachers and parents to carry their own concealed weapons.
Experts caution that the toll of gun violence on children and teenagers falls heaviest outside of schools. Youngsters are much more likely to be shot in their own homes or neighborhoods than at school, according to research by the school safety expert Dewey Cornell.
But the emotional impact of school shootings has sparked a booming school safety industry. In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at $2.68bn, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. Some companies have capitalized on parents’ fears by selling bulletproof backpacks or whiteboards, as well as offering ways to fortify school buildings themselves against attack.
While refusing to pass substantive gun control restrictions, Congress has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to help put police officers in public schools, including $45m in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.
Some gun rights advocates have pushed to expand gun-carrying in schools further. Andrew McDaniel, a state legislator in Missouri who introduced legislation last year to make it easier to carry guns in schools, told the Guardian that, in rural schools where it might take 20 or 30 minutes for law enforcement to respond to a school shooting in progress, it made sense to have other armed citizens ready to step in.