Guns and Roses and Little John

Four of my roses. (Casey, Jamie, Makenna, Taylor)
We had another shooting the other day; this one in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. 26 innocent souls taken by a madman, a child himself, who 'Just snapped.' How many times have we heard this over the last couple of decades? Ho many times will we hear it again before we, as a caring society, come up with an answer that is acceptable to everyone? How many more innocents have to die before we say 'This is enough! We cannot tolerate this anothe second!' What really bothers me  is that , as soon as this happened, I could sit and watch the two sides gearing up for a fight. The gun enthusiasts on the one side, and the gun haters on the other. I have to tell you, I don't care about guns. I am a Marine (No such thing as a former or ex Marine). I never got a big charge out of them. When I went to target shoot, or playing the games at the carnivals, I always prided  myself with being a pretty decent shot. This comes in handy when you are defending your country. I never wanted to own one, however. The thought of having one in the house always scared me, for two reasons. One, I had two boys that could find and get anything that you thought that you were hiding from them. I could bet you that, if you tried, they would find whatever you were trying to keep from them  in less than ten minutes flat. Period.  Scoff, if you like, but that is the truth. Two, I never trusted myself enough to possess something that could take another persons life. Maybe now, that I am older, but when I was young, I did have a hot temper at times. I never hurt anyone, but if you have something as lethal as a gun, would you take a chance, if you were me? I think not. I don't need a gun to prove that I am tough. I am  not. I am just an old Marine. Enough said. Oh, those four cuties up there? They are four of my Roses... my sweet granddaughters. Here is another one.
Another Rose, a flower to be nurtured.(Elizabeth)
  I have fourteen grandchildren, that's right, fourteen, and not one of them is expendable! Not for the damned second amendment, that's for damned sure. Here is another one of my sweet flowers. This is John. He's two and a half, and he's funny and smart and he's named after me. I would take a bullet myself before I would see anyone of these children hurt. 
John Alan.. another flower.
 Do I have an answer on how to stop the violence? Probably not, but we have to start somewhere. Everyone with any sense knows that an outright ban is not going to work. We have people in this country that rely on guns for their dinner and livelihood on a daily basis. Hell, my own grandfather in Oklahoma put food on the table up to the fifties and beyond by hunting. I am not for taking any man or woman's livelihood away from them. But we could start by applying the same scrutiny for guns that we use for obtaining a drivers license. Every owner should be duly licensed. A psychological test should be required for each owner. Classes on gun safety should be mandatory for all. This is a start. Getting angry and calling names at people who are genuinely worried about their children and grandchildren only accomplishes closing peoples minds to you and your rights. Earlier today, I saw posts calling gun control advocates 'Fascist tools', Idiots, Communists....... you name it. To these people I can only say that your attempt at ridiculing people and trying to bully them, or marginalize them only hardens their stance against you. We all need to  calm down and have a dialog that will lead to a solution that will satisfy all, and keep our children safe. Arming the teachers is not an answer. Placing an officer or two in each school might be. Can we just stop getting heated and search for a meaningful answer to this increasingly deadly problem? 
  I am appealing to the good in all of you to work things out and find and answer. I know that you can do it. Don't let me down. Don't let our children and grandchildren down. Their lives depend on you.


  1. Hysteria-fueled emotions do not promote rational thought, certainly they don't bring clear resolve to a situation as serious as this.

    We would all go to the mats for our children and grandchildren, John. Sadly, for all of the families of the twenty angels who were killed, families of the teachers and school staff...not one will get the chance for justice...only unimaginable grief.

    I've been actively urging parents of children in our local school system to form groups, a united voice, and request meetings with school officials. Communicating via e-mail regarding school issues might be acceptable for homework or impromptu teacher conferences but not to discuss the districts outline for emergency procedures.

    My daughter and other parents have contacted the CCSD, received the usual, "we're reviewing our current procedure"...end of call. Not enough, my friend, not enough. Phone calls are just too easy to blow-off; a turnout of concerned parents seeking to have their issues addressed with a chance to become pro-active in the solution is the better route.

    We need glass entry doors with embedded wire in between the panes to make access more difficult if glass is smashed. Metal Detectors and yes...additional security guards/police officers to check ID's and do bag searches along with escorting visitors to wherever they are going within a school building...and...escorting them out again.

    Guns...well, the heat ahead involving any new legislation will be intense. The NRA is currently keeping a low profile but they won't be silent for long. I forsee a ban on AR's...not a foolproof solution because the illegal flow of firearms will continue across our borders and throughout our states. Criminals will still have guns regardless of any ban instituted.

    In my position as a Pistol Instructor (Safety Courses are mandatory), I will speak my mind and continue to monitor those seeking permits with a "red flag" waving over their head. I support mandatory psychological screening to become part of the permit application process.

    As in prior situations, I will make my usual recommendations to local judges advising against a particular individual having a gun permit. I will support every effort for cross-checking medical records (especially those involving psychiatric treatment) with permit applications and existing permits regardless of the ACLU or privacy rights. A drop in the bucket, I know, but still my responsibility.

    Years ago, we all felt that what happened at Columbine was disgraceful. Theatre shootings, mall shootings and now, with the assault on Sandy Hook Elementary has become epidemic.

    For now, all we can do is pray, love each other and our families and, as you said, think rationally, working together to formulate a solution.

    1. You, my dear friend, are part of the rational answer that I seek. Level headed and candid, as usual. You and your daughter keep fighting the good fight. I will continue to speak my mind, and back you all the way.

  2. Well the ban on assault rifles was lifted during the Bush years and Obama did not renew it either. So there are no politics involved, other than with the NRA. Assault rifles were not what the founding fathers had in mind when two bullet muskets were the only guns available and no one wanted to take a cannon home. (Reference op/ed piece in today's Journal News)Laws will be resurrected and/or enacted but people will not change. Fighting among ourselves is only one way to get the dialogue going and the dialogue must begin somewhere. I agree with one Fox News talking head that the time to begin that dialogue is after the 26 angels are laid to rest. I just hope that the other incidents being reported around the country are not fueling the fire in some other angry kid's head about how to go down in infamy. This is not the Marines, it's common folk who are not interested in protecting just massacre. Personally, I am simply scared.

  3. Well said, dear Amy. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to hear that one of your precious children or grandchildren has been taken from you by a gunman. I am not looking to take anyone's idea of a sport away from them, as long as that sport does not involve hurting others. We cannot continue to walk with blinders on and hope that it will all go away. The fact that two Republican gun advocates have now called for a ban on assault weapons is a very good start. Let's hope that the checks that I am calling for come next.
    You take care of yourself, Amy. This country needs more rational and reasonable people like you and so many of my other friends speaking out to help get things on the right track.


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