July 4th: Gun Control NOW

It’s a rainy 4th of July here in northeastern Pennsylvania. I’m making a pasta salad to bring to our friends later; a combination of vegetables and seasonings. I’m listening to a panoply of patriotic music  aired by the local NPR station. And as I chop and listen, I’m thinking about the day’s significance and question where we go from here.

Last week’s Supreme Court  ruling that grants gay marriage nationwide, make this year’s 4th celebrations of independence and freedom historical. Facebook encouraged users to enhance their profile photos with a rainbow hue, to acknowledge the victory with the LGBT symbol.

This followed on the heels of the horrific church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, where a 21-year-old white male gunned down nine innocent African Americans during worship.

This December will mark the three- year anniversary of the Sandy Hook, CT school shooting, where a 20-year-old white male opened fire, killing 26 people, 20 children among them. Since then a group of cyclists ride to Washington, DC, wearing green jerseys, to promote stricter gun control and background checks.

Will a color be adopted to represent the Charleston massacre? How long will it take before colors are more than symbols and become law?

I doubt the Founding Fathers thought much about LGBT rights back in the 18th century. In a society created by militant uprisings and where many differences were solved by duels and other violence, they enacted the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. The amendment has been subject to debate.

They didn’t foresee how the nation would change its views of civil rights but they had hopes. If around today, I bet they’d be advocating that it’s time to amend the Second Amendment to protect innocent lives. IMG_0898

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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13 Responses to July 4th: Gun Control NOW

  1. Hi Lisa,This post disappeared from your blog so I couldn’t comment. Perhaps you deleted it? Anyway, just wanted you to know it was well written and I totally agree. Happy 4th of July to you!

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  2. amen sister! I am so tired of colored ribbon pins, rubber bracelets and empty promises from politicians.

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  3. So very true. The Founding Fathers had no idea how this Nation would change, I am still amazed each day how fast but slow we are moving.

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  4. susanissima says:

    Amen! It’s time, long overdue! Thanks for posting this, Lisa.

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  5. Krw says:

    Alternatively we could ban white 20 year old males – they seem to be the root of the majority of the problems.

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    • That wouldn’t be my choice. I think more education is needed and more scrutiny as to who has guns in their possession. But looking at some of the recent mass killings– yes, young white men seem to be the ones carrying out these horrible acts. Columbine, Arizona, Connecticut, South Carolina and more I’m sure that I don’t recall. So what should be done to address the apparent alienation these people feel that sends them to use firearms to kill innocent people?

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      • krw says:

        It’s so great that your blog is bringing up such an important topic and debate. My personal opinion is that just banning something will only push it underground so that more bad people will get it in a completely uncontrolled way (similar to drugs). I think gun control requires a three pronged approach: 1) federal regulations that limit the number of bad people who get guns, 2) increasing the number of good people (police and trained civilians) who have guns so that they can protect other good people, 3) increased child mental health screenings/ child neglect screenings. Each of these has many facets, and is too complicated to go into here in depth. A short preview: 1) federal regulations would include an in depth background check that bans people from attaining a gun license if they have been convicted of a violent crime, an extensive required course in safe handling and self defense training with requirements such as being able to hit a moving target with XYZ accuracy without hitting other nearby targets, written test on laws of when allowed to shoot in self defense, a certain amount of supervised hours at a gun range etc (similar to a drivers license). 2) Increasing good people with guns would include increased police presence in areas where guns are notoriously sold illegally, encouraging (but NEVER forcing) good citizens to be backup for situations where there is not a guaranteed police presence (similar to volunteer firefighters). For example, maybe even if only one or two teachers or custodians had volunteered (and been trained) to carry guns they would have been able to stop these school shooters before they took as many innocent victims. 3) Increasing mental health screenings would include things like requiring students to get a brief screening every year before starting school (similar to requiring students to get a physical or their shots), giving more extensive training to teachers, coaches, pediatricians on recognizing signs of mental illness and social isolation, increasing the number of school mental health counselors, increasing anti-bullying programs in schools, making stricter laws about unattended minors and filling the gap with increased after/ before school programs, increasing the standards for what allows child services to get involved in non punitive ways with families to increase services like family therapy, parenting classes etc. Again, not an extensive list by any means, but some of the changes I think that need to take place to greatly reduce innocent victims.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Good 4th of July post.

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  7. Thanks, KRW for your insight. Mental health seems to have been avoided and underfunded and should be addressed nationwide.

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  8. Amen. Just that. Amen.

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  9. hugmamma says:

    here! here! …with hugs.

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