Presence of Mind, March For Our Lives | Perspective

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“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, 177 AD

Mrs. Preston rushed through her classroom door, pulling the door handle behind her. The door swooshed shut with a muted thud as the bell sounded, announcing that class had just begun.

Mrs. Preston had a million things on her mind that morning. Her oldest son was a sophomore at the University of Chicago. He was supposed to find out any day about a summer internship. He’d been turned down twice already, so this third opportunity was now his only option. It was stressful. Her middle child Sophie, a high school junior, was suffering from extreme distress following the Parkland massacre on Valentine’s Day 2018. There was a creepy loner in her school whom everyone was nervous about, now more than ever before. Her daughter’s worrying had ratcheted up to such a degree that it was now a huge concern to both Mr. and Mrs. Preston. Sophie was gripped with constant panic at seemingly trivial things. The weekend following Parkland, Sophie had boldly insisted that she be allowed to stay home and attend high school online from now on. What could a mother possibly say in response other than, “Sure, no problem.” Mrs. Preston had scheduled an appointment with a therapist for her daughter. The first appointment was the following week.

And there was Mrs. Preston’s mother who lived thirty minutes away in a newly developed retirement community. She’d recently fallen and broken her hip and was in rehab. She called every day, two or three times in fact, asking for everything under the sun. Monday it was sunflower seeds. Tuesday, tulips. Wednesday, a book. “Please come by after school, it’ll only take a minute.”… “But Mom, I have to bring Mia to dance lessons.”… You can stop by while Mia is in her lesson.” … “No Mom, I really can’t. I’ll see you this weekend.” … “I probably won’t be alive this weekend, please come by tonight.”

Mrs. Preston’s husband, Michael, was going though a professional midlife crisis. He’d had a successful twenty year career as a wealth manager, but now that his clients could invest on their own so easily, this industry was transforming and he’d finally decided to pursue other career opportunities. He’d been unemployed now for four months and had begun searching outside the state. Mrs. Preston had a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that she’d return home from work one afternoon and learn that her husband had accepted a position 1,000 miles away and they’d all be moving.

When Mrs. Preston had visited her dermatologist the week before, to have a strangely shaped mole checked, she’d received a call requesting she return to the office for a follow-up visit and an additional test. This was alarming, but she couldn’t spend too much time worrying about it or she wouldn’t be able to work. Her next visit was the following week.

The whole town was abuzz the past few days after a student in a neighboring school district had been found on campus with a loaded gun. The high school was only five miles from the middle school where Mrs. Preston taught social studies.

Immediately following Parkland, in fact the very next day, her middle school had an Active Shooter Drill. It had been on the calendar since January. The 7th grade students had been incredibly attentive during the lockdown. Mrs. Preston had been moved by their fierce determination to execute the instructions exactly as outlined. She’d never seen them so steadfast in resolve to follow directions. She herself had breathed a heavy sigh of relief that they’d all fit in her closet so neatly, and had remained quiet for the entire duration.

Mrs. Preston, pulled out her lesson plan and set it on the desk in front of her. After quickly reviewing it, she turned to the White Board and wrote in all caps, “Three Branches of Government.”

“Mrs. Preston, Mrs. Preston.”

Mrs. Preston pivoted to see who was calling her name. Oh yes, Grayson. His eyes were bulging with alarm. Actually, fear. “What is it, Grayson?” Mrs. Preston said soothingly.

“You forgot to lock the door. Remember? You can NEVER forget to lock the door.”

This is a true story from America’s heartland that outlines the reality of what “a day in the life of” an American teacher is all about. Expecting teachers to have the presence of mind to manage a loaded gun in this everyday dynamic is extremely ill-conceived.

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Corruption is the Root of Sensible Gun Control Inaction | Perspective

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To not be moved to the core of our beings over the senseless slaughter of 17 American school children on a bright and beautiful, cheerful February 14th – the universal day of LOVE – is a litmus test that measures the depth of corruption in the GOP.

The fact that GOP lawmakers are more beholden to the NRA than they are to their own children, reveals how dehumanizing corruption is.

The GOP gladly accepted $17,384,437 from the NRA in the 2015-2016 election cycle. Trump was funneled $21 million from the NRA.

We’ve seen the way rotten trees fall in a vicious storm. The Oak may look high and mighty from the outside. But when the forceful winds howl, and consistent pressure is applied against the weakened trunk…that tree will fall. And when it does, the rotten center becomes visible.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar with his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the heart of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic to that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” ~ Cicero, 50 BC

So that’s where we’re at today, Sunday February 18, 2018. Corruption rots the body politic and becomes treasonous. We can either succumb and lose our country, or keep resisting to the max with everything we have within us.

Every corrupt GOP (any who received NRA $ that are now refusing to bring to the floor sensible gun laws) MUST be removed from office. Again, their corruption has become treasonous. And until they can be replaced, they must be quarantined so they can’t infect.

The only sensible next step following the #Parkland massacre is to reinstate the assault rifle ban…by March 1, 2018!

© Copyright 2017 – 2018. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Newton’s 1st Law of Motion – Passing Common Sense Gun Laws | Perspective

perspectiveNewton’s 1st Law of Motion – the Law of Inertia

“An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

The heart-wrenching trauma of a violent massacre in a suburban American high school in Parkland, Florida – the “safest town in Florida” – on Valentine’s day 2018 that left 17 innocent heroic Americans dead MUST be the turning of the tides.

Gun Violence, specifically massacres in American schools, has to stop immediately.

Reading and watching the first-hand accounts of students, dads, moms, teachers in Parkland brought me to tears. It’s the most powerful instrument for prodding inert lawmakers into action and passing common sense gun laws.

There are no adequate words to express the anger I feel toward cement-headed GOP who rationalize away all legitimate arguments for stemming gun violence. Their indifference to the trauma they inflict is the ultimate testament to the fallout of their altered reality. The fact that it’s the GOP lawmakers who have succumbed to this strange and surreal existence in an imagined universe, lawmakers who directly influence our quality of life, is a forceful wake-up call for all of us. We don’t have to settle for this. We can make sure they’re REMOVED from office.

If the Berlin wall can fall, so can the NRA and the GOP. They are NOT a permanent barrier to gun safety.

The final straw for me yesterday, Thursday February 15, 2018, the day after the Parkland High School massacre, when all the first-hand stories began pouring onto Social Media, was the student who in the midst of the chaos and fear and mayhem, slipped on the bullet proof vest that his dad had stuffed into his backpack. THIS, in the safest community in Florida.

A decade ago, the only thing that mattered was making sure our children had an iPod. Then we elevated to making sure our child had his or her iPhone. Now parents are running out and buying bullet-proof vests for their child’s backpack. GOP, WAKE-UP! And worst of all, the student actually had to rush to use it one beautiful cheerful afternoon, February 14, 2018.

GOP lawmakers hide behind their protective security checks installed in every Legislative Office building in every state, making them immune to their own inertia. All security checks must come down until common sense gun laws are passed. GOP lawmakers don’t get to hide while we get slaughtered.

Of course we Americans can own guns. The majority are NOT against that. But as with everything since the beginning of time, gun ownership must evolve. The answer is in the middle.

COMMON SENSE GUN LAWS, one step at a time, in order:

(1) Immediate ban on assault rifles, specifically AR-15. This ban was in force for a decade, 1994-2004. The GOP allowed is to sunset during all the chaos following 9/11, the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, and all eyes on Guantanamo. Senator Feinstein revived the ban, creating a new Bill on November 8, 2017. It’s collecting dust on a GOP desk somewhere. We MUST demand it be debated, passed and enforced.

(2) Firearm ownership must have appropriate safety protocols: training/education, testing, licensing, and mandatory insurance. There’s no reasonable argument that can block this. It’s rudimentary.

(3) Ban bump stocks. Rudimentary.

(4) Close all loopholes in existing gun laws. Rudimentary.

(5) Limit all magazines to 10 bullets or less. Rudimentary.

(6) Reverse GOP’s new concealed carry reciprocity. Unconstitutional.

(7) Gun violence research. New Trump administration canceled the existing Gun Violence research being conducted by CDC.

Done. Basic. Simple. Easy. We MUST Make America Safe Again!

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