No Longer Silent

It starts here
I know it's been awhile since posting.  School, kids, summer, vacations, work... life got in the way.  And after what has happened in Orlando last week, I just felt ugh.  Actually, it was more like confusion and eventually rage.  How is this real life?  How could we as a nation allow this to happen?  After watching coverage of the Orlando shooting last week, I felt compelled to say something on my personal Facebook page.  I usually don't like to post about controversial topics like politics or religion, but I couldn't keep it in anymore.  I realized that silence does nothing.  Changes nothing.
Here's what I posted:

Guns ARE the problem. There will always be bad people in this world, but let's not be stupid about it. We need to make it a little f'ing harder for them to LEGALLY purchase firearms. The 2nd Amendment was ratified when people carried freaking muskets, not semi-automatic killing machines. This shit needs to stop. And while I'm ranting... hate breeds hate. To use religion (ANY religion) as an excuse to spread that hate is disgusting and the polar opposite of what it means to be a good Catholic/Christian/Muslim/etc. let alone a good decent person. Love one another. Hug your kids. And teach them to accept others into their hearts regardless of race, color, religion, or sexuality. #prayfororlando #prayforamerica ❤️💛💚💙💜 #rantover
Many friends liked/loved the post and wrote comments of support.  Some friends voiced the opinion that they believe that people are the problem and not the guns.  It opened up a conversation that I had previously shied away from because I thought it gauche to squabble of such things on social media.

But I've had enough.  In reality, I had enough years ago.  Hundreds of innocent lives ago.  Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, South Carolina.  I knew what I believed in, but I still didn't participate in the conversation.  But not anymore.  Not. Anymore.  After years and years of these tragedies, what we are doing (or more accurately, not doing) clearly isn't working.

None of my friends that opposed my view actually said what they would rather do instead to stop these mass murders.  There was lots of talks of terrorists, radicals and "them."  Nevermind the fact that some of these mass murderers are homegrown Americans with mental health issues and just straightforward hate in their hearts.  The issue is greater than one segment of the population. I believe it is better to regulate the sale of guns, than to discriminate against an entire population/culture/religion of people.  I would hope this is not the answer my friends think will fix it, but it is what many on the other side of the argument lean to instead of gun regulation.

Reading more posts on the topic and the subsequent comments that follow just make me so worried about the state of our nation and the world my children are growing up in.  So many people focus on the debate like they think the government is going to take all their guns away.  Back down people.  Nobody is taking your guns away (even if they should).  They confuse regulated and illegal, not realizing that legal and regulated are not mutually exclusive.  They say, but they can kill with planes like 9/11, pressure cookers bombs like Boston.  Yes, yes they can.  But let's make it a little effing harder for them to legally purchase guns like semi-automatic killing machines to hopefully stop this madness.  Over 80% percent of weapons involved in mass shootings over the last three decades have been bought legally in this country.  And yes, some states like California ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons.  But bad guys don't follow laws. It means nothing if people can go one state over and buy semi-automatic weapons meant to inflict as much damage as possible to their victims. Regulations need to be set at the national level.

The one thing I don't get is why responsible gun owners wouldn't want steps to ensure that threats or mentally unstable people are weeded out of possible gun ownership (especially for semi-automatic weapons)?  I don't get that at all.  Regulations don't infringe on 2nd amendment rights -- which by the way was written in the time of muskets people, MUSKETS not semi-automatics.  And if those regulations do infringe on them because they've been denied gun ownership, then hallelujah, they probably shouldn't have a gun for the good of the rest of us!  But seriously, times change, laws need to change too.  It's called an "amendment" for a reason.  We do not live in a time of muskets anymore.
Doing nothing, changes nothing.  And this needs to change.  If you felt like me and didn't want to voice your opinion, stop the silence. Make your voice heard.  Check to see how your representative voted on the last bill and if it differs, make your voice heard.

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