Watch! They Can Do It!

As a mother and grandmother, I’m completely bereft as the result of the continuing murders of our nation’s children. I’ve seen a lot of battles throughout my life, but I have never experienced what these kids and their families are going through at this moment in time. As our young ones go out the door to school every morning we wonder if they are safe from the brutality that has begun to smother our nation. This is not a political crisis. It is a moral crisis.

My own kids and grandkids are the most important people in my life. They are the future. I want to protect them. But so far my vote hasn’t helped the situation. Every school shooting only brings more stubborness on the part of our government and the folks at the NRA who line the pockets of those who are supposedly in power. During the Viet Nam Era, it was the youth that kept our eyes open. They did sit-ins. They marched. They got shot at and some were killed. They kept telling us that things were not right with our world and that we were losing ourselves and our nation to a war that we could not win. I don’t want to see a generation of young people massacred for the sake of an immoral nation that supposes itself Holy and Christian.

After last weeks tragic school shootings in Florida, it is the children who are picking up the pieces and are attempting to open the eyes of all of those who refuse to see the horrible mess we adults have allowed to happen. The children of this country are under seige by those whose only interest is is to keep their pockets lined so that they can continue to live the pointless life-styles they so treasure. In this country we are at war with ourselves and the victims of this battle are the children. Despite their fear, these future leaders of America are stepping up and taking over for the blind adults who refuse to bring change to our world.

This past week I have heard well meaning adults say that what these children are doing is useless. They will be dissapointed. They will fail to change anything. But we have handed them the responsibility for their lives by not protecting them from trigger happy, insane individuals who can easily buy assault weapons that are meant only for killing people. They cannot wait for those in power to wake up. They don’t have time to sit back and pray that this unconscionable war against themselves will stop on its own.

If the current leaders of our country cannot protect our children, give these young ones a chance. They will prevail. They have been left to protect themselves. I am behind them and support their efforts to bring change to this shameless, hypocritical world.

They Can Do It!

Guns And Violence

© Untitled, 2000 by Joan Z. Rough. Acrylic on wood panel.

© Untitled, 2000 by Joan Z. Rough. Acrylic on wood panel.

A month ago my granddaughters’ high school was evacuated because of a bomb threat.

A few weeks ago the elementary school where my son is a 4th grade teacher was evacuated because of a bomb threat.

Both of these incidents ended well when police were called, and found nothing. The children returned to their classrooms.

But why did this have to happen in the first place?

How does a first grader feel when he or she is rushed out of the classroom because of a bomb threat?

What do we tell the kids when they ask why it happened?

And what do we tell them when they see that last Thursday, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, 9 students died and others were seriously injured because a young man entered a classroom and killed or wounded them for no apparent reason as they were at work trying to make something of themselves?

Read this article written from a teacher’s perspective in 2014.

How do we tell our children that we can’t seem to stop this violence? How do we tell them that there are bad people out there and some people who aren’t necessarily bad, want to own guns and don’t believe that guns kill people?

Incidents similar to these happen on a daily basis. And it’s not just in schools. There are people killed in this country every day by someone using a gun. In movie theaters.  In shopping malls.  On the streets.

According to, on October 4th, there have been 10,018 people killed in this country with the use of a gun so far this year. There have been 265 mass killings and 20,397 injuries due to guns just this year.

Why don’t we notice? Should the major news channels post the number of people killed by guns every day on their evening news? Would it make a difference? What will get the attention of those that believe everyone should be packing heat these days? 

Sandy Hook happened and we all vowed to help change things. Nothing has changed despite our desire and need to live in peace.

I’m ashamed of my country … of those who line the pockets of those who make the laws. Do they feel more virile when they hold a gun in their hands? Are law makers afraid they won’t be re-elected and take the money because they like it and could use it to for a luxury item they have always wanted? It’s all about power. Guns are power. Money is power.

Some blame mental illness for gun violence. But aren’t we all insane if we don’t try to stop this violence? Isn’t this a moral issue?

If you are as horror struck as I am, please write letters to your lawmakers, sign petitions, and do everything you can to pass laws that will help us bring the horrifying numbers quoted above. We cannot let this new normal continue. We have to at least try to bring legislation for stricter background checks for those purchasing guns and find ways to make all of us feel safer.