My blog is taking a bit of a turn in a direction that was never intended. When I began this writing journey over 450 postings ago, I was motivated, admittedly, to use the blog to support the promotion and—hopefully—the sale of my books. That never happened. But I have kept the blog going because I enjoy doing it and there are a handful of people who regularly offer positive feedback and encouragement.
It has never been my intention to use my space here to attempt to persuade people to think a certain way or do a certain thing. That changes today. I will continue to be an average writer of pieces that offer humor, general observations and personal reactions to thing that we all experience in everyday life…and, of course, let’s not forget the silly poetic efforts that appear from time to time. All that will continue. But added now will be postings in which I will offer opinion and calls to action.
I am 73 years old this May. I cannot run for office or carry much weight in helping to guide my community, let alone this great nation. I can, however, at least express my opinion when I feel strongly that things must change and maybe, just maybe, I will convince someone to make a better choice when it comes to electing our representatives or voting on a ballot issue. Indeed, that is the intention of today’s posting.
Just a few miles north from where I live is the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of Wednesday’s horrific shooting during which 17 young people were slaughtered. I can offer no more than anyone else my complete sympathy for the families who lost their children…and for the community that is faced with recovering from this tragedy and all that will involve. This latest incident is not a new experience for the citizens of this country. And that is what needs to be addressed.
We have a terrible time in this country reacting to the concept of “enough is enough.” We almost become robotic in our adaptability to react and accept just about anything, even abhorrent behavior. Every time we have a terrible incident, such as the shootings yesterday, we cry, we pray, we debate gun control and mental illness…and then we move on, accomplishing nothing that will help deal with the problem. That function is the responsibility of our elected representatives. In the past, and it even seems again today, they choose to do nothing in a country where it has been proven that the majority of citizens favor tighter control on gun purchases, the banning of assault weapons and greater support to our mental health facilities. These are things that most Americans want. They are things that most American politicians do not support. Why? Mostly because they receive funding and favors from the likes of the National Rifle Association. Without these they may not get reelected, a goal that seems to permeate the mindset of the majority of our elected officials these days vs. serving the country and the needs of its citizens.
Case in point—and now is the time I ask you to listen up! Here is a direct quote from Florida Senator Marco Rubio this morning after he was asked if now is not the time for something to be done about this epidemic of mass shootings in America. The Senator responded:
“It’s not. People don’t know how this happened, who this person is, what motivated him, how did he get the weapon that he used for this attack. I think it’s important to know all that before you jump to conclusions that there’s some law to pass that could have prevented this.”
Mr. Rubio is not a stupid man all the time. I have seen him when he is quite articulate. But for his statement this morning, how much more information and, more importantly, how many more children must be killed, before he is prepared enough to get beyond discussing and researching and move to implementing ways that will make it more difficult for a deranged person to purchase an assault weapon? Is that so incredibly hard to grasp? It has nothing to do with 2nd Amendment rights and has everything to do with sensibility. Senator Rubio received a substantial amount in campaign contributions from the NRA and its affiliates. Were any of the lives of 17 children killed yesterday worth any of those dollars?
The point is: It is time for US to act. This means that it is time for Senator Rubio to be voted out of office. It really is that simple. He does not represent us. Unfortunately, that cannot happen for a few more years until his current term runs out, but it should be active on all our to-do lists. Voting in people who will represent our interests is our responsibility and it’s time more of us accept it. We owe that much to those who risked their lives to found this great nation of, by and for the people…and now we especially owe it to our children.