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Thursday Thoughts

This is not my typical TT post. This is not lighthearted and random and full of clothes, face masks and food. But these things have been on my mind all week. You can agree, disagree, challenge me or not care, but please, take a moment and just think about these issues. If anything, know where you stand. 

Orlando. I, like most of the country, can’t process the hate, the sadness that happened there.

I mentioned earlier in the week that I had a hard time listening to the news or the radio. And it’s not because our society isn’t used to seeing events like this, it’s the rhetoric that results from them. I can’t hear it anymore. Get rid of the guns, ban the Muslims, get people off medication, it’s the Republican’s fault, the Democrats only care about political correctness. One of these things will solve the problem.

Will it?

I don’t believe any of them are the true problem. Should that terrorist have been able to buy a gun? No. My husband and I are gun owners, and I’ll tell you that as a gun owner, I think it’s downright sickening that someone who was on a terrorist watch list AND had a history of domestic violence could purchase ANY sort of firearm. A responsible gun owner, a responsible citizen of this country, should never disagree with that. I hope gun owners and non-gun owners can at least come to that agreement.

Him being a Muslim is not the problem. Our political parties and their complete inability to do their jobs are not solely to blame for what happened.

When I could stomach the radio, Bert Weiss from the Atlanta-based Bert Show said something that struck me. He said he’d been to foreign countries where there were metal detectors in every building, where militia walked the street. He wondered if that’s what America is coming to. His co-host, Kristen, tearfully said she didn’t want people to think of this as the norm. I agree. It shouldn’t be the norm, we shouldn’t be afraid to go to the movies or a concert or a club. We shouldn’t have think twice every time we see someone suspicious on an airplane, whether we’re safe at a holiday party with our familiar co-workers, wonder if the trash cans are going to explode at the finish line of a Marathon.

The problem is, this is the norm. This is the world we live in. Terrorism is real, and it’s scary and it’s unpredictable. And it comes in many forms.

As long as we’re a country this big and this diverse, we’re going to have these issues. Our lawmakers can do more, enforce more laws–from keeping criminals out of our country, no exceptions, to more thorough background checks on immigrants and refugees, to demanding that every gun purchase has a background check and every person on a watch list is kept from legal access to weapons or explosives. They can, and should put the safety of America’s citizens ahead of everything else, but the truth is, they can’t do enough. I don’t think they’ll ever be able to do enough. There are always going to be sociopaths fueled by the thought of 15 minutes of fame that attack a movie theater. There will always be star athletes who think they can get away with anything and still don’t have parents to teach them right from wrong. Video games, over-medicating, social media are all going to, and have been, worsening these problems. The root of these problems won’t ever go away.

How do you deal with that inevitability? Are metal detectors and militia really the answer? All I can use for reference is flying. I’m a nervous flier, I’ve literally had to hold myself back several times from reporting suspicious people to flight attendants. But, every time I pass through a metal detector, I get some relief. Nothing is guaranteed, but the effort to keep travel safe is effective. This security doesn’t have to be limited to our airports.

That’s a physical solution. Is there a psychological one? Where do you start fixing these problems? We have to reevaluate our laws, find a balance between protecting citizen rights and protecting citizens. We need to be careful about immigration issues. Immigrants are one of the best parts of our nation, but illegal immigration is not. Letting criminals into our country should be a crime itself. We have to acknowledge that terrorism is real. And in that, we need to protect ourselves, whether that’s metal detectors or armed guards. And, the most vital part, we have to start at home. We now have generations of children whose lives are based on the un-realities of social media, who don’t have consequences to their actions, who are allowed to play violent video games and who are never taught respect. Instead of medicating our children, we need to let them be children. We need to know what’s going on in their lives and take accountability for their actions.

I’m so tired of hearing the same debates and I’m so tired of people losing sight of what really matters. WE matter. One life lost is too many.

PS-Before you give up hope on everything, watch this video.

http://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482344060/watch-8th-grader-impersonates-trump-clinton-sanders

 

 

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