Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Collateral Damage


I’ve been loathe to write about this subject.  It’s been written about adnauseam.  Yet, not enough has been said.

Seventeen students were gunned down with an AR-15 military style weapon on Valentine’s Day.  SEVENTEEN STUDENTS WERE GUNNED DOWN WITH AN AR-15 ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

Across my newsfeed I have a cacophony of messages being sent.  Many of them in support of the student survivors who are being brave enough to challenge the status quo.  Some of them mocking them.  Some of them accusatory in nature.  Why, these seventeen and eighteen year-olds are secret plants.  Actors who are paid to talk about gun control.  Or they’ve been hi-jacked by the left or the media or both since they’re essentially the same thing.

Never mind the politicians who are paid to be gun advocates by the NRA and it’s supporters. Sigh…

No, these young men and women can’t possibly be intelligent enough to formulate their own opinions or talk about politics or policy.  Or what is even good for that matter.

I hear people saying, “It’s the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.  Nothing we can do.  People have a right to buy guns, whatever kind they want.”  Some even advocating that those weapons that are illegal for average citizens to possess be made legal.  We need to fight like fire with like fire, after all.  In case we need to stand up to the tyranny of our government.

What do we need to stand up to the tyranny of the gun lobby?

Why am I seeing bullshit memes about ‘librals wanting to ban all guns’?  Why am I seeing my conservative friends being maligned as heartless even though they agree with sensible gun legislation?  Why is this a liberal or conservative issue?  It isn’t.  It’s a societal issue.  It’s a people issue.  It’s a you and me issue. Stop pretending compromise and finding common ground are dirty words.

Why am I seeing grown men and women act as if these students don’t have a right to their opinion?

Why am I seeing Americans attacking one another, eating each other alive, because we disagree about the best course of action?

Why can’t we agree that there are some things we agree about?

Why can’t that be a starting point?

The thing is, I don’t anticipate ever seeing a ban on the AR or any other gun that is legal to possess in this country.  I’ve heard arguments for and against a ban on AR’s.  Some compelling on both sides, though I see no valid reason an individual should own such a rifle.

Infringement of rights is what I’m told, the reason against.  Here’s a cold hard truth:  If we want to prevent mass shootings such as this someone’s rights must be infringed upon.

To have stronger background checks, ones that would really do any good, would infringe upon the rights of the mentally ill.  For background checks like that to work there would have to be a networking of Psychiatrists, mental hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities with the FBI to alert them of anyone who has been treated, admitted, or taking any kind of mind-altering drug.  Relying on the honor system clearing does not work.

In addition to that, those who have been reported to the police for domestic violence would need to be logged.  Waiting for a conviction for a violent act takes too long.  Someone can go out and by a gun in the meantime.

Why can’t we find common ground on this issue?

Why are there people advocating for fences, metal detectors, and armed guards at school?  Or even more frightening, arming teachers?  Are these learning institutions or prisons?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather my child be safe.  And if it takes fences and metal detectors and armed guards to keep them that way then I’d rather that than nothing.  But is that what it’s come to?

Schools are not the only places these violent acts of terror take place.  Are we going to fence in everywhere?  Have armed guards on duty at every place of business? Every place of leisure? Every place? I don’t think the victims of the Las Vegas massacre would believe a fence and an armed guard would do the trick.  There were armed security personnel there.  Some of them shot dead.  There wasn’t a fence tall enough.

With regards to schools.  What happens when a shooter finds a vantage point above the fence line, who doesn’t go past the metal detectors, opens fire on students outside on break?  What then?  Will they no longer be allowed to go outdoors?  Will we infringe upon their freedoms to protect the freedom of those who want to keep their toys?

If I weren’t living it I’d think this was all taken from the pages of some dystopian novel. If I weren’t hearing hit with my own ears and seeing it with my own eyes I would never believe that anyone in America would ever say, “People being killed are collateral damage.  Children dying at the hands of someone with a gun are the price of freedom.”




48 thoughts on “Collateral Damage

  1. First off, I’m glad to see you blogging again. 🙂 I’ve missed you!

    Of course, I’m terribly dismayed the topic must be this one. I’ve said it on other blogs, but I – for one – am behind those well-spoken, well-informed, passionate young people 100%. I think they are showing up many of the adults in the U.S.A. I also think they just might get something done — FINALLY.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Carmen! I’ve missed being here.

      I, too, support those kids. I’m not sure about getting something done. It sounds like the powers that be are somewhat dismissive. Though it will be an experience – the political scene – that they will never forget. Perhaps it will propel them to take leadership roles and run for office.

      P.S. I’m listening to The Handmaid’s Tale on Audible. O_O


  2. Thoughts and prayers.

    All fixed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Handmaid- whoops


  4. If you’d like to see why John is using that line . . .no, what am I saying? .. . .you don’t want that kind of brain fog . . .we’ve been involved in a ‘discussion’ about the very line John used.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, that’s the attitude of many conservative Christians. I’ve seen that line myself a time or two(or twelve. I’ve lost count.)


      • It was the response of the Governor in Florida. “EVIL! Thoughts and prayers!” Thankfully those students are telling politicians what they think of thoughts and prayers and it’s about damned time.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh goodness, don’t send Ruth over there. It has to be the most putrid thread I’ve ever been on.


    • Carmen, did Danica ban Branyan?


      • I don’t think so, JZ. She’s only just got a taste of him. . .give her time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I didn’t think so, but his last comment (I accept your surrender) doesn’t register on my notices, nor does it appear in my email notices. Odd. But isn’t he a gem?


          • I didn’t see that comment either. With my ipad, the comments are ‘stacked’, whereas on my laptop they come in one at a time. So I sometimes miss comments and don’t see them if I don’t go back and go through the whole thread. That one has become so long that I’ve given up! (I could go on about his personality but don’t want to sidetrack Ruth’s thread)
            All that to say that I admire your tenacity. But just to tie Ruth into this topic, I remembered something Victoria said to me once. She told me that she knew Ruth to be a savvy debater and it crossed my mind how she’d do up against him. He is THE most annoying man I have ever interacted with, as he’s like a dog on a bone and will not be detracted by logic, sense, or facts. I do much head-shaking.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ANYONE who interacts with him, IMO, has too much time on their hands. There is sooo much more to do in this life than argue with a nincompoop.

            BTW, great post, Ruth! Glad to see your handiwork again. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • In my defense, we’re still on Carnaval holiday. Not the whole country, mind you, but me, Yep! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • You can’t “debate” Branyan. You can pin him a thousand different ways, but he does a Trump and just moves on. But yes, no more about that sick, demented bastard.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve had one encounter with him over on KIA’s blog. No, thanks, I’ll pass. Tiribulous was enough for me.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to see a post from you, Ruth!

    It’s a tough subject to tackle. Just yesterday, a gun enthusiast implied everyone calling for changes in gun laws was perverse for trying to advance a political issue. It didn’t matter that the victims were speaking out themselves, asking for something to happen.

    How does one have a conversation about this issue when there are people who think that stopping gun proliferation is evil? There’s an instinct that kicks in to drop the subject whenever someone loses their composure, and I think that contributes to gun control advocates not wanting to write on the matter. It’s embarrassing to watch adults act like children who are threatened with the loss of a toy.

    With regards to the subject itself, I think the Second Amendment has to go. But I understand that not everyone understands why at the moment. The problem is that the understanding will only kick in when a hypothetical gun law gets overturned by the Supreme Court. I’m scared that such an event will be too much for people to bear. Maybe it’s something we have to go through as a country, a tragedy unavoidable only because of lack of will.

    Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe our system will eventually produce a law which bans weapons that can kill multitudes in minutes. Maybe these kids can help get that to change (although the Florida legislature didn’t listen).

    Or maybe, like the opioid crisis, people are going to have to experience the loss to gun violence themselves in order to change their minds.

    At any rate, sorry for taking up so much length in this comment. I hope you are doing well.

    Liked by 4 people

    • If now is not the time to politicize the issue, I don’t know when would be.

      I’m not sure I agree that the Second Amendment has to go. I do, however, agree that the Second Amendment needs some amendments of it’s own. The idea that people’s lives are secondary to the right to bear arms is asinine. I don’t know how these people don’t hear that when they say these things out loud?

      It’s sad that things have to affect us on a personal level(i.e. experiencing loss ourselves) to change our minds about something as serious as domestic terrorism.

      You can take up as much length as you’d like. I’m doing very well, thank you. Hope you are, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m hanging in there.

        The idea that a person’s right to bear arms is more important than a right to be alive is actually the legal standard now. It’s because there’s a legally recognized right to own firearms, and there’s no legally recognized right to be alive or free from danger of gun fire.

        The Second Amendment wouldn’t have to go if that legal right created for everyone in 2010 got revoked by the same Court that granted it. But I also don’t think it’s a mistake that our worst shootings have all occurred after that right got granted.


  6. I concur with others, that I always get a lot of out your writing so it’s nice to see a post from you.

    I find I have little patience from the other side on this issue. The right to bear arms is already an infringment on the freedom of others, because we have to live in a society where common citizenry can carry around guns. I question the value of this right compared to others the same side of the fence don’t acknowledge like healthcare or more importantly the right of a woman to decide what happens to her body.

    But more than that we know other countries make gun laws work. We know that being safe doesn’t require everybody having guns. And yeah there is a lot of other factors those countries have too that make them safer, I’m not denying that, but people on the pro-gun side, aren’t fighting for any of the other stuff that they say is a problem. And the fact remains that easy access to guns is a problem. It’s clearly counting for some extra deaths every year, both in terms of homicide and suicide. It’s obvious to me that less people will die if we enact some of the gun laws that other countries use.

    Like you I’m pessimistic that any change will happen, but at the same time I simply cannot side with the pro-gun argument. As a Canadian, it’s just not in my mental grammar that a gun is the best way to be safe in this world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m trying really hard to have patience, but it’s getting harder and harder.

      My right to feel safe is obviously not as important as Billy Badass’ right have a gun. Who cares if he’s got a license? Who cares if he knows how to use it? Who cares if he’s been through a mental evaluation? It’s insane.

      If nothing changed after Sandy Hook, and nothing changed after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and nothing changed after Las Vegas, I’m not sure anything will change now. Too many people with the notion that it’s not a gun problem. You know, 40 years ago boys carried guns to school in gun racks in their trucks. Nobody ever got shot. So, the problem isn’t guns, you see. Forty years ago these types of rifles weren’t even on the market.

      It’s a multifaceted issue. There is no one solution. Banning guns is not going to solve it alone. As many have pointed out, those hell-bent on destruction will find other means. Maybe even more terrifying means. I agree that mental health, cultural desensitization of death and mass murder, and lack of oversight are also at issue. Every piece of this needs to be addressed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah there is definitely a lot going on, no question. But to simply deny one of the variables in the equation as being part of the equation is frustrating. And no matter how sane Billy might be when he gets the gun, conditions change. Nobody seems to think that matters. We reduce the potential do harm in so many other areas of life, but somehow with guns this is off limits. It’s frustrating.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have missed you, Ruth. I hope you are good.


  8. How fab to see a post from you again! I hope life is treating you well (the exception being the motivation behind this post of course)

    I’m encouraged by the student protests that are being reported, I hope this increases and brings about a real change.

    Ironically, I think it’s the useless lump of lard in the white house that has driven people to openly protest. A president that sympathised tried to do something would not have to deal with such public protest and I think public protest is what it will take to push a change, and there needs to be lots of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Why am I seeing bullshit memes about ‘librals wanting to ban all guns’?”

    Simple, because those from the pro-gun/Second Amendment camp are not in the least bit interested in the actual position of anyone who disagrees with them. They would much rather distort and caricature the other guy’s argument, because that way it’s easier for them to shoot down(no pun), plus, it gives them something to perpetually bellyache about, you know, so they can continue to blame the “libtards” for all of society’s problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ruth I’m so happy you came by today. Looking forward to getting to know you.


  11. Part of the problem with AR’s is this. Today I’m fine. I could go buy one and pass all the checks. But next week when my wife leaves me for another man and I enter that dark realm where everyone has been, the difference between healing or shooting up a department store is physiology. And no one knows who that is including myself. Assault rifles are meant for only two things. For fun, and for killing. It sits in the corner for a century, very patiently waiting to do its job. Then it finally goes to work. Taking life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My brother-in-law has one. He’s a gun fanaticcollector. He has a lot of guns; hand guns(revolvers and semi-automatics), rifles, shot-guns. I’ve shot most of them, but I’ve never cared to shoot the AR. My husband has, though. I live in the south where hunting is big, gun collecting is bigger, and gun culture is strong. Shooting competitions are a big thing here. He(my brother-in-law) mostly shoots for fun and sometimes hunts. He’s former law enforcement. To me that means nothing. People snap and for all kinds of reasons.

      People who are fanatical about things worry me.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s