Heartbroken and ANGRY!

Debbie Goetz

As I sat down to write this column to make deadline, I had just received the horrific news about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. My daughter, who is in college in Jacksonville, was the one who told me. Several of her college friends went to that high school, and some had siblings who were currently still there. She and her friends were glued to Snapchat and Twitter as videos surfaced from inside the school. Heartbreakingly, one of her peers lost his sister, Helena Ramsay. My daughter’s friends lost their favorite high school coach, Aaron Feis.

After processing this information, everything I intended to write about for this month seemed completely frivolous.

How do we come to grips with this, yet another senseless loss of life at the hands of a deranged individual with an automatic weapon? How do we comfort our children who have grown up in this world of violence and hate and help them feel safe? Heaven forbid this ever happen at one of our neighborhood schools.

I never get political in this paper; it’s not what we are about. But I hope you’ll bear with me, just this once.

How many more times are we going to hear “We are going to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Really? When?

I remember the summer before my senior year in high school. A guy walked into a McDonald’s in California and killed 21 adults and children with an automatic weapon. That was 1984.

Why is it taking so long? Why isn’t this issue crossing every party line that could possibly be crossed?

I respect a person’s right to bear arms, but all of us — Democrats, Republicans, independents — need to get behind legislation that would make it impossible for someone who is mentally ill, on a watch list, with a restraining order against them, or who was expelled from high school for violent behavior and having bullet casings in his backpack, to buy a gun — any gun.

And no everyday civilian should need an automatic weapon.

If you disagree with me, I would love to know why.If you do agree with me, we must demand change.

Thank you for listening.



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