Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I’m sorry, but as a mom, I just can’t find the words when it comes to these senseless killings at schools. At schools! My heart breaks for the families of those children lost at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.


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You do not have to be a mom to become outraged about killings at schools. A place that should be a safe haven for students and teachers. A place that should instill the love of learning – not the fear of dying.


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Yes, but as a mom, it’s beyond comprehension. You can’t help but think, what if it was my child? When I see the faces of those lost fourth graders, I find myself welling up with tears. I think of my girls at that age. And what those parents must be going through.


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I am not warm and fuzzy, yet I thought the same things. And, I thought about parents walking past empty beds. Even if you are not a parent, you cannot help but think about siblings and nieces and nephews, your friends and neighbors and their children. And grandchildren. It is not about being a parent – it is about being human.

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I felt the same way about Sandy Hook back in 2012. I can remember hearing about Columbine in 1999 as I was living overseas, and several people asked me how such a thing could happen in the U.S. I didn’t have a good answer then. And I still don’t. In fact, it’s only getting worse. When are we going to do something?!

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Excellent question. One many people are asking. Within hours of the Uvalde shooting, I heard two very passionate pleas from people with very different backgrounds – Steve Kerr, N.B.A. head coach (Golden State Warriors), who refused to talk about basketball in a pre-game interview, and Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat begging for bipartisanship to find common ground and take action.

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Well, I know that everything’s become so divisive, but doing something about all these mass killings – whether schools, churches, grocery stores, even a medical center, the list seems to be endless – should be something they can agree on. I just can’t get my head wrapped around why we keep doing … nothing! And I keep thinking about how you’ve always told me that doing nothing IS a decision. A decision to do nothing.

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Actually, I say, “It is a decision to maintain the status quo.” However, the challenge is finding areas of agreement, which may explain why Congress has done nothing over the last decade. Meanwhile, the number of mass shootings (which seems to be an American phenomenon) continues to increase. There have been over 200 this year alone, and the year is not even half over.

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You’re the one who loves numbers and statistics, but even I know that’s more than one a day. I’d think better gun control would be the answer. And before you say anything, I’m not against guns; I’m against high-capacity high-speed weapons. I don’t think any civilian needs them. Ever.

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Some people argue it is not a gun issue; it is a mental health issue. So, if you attribute our mass shootings to mental health issues, would it not make sense to do background checks and restrict those individuals from having guns?

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Talk about stating the obvious! Although clearly, it’s not obvious to the politicians who don’t want expanded background checks. I’ve learned that the House of Representatives approved background legislation over a year ago but that it’s just sitting in the Senate. And what about assault weapons? Shouldn’t those be outlawed?

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How much do you know about constitutional law? And, the Second Amendment?

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Well, I love history, and I know the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. It was written just after “we the people” served as our own “militia” to fight the British for our freedom, so “bearing arms” was so we could protect our country.

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Interestingly, the Second Amendment contains only 24 words (and, some unusual grammar) yet has been the basis of decades of debate about gun control versus gun rights. But, just like it is illegal to own hand grenades and machine guns, they could ban high-capacity ammunition magazines (again) and outlaw bump stocks (again). However, I do not see that happening.


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Why not? There’s no good reason civilians need those things.


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I can give you millions of reasons. Follow the money … from the gun rights groups and the N.R.A. straight to the politicians.


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So, you’re telling me it all comes down to money?! That they don’t care about all the people, including children, who have been killed. And they’re not willing to do everything in their power to prevent, or at least reduce, future murders?


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The U.S. is the most heavily armed society in the world, with more guns than people. And, the only country that has strong gun rights with minimal regulations – not even common-sense ones.


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The Uvalde shooter had just turned 18 and legally bought not one, but two, assault weapons and 375 rounds of ammunition! Anyone with common sense would find that alarming. Especially given the country’s youth are in a mental health crisis.


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That certainly should have raised a red flag. And, is why there is a push to get “red flag” laws (removing guns from people who are considered to pose a danger to themselves or to others), and raising the age of gun ownership to 21. But, there is no guarantee either will get enough support from Republican Senators to get passed into law. However, you cannot convince me that Republican voters do not support gun safety and common-sense gun laws.


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I think it’s safe (pun intended) to say most Americans support common-sense gun laws. That’s why politicians, who are supposed to represent us, not their own interests, need to find common ground.


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Well, when it comes to politics, common sense and common ground are not so common.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Image by osbkin on iStock


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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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