In awe!

I’m temporarily interrupting the looks, books, cooks and occasional travels you normally read about here, for a topic I just can’t overlook.

I’m in awe of the brave, feisty, and very smart students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for fearlessly taking on the NRA, the United States Congress, the President, and the rest of the establishment that has repeatedly turned a deaf ear (at the least) and otherwise stood in the way of sensible gun control. The determination and straightforward message from the Parkland, Florida students has moved students and teachers, parents and grandparents, and so many more across the country to join them.

It would have been much easier to stage a vigil, comfort each other and privately manage their grief. What they experienced should happen to no one. But they chose to dig in and fight back. Hard.

They are focused. They aren’t giving up. And they are moving the needle.

A blog is a unique medium. It’s fun to share books and recipes and travel, but it’s also personal. And some days the elephant in the room is just too big to ignore. How can I talk about a trip to Italy or a book I just read when yet another gunman walked into a school, killing seventeen people and injuring more than a dozen others. I’m angry that it’s happened, and I’m even angrier that it’s happened so often we just pause to light candles, shake our heads and move on.

To those of us who don’t like guns, who view them as war tools and instruments designed for killing (because what else is an automatic weapon for?), time to step up and support them. Have their backs, vote, agree that this is the time. And to gun owners, who are hunters or who have a personal weapon for protection, it’s also time to think about weapons we need and those we don’t need and why registration and licensing may be advantageous. (This is a big concession for me. I’ve always lived in a gun-free home.)

There’s nothing normal about gunmen shooting up a school, or concert-goers, or nightclub patrons or any of the other hundreds of gunfire victims. Is it me or is there a real disconnect when one dog dies on an airplane in inexplicably awful conditions and Congress immediately proposes appropriate legislation, but hundreds die in schools, churches, nightclubs and concerts and the same Congress says “the time is not right”? More to the point, do we care more about guns than our children?

There are no easy answers here. This is a complicated stew of second amendment rights, lobbyists, money, mental health support (more money!), and a polarized public unable to move. I think we all have a part to play.

Whew! I had to share my thoughts. I hope you’ll tell me what you’re thinking.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time!

8 thoughts on “In awe!

  1. I couldn’t agree more, Jan! I was in downtown Chicago last Saturday morning and heard from the many students there. That were awe-inspiring, and their heart-felt requests were for help to end the violence that so many of them have experienced. We met in Union Park which is closer to areas that fear gun violence on a daily basis. They called for students and adults to “vote for change”. They even had people there with clipboards and voter registration forms. They shared poems, raps, song & dance creations with a very strong message that 85,000 people hopefully heard and will act upon! I was so impressed by their passionate belief that we can make a difference collectively, that I went away with a sense of hope for these young people. But we do need to “have their backs”. Our primary voter turn-out was sadly deficient, so we need to exercise our freedom to vote for those that are dedicated to changing the factors that contribute to gun violence- background checks, waiting periods, age restrictions, and eliminating assault-type guns in the hands of the public. Maybe together we can be the change! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments. I saw your FB posts. It sounds like the march was really meaningful. (We were in Ohio with our kids or I would have joined you.) I love the calls to vote and facilitating registration. Where I live in DuPage County, the primary voter turnout was huge, especially among democrats who came out of the woodwork to vote in record numbers. We’re all curious to see if the impetus for change in sustained in the fall. Happy Easter, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this. I feel the same. It also appears that Maryland does too as we’ve just passed & signed bills forcing convicted domestic abusers ( 30 categories!) to turn in all weapons.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad that you wrote this post. Like you, I am in awe of the MSD students’ strength, passion, and focus. I like that they continue to emphasize that they (and most Americans) are for sensible gun laws and are NOT calling for a ban on all guns. I also appreciate very much that they keep pressing the media to pay attention to others, particularly people of color, who have been trying to raise their voices on this issue for a very long time. These kids are truly amazing. It is heartbreaking to think of the trauma they had to endure. Hopefully, the strong support they are receiving and the difference they are making will bring them some comfort and healing.


    1. Thanks, Mo. I agree with all your comments. They had an experience that none of us should have and it will change them forever. And I don’t know about you, but this time I feel that the response is going to lead to real change — slow and incremental but change. We are living in amazing times! (And I am working on my list of things I can’t live without.)


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