OP-ED

We must turn emotions into action

Posted

I am at a loss of words at the loss of 17 innocent souls taken from this world on Wednesday. While I may not find the right words to truly express how I feel, I am filled with emotion. Sadness. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Anger. Frustration.

I imagine I am not alone in feeling all these emotions.

While we all struggle with this tragedy, and as the families and friends mourn their loved ones and classmates, I find myself in awe of the courage and composure of the students who spoke about this horrific event. These young men and women show immense strength to stand in front of TV cameras and share accounts of such a harrowing experience.

One such student is Samantha Grady, a junior grazed by gunfire, who told the world on The Today Show, with tears in her eyes, that her best friend died. She went on to say that she talks about the shooting because she doesn’t want to have nightmares.

And Kelsey Friend, who was interviewed by CNN and spoke about her geography teacher, Mr. Beagle, whose actions saved Kelsey’s life and the lives of his other students, but who was killed by the gunfire. She said, “Mr. Beagle was my hero and he will forever be my hero.”

No student should experience such tragedy and loss. No student should experience nightmares of an armed gunman shooting down friends and teachers.

Our nation’s gun laws are broken. Our nation’s mental health system is broken. I am frustrated that we continue to have this debate and yet nothing changes. It’s time our elected officials stop talking and, instead, start acting in the best interest of our children.

David Hogg, a student who survived the school shooting, is far more eloquent in his plea for action than I could ever be when he said, “Please, take action. Ideas are great...But what’s more important is actual action...saving thousands of children’s lives. Please, take action.”

It’s time we start listening to these kids. We can learn a lot from them.

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bendover

GEE, what happened Peter, did someone wake you from Rip Van Winkle syndrome? Yeah, I get it...I've seen it countless times before, never let a tragedy go to waste and not be politically exploited or spun. Use grief as a weapon, the heck with the families. That's the new norm from "political strategists", a despicable lot. Let's try a little context and history lesson to put your "thoughts" into the light of day...

"Our nations gun laws are broken"...No they aren't...Too often, they are ignored, not followed to the letter of the law, the follow up is woeful or non existent and the consequences are MIA...Amendments needed, sure..Stricter laws? I give you Chicago...

"Our mental health system is broken"...We agree on something...It has been broken since the days of "Titicott Follies" and LBJ's "great society" program of DE-institutionalization...turn many loose on an unsuspecting public, many with very serious mental health issues. Good luck getting politicians to wrap their hands around this issue, take a courageous stand, and offer real solutions.

You say you are filled with emotion, "Sadness, Heartbreak, Sorrow, Anger, Frustration." So am I. I feel all of those when I look at your job performance. The guy Kettle is in the headlines, what about the second part of the Gallison case? What happened to the indictment, sealed, unsealed, disappeared? Was there trafficking of minors going on inside the State House? Was this the media getting out over their skis, then running away from the story? WHAT?

The Montanaro debacle...5 signed affidavits stating there was no lapse in full-time employment at RIC, there was, and $50,000 in benefits obtained, he gets a schedule of payments for 10 years?

The worst scarlet letter that can be attached to a prosecutor is "failed to prosecute".

So while I am outraged and will mourn for the victims families, I am equally outraged at the FBI's lack of "FOLLOWING UP" on the information provided to them about this coo-coo clock being a ticking time bomb..."See something, say something"...Yeah right, another empty slogan. Just retire to Florida Petey, your political career is finished here.

Wednesday, February 21