Rock & roll Health Chick


I understand this may not be a popular

message for some. I would like to think that the good folks reading this culturally-rich publica- tion, which promotes harmony in music, food, celebration and kinship, will understand that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pur- suit of happiness. Getting gunned down does not fit with those principles! If you do not believe that any person, re-

gardless of their sex, color of their skin, sexual orientation, religious background, country of ori- gin, whatever differences, deserves the same fair treatment and rights, this article is not for you! I am pissed and this is my platform, where I am going to say what I think! Imagine you’re out with your family. You’re shop- ping for back-to-school items. Maybe you’re at- tending your place of worship, or you’re enjoying a festival. Maybe you’re with your friends in a nightclub. You could be playing a gig at a night- club or festival. Maybe you never make it home. Maybe your child or partner never makes it home. If you do make it, you’re left with images of mass murder for the rest of your life. I am horrified by the direction our society

has taken. I will not sit by and sweep it under the rug. I think we all should be outraged and speak up!

This is a huge public and personal

health issue. The majority of us don’t support hate, mass murder and the dismantling of the fabric of our society. We are suffering from the constant barrage of assaults on our psyches. Our collective mental health is at stake. Are we going to sit by and let this continue to happen?! Are we going to let the few ruin it for the many? If you went to school prior to the 1999

Columbine school shooting, getting shot at school, a grocery store, movie theater, church, concert, Navy yard, office building, almost any- where outside a war zone, probably never crossed

El Paso shooting victims.

your mind, unless you had the tragic circum- stance and ill fate of growing up in an area where violence and murder were common. There were plenty of reasons some of us wanted to skip school, but this was not one we had to consider. I cannot fathom adding this intense fear to

the confusing mix of experiences being navigated at that time in life. It was already overwhelming, even on the best days. Can you imagine having to deal with homework, grades, teachers and par- ents hassling you, practicing your instrument or sport or part in a play, getting the attention of the cute girl or guy you like, not getting bullied, hav- ing the “right” clothes, shoes, hair, being ac- cepted, etc., plus worrying about someone firing 600 rounds per minute at you and your class- mates?! What if you had to go somewhere daily for 13 years knowing one day you may not return home? The worry on parents is already too much. This added dimension has caused many people great emotional distress. Sometimes it’s enough to keep their kids out of a public school setting. Sure, we practiced fire drills, bomb drills

and tornado drills. Those were a little scary as a kid. I grew up in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN for parts of my life. Oak Ridge was a prime enemy target because of their nuclear activity, including involvement in the invention of the atomic bomb, and Knoxville is close by. We had air-raid sirens downtown that periodically blared for testing. So, we had added concerns and had to practice extra


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