safety drills. Kids today have to add a live-shooter drill

to the mix. In these drills the whole school simu- lates the presence of a live shooter and a lock- down situation. If you aren’t familiar with live-shooter drills or lockdowns in a school, you’re lucky. During these drills there is an at- tacker and police in full military gear. Students hide in their classrooms, closets or any place they can find and practice an actual attack. Sometimes the attacker shoots hurtful pellets at the kids. These drills can be in an elementary, middle school or high school. Kids are traumatized by this simulation at all of these ages!

or dead from this destructive, automatic weapon that has no business on our streets! There is zero reason a person needs this type of weapon, other than to kill a lot of people quickly. The idea of never having known a time

Sandy Hook shooting victims. If you’ve been in the military and experi-

enced combat or enemy fire, you probably under- stand the scope of the destruction an automatic rifle inflicts, but most of the rest of us can only imagine. And now we have to imagine. We have had to add the fear that those we love may never come home, to the barrage of other fears. We’ve had to understand that anywhere we are now can become a crime scene, which we may or may not survive. Just these fears can cause PTSD, anxiety and depression. Imagine what those who lose someone and/or have this experience have to deal with.

Growing up, we older folks never had to

worry about going to a night club, music festival, shopping mall, place of religious worship, movie theatre or anywhere else, only to find ourselves facing the chance of getting gunned down. More and more regular people, minding their own busi- ness, going about their lives, are now traumatized

when that was not part of our culture is heart- breaking. To never have experienced a level of peace in something so seemingly mundane as going to the grocery store and only worrying about being able to pay for your groceries is not ok! That should not be the “new normal!” What in the hell have we become?! Why are we sitting back and letting this happen?! Why is this happening?! These discussions can be just as heated as the discussions about the topic itself. People argue all day long! Intelligent peo- ple, who would normally think and speak ration- ally, digress into anger, name calling and narrowly-focused, one-dimensional rhetoric. Is it violence in our “entertainment” industry? Is it vi- olent video games? Is it mental illness and lack of access to help? Is it poverty, racism, fear, anger, lack of nurturing and guidance, lack of reasonable discipline, entitlement, no moral compass, brain- washing? Yes! Absolutely all of these things can be factors! But these alone do notmake someone commit murder. There are those in power that use the argu-

ments above against us. They KNOW that there is great power in dividing us. That robs US of OUR power. There is power in numbers. They are afraid of what will happen if the majority of us recognize that we are being divided, controlled, manipulated, deceived, robbed and cheated out of what our Declaration of Independence and Con- stitution are supposed to dictate. Our Constitution states, “We the People of

the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tran- quility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Our Declaration of Independ- ence declares, “We hold these truths to be self-ev- ident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalien- able Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty


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