When I learned of the awful tragedy in Connecticut on Friday morning, my heart felt like it was literally tearing into tiny pieces. I’m sure we all feel and felt the same exact heartache, whether we are parents or not, whether we are teachers or not, whether we are supporters of the right to bear arms…or not. This is an absolute nightmare for every single person directly related, or indirectly affected. As the confusion began to clear into several small details, fragments of the truth, I thought of this blog and all of you, my sweet friends…but I could not yet force myself to sit and write. Feeling as if possibly putting the words into sentences would somehow negate the hope that it was all a dream…a nightmare, that we could wake up from, recover from, and still hug and love these children…watch them grow…help them learn…learn from them….and thank God for each additional second granted in their company. But no…it was not a dream. My lack of cementing the events into a published forum had no bearing on the reality, the horror, the pain of the truth. I wish it did.
There are no words…
To cover my condolences…
To cover my sympathy…
To cover my grief…
To cover my love of 20 children and 6 adults (heroes, if you will) I have never even met…
To cover my confusion…
To cover my anger…
Yes, there it is. That’s the raw emotion that takes over when the tears have spilt and the confusion begins to clear. ANGER. Pure unadulterated anger.
If you recall, I posted a few weeks ago about another unnecessary death caused by someone who shouldn’t have been able to obtain a gun…“Children with Guns…It HAS to stop!”, but this latest horrific tragedy has brought to light something else that America should consider. It’s not gun control. Gun control, to me, would be ideal if the “control” part meant no guns AT ALL. But, reality is gun control means no guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. Thugs will always have the means to obtain weaponry. The gun control measures I’ve heard of will essentially reduce us all to being completely defenseless against bad people. That’s not what I want and not at all what I think we need. I would like tighter controls over who exactly gets a gun…a full and lengthy battery of tests comes to mind, but I also believe that should be done before procreation and we all know neither of those are possible…but again, the wrong people can buy weapons capable of destroying small cities from the back of a car parked in a dark alley, so preventing the good people from being able to defend themselves in this circumstance will not do.
What we need, and is obvious from this latest tragedy, is more mental health assistance. According to an article by Shaun Hensley, “Mental Health Nuts are ‘National Crisis’, Report Finds”, published here on March 09, 2011, from 2009 through 2011, two-thirds of states slashed funding for mental health services.
Another chilling reference point comes after the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre in July 2012. This article, written by Donna Cooper, is titled “Cuts to Mental Health Services Could Lead to More Spree Killings” and goes on to describe the same budget cuts and report referenced above, as well as an extremely scary statistic…“According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults—approximately 57.7 million—experience a mental health disorder in a given year.”
Now, before you yell at me for taking this time to highlight America’s issues instead of showing respect for the victims and their families, know this…WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP THESE KILLING SPREES IF WE DON’T ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS. And this, among other ways, is how I am showing my respect and devotion to those who have been affected. LET THEM NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN……LET THEM LEAD THE WAY TO SAVING OTHERS!!
Please…share with me your thoughts. How are you remembering and paying tribute to the beautiful souls affected Friday? Can we, as a Nation, do anything to prevent this from happening again?
Did you catch the first George Zimmerman interview on TV? I only saw a little bit of it, but wasn’t surprised at what was being said. What I am surprised about is the lack of discussion over news outlets. I haven’t heard much about this in the news, so I’m banking on the fact that reporters no longer see the potential riot material and are just viewing this now like the rest of us have all along…a terrible tragedy. And the reality of it all? As sad as it is, tragedies happen all the time and I believe the media has just moved on to other, more sensational topics. At least until this one comes to trial.
Here are my questions for you…let’s chat:
1. What are your thoughts about the interview?
2. Has your opinion changed since this incident first happened?
3. Did you ever think this was a racially motivated crime? If so, do you still believe that?
4. Is this a case of public pressure to convict someone or is the law justified in pursuing murder charges?
Here is the interview:
Thanks for chatting with me….Happy Bloggin’ Ya’ll!!
A year ago today was devastating for many States. As I am a resident of the beautiful state of Alabama, I, among many, will never forget that day.
And I wasn’t even home.
As a project manager by day, I was visiting Virginia when tornadoes tore through Mississippi and then Alabama. I spent the night watching the weather channel and shaking from the inside out. I knew my family members were in safe locations, but nothing prepares a mother for watching the most devastating tornado roll over her son’s college. I sat glued to the TV and prayed harder than I ever have in my entire life…well, I take that back. When said son was 45 days old he developed triple pneumonia. The doctors gave him four hours to live. I prayed a lot that day, too. Thankfully, both days turned out well for us.
But we were the lucky ones.
April 27th 2011 is not a day any of us will soon forget. And it was not something we ever want to experience again in our lifetimes.
There were 62 tornadoes in Alabama.
There were 249 deaths in Alabama.
The map above shows all tornado (red), severe thunderstorm (yellow), and flood (green) warnings that were issued on April 2, 2011.
Tuscaloosa, a small college town that houses the University of Alabama, lost 8 students that day, along with a student that was in the middle of transferring.
It was such a sad day for this state, and many others.
The days that followed were also difficult.
The stories that emerged from this fateful day were nothing short of heart wrenching. They went like this:
A University of Alabama football player (kicker) lost his girlfriend and best friend. The trio sought shelter in a closet, but the building was demolished.
A man in North Alabama couldn’t reach his college daughter in Tuscaloosa by phone. With a sinking feeling, he managed to drive into and through the weather to get to her apartment. He and his father ended up recovering her body from the rubble.
Three sisters were in a hospital…all three in comas after their home was hit. None of them knew their parents didn’t make it.
A man was at work when the first of the tornados hit his area. As soon as the tornado had passed through, he went home. The home was no longer there and he lost his wife and two children. A third child was hospitalized and all he had left.
A Grandma had her 7 year old grandson over. No one could find them after the tornado had stormed through their area. Grandma was found down the road, but did not make it. But thankfully, the child had made the decision to hide out in the dryer. A decision that saved his little life.
These are just a handful of what was covered in the media outlets. Everywhere you turned there were people with stories like this…or unfortunately, worse. Facebook held pages of “Missing Persons” and others trying to match the owner with a belonging that was found, sometimes well away from the home.
A Tennessee neighbor found mail in her front yard the day after the tornadoes…it was from Phil Campbell, Alabama. That is roughly 103 miles.
As this anniversary is upon us, I ask you to provide a moment of silence for the victims across the Nation. Remember what happened on April 27th, and take heed when weather warnings are headed your way.
As seen with hurricanes and tornadoes, Mother Nature can be vicious. Please don’t take those warnings lightly when she is in your area…better safe than sorry.
You just never know what is going to happen…