Normally, I would not embark on a political journey and post something on my lifestyle blog. My goal for this blog is to express joy in healthy living, travel, every day knick knacks, and then implement some strategies to helping with making our every day lives more optimistic and giving. This is seen through my previous posts on buying local, implementing yoga into my daily routines and the benefits from it, and general suggestions on what to get you through the worst winter and summer illnesses that you catch during the seasons. Optimism is everywhere if you put yourself in the way of optimism, I believe. Ususally, in my darkest moments I can find that optimism. And I suffer from PMDD during my monthly cycles. Mostly this is the time that I am at my darkest places in my head, because my hormones and emotions are all over the place. So I have a good cry every now and then, then I am on my way to day dreaming of my next adventure and thinking more positive.
So when something makes me feel helpless or defeated, I often become stagnant in those emotions. Because I don’t like feeling this way, I quickly distract myself with something more positive because who wants to watch a sad animal shelter ad then burst into tears at the office, in the middle of the day, when you can’t run away from your co workers?
But sometimes you can’t distract yourself from those feelings of stagnation or defeat when just a week later the same thing happens again, just in a different place.
I am of course referring to the several mass shootings that have been happening in this country. A huge amount in the past five years.
Yesterday, a man walked into a movie theatre in Louisiana and opened fire. John Russell Houser killed two young women, a third is in critical condition, and then turned the gun on himself. He injured nine other people in the process.
Just last week, a man opened fired in two army facilities killing four marines and a US Navy sailor. This week, new reports are describing a militia of men holding assault weapons, guarding military centers all over the U.S. but mostly in the midwest and southern states.
And a little over a month ago, a young man walked into a church and shot and killed nine afican americans in a church located in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the victims included was the Reverend of the church and a state senator.
That’s three mass shootings in just a little more than a month. And lets not forget the several incidents where police have fatally killed citizens. In the year of 2015, the number of people killed by law enforcement officers, as of last month, had reached 500. Even though the autopsy for Sandra Bland has declared that her death was a suicide, one cannot ignore the dash cam video where the officer became quite aggressive with her refusal to put out her cigarette and even states “I will Light you up! Get out of the car!”.
This is not to say that all police officers are gun happy. I have known several police officers in my life who are good at their jobs. I have been pulled over once or twice by state troopers who were genuinely nice and warning me about a break light out or expressing concern for my safety. Locally, in Mayfield, Kentucky a few months ago, police were pulling over people for driving correctly and giving out gift cards to restaurants. They were rewarding people for obeying the law! You see police officers doing amazing things at their jobs.
But whatever side you take on the different police shootings, you cannot deny that 500 deaths in 6 months is a brutal statistic. It’s outrageous.
And you cannot deny that the number of mass shootings in the past five years is shocking. If you’re not shocked, then that in itself should shock you.
We should not live in a country that expresses freedom and boasts about being the greatest country with the greatest army, etc and then turn around and see people who are serving to protect us dying at the hands of domestic terrorism. The media should not ignore the fact that they tend to distract American citizens from the true horror that happened in Charleston. In Lafeyette. In aurora. In Sandy Hook. In Virginia Tech. In Chatanooga. In columbine. In Paducah. In so many places.
To simply repeat like a broken record: We need to do something about gun control. We need to act and change gun control in the States.
That is why I am
asking challenging all of you to actually sit down and write a letter to your congress people.
I am actually quite guilty of not doing this. I’d rather get on social media and bring awareness to my peers. I’d rather go out and walk on my own two feet screaming about injustices. I’m sure many of you do the same at times. But really, we need to give our voice to our congress people.
I used to think that it would not do any good, they wouldn’t listen. But, I’ve seen so many speeches and different letters that used such persuasive language that it literally changed situations. And so what if they don’t listen? I at least did my part and will continue to do my part to be a voice and change the status quo. Because with all of these statistics, our status quo sucks. it’s going down hill. And people are angry.
Clearly, we need a change.
We should feel safe in our every day lives. we should feel safe in shopping malls, movie theatres, military centers, schools, and our place of worship. We should feel only agitation, not fear, when a police car pulls us over for failing to signal. The worst case scenerio should not be that you end up dead, which is, sadly, a reality for African Americans in this country. A twelve year old boy should not be killed for playing with a toy gun in a public park. A child should not feel unsafe going to their elementary school class. We should not be afraid to go about our day.
Do some research in your state and inform yourself on which way your representatives lean towards on gun control. Find ways to convince officials that there should be a different route with engaging with a suspect. Instead of shoot first, react later, how about using dialogue instead?
Which ever way you feel about these situations, create a conversation with your state representatives. Be a part of the change. We have waited patiently for them to change it, now lets demand it. Join these celebs as they speak for a campaign called Demand A Plan.
Because enough is enough.