Guns Out

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Grief – Anger – Activism

This is the way.

The following letter is long, I know. It is what it is with my angers/emotions. I have sent it to my representatives. Feel free to copy, paste, modify and send your letters as well. MomsDemandAction.org and any government representatives who are fiercely advocating for equitable humane federal responses to gun violence, are great places to start to donate your time or a few dollars of support. And please, for the preservation of humanity and democracy, VOTE. Always use your privilege to vote.

Ms. Herisme
Average Humane Citizen
Everytown, USA
May 25, 2022

Dear (Public Representative),

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading basic federal legislation to protect us from gun violence.

I am angry and frustrated with how hard we have all worked to vote in representatives to turn the tide of our fall from democracy into autocratic fascism, only to end up with inadequate action based on the pretense of trying to bring two viewpoints into some compromise. While I agree that we can have opposing viewpoints working towards compromise, that is clearly NOT the case we are facing when one entire political party has clearly aligned itself with gaslighting abusive misogynistic authoritarian fascism. I implore you and your colleagues to cease behaving as if there is any way to compromise with abusive inhumane legislators and behaviors. 

The issue I am concerned with today which we need immediate humane action on to maintain our democracy, is gun control.

We need YOUR IMMEDIATE LEADERSHIP ON:
•	Banning high-capacity ammunitions magazines and automatic rapid fire assault weapons for any non-military environment.
•	Requiring criminal background checks, including domestic violence, for every gun publicly or privately sold, traded, or transported in/out of the country.
•	Requiring all firearms and ammunitions sold, bought, traded, etc to have a unique registered tracing stamp, like a car VIN.
•	Banning any ability for gun ownership, ability to trade/sell/transport guns or ammunition for violators of these regulations.
•	Funding the ATF to oversee and enforce these laws.
•	Funding mental health and social services with equitable access for all, and acknowledgement of racial/socioeconomic disparity, at the community level to prevent and respond to crisis.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that the only way to prevent gun assaults in schools, churches, supermarkets, etc is for more of us to have more guns. This is a disgusting lie we have been sold in order for the NRA to boost dangerous military-style cosplay by frightened, entitled, disenfranchised, abuse-prone, sometimes mentally unstable men. The NRA backed businesses make more money to rally more and sell more military style equipment, and the cycle continues.

Men are going into spaces and killing people because they all have one thing in common – access to guns, especially those which will do the most damage, along with perpetuated cultural delusion of military style guns=power and control grandeur. These men have been sold to want that more than anything else, including any respect or reverence for their own lives, much less anyone else’s, including our children in schools.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that any gun control laws violate our “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” which is blatantly false. We can continue to own guns with some regulations on protection and prevention of further public crisis. I am a responsible gun owner. My son, 13, is currently taking gun safety classes with the intention of becoming a responsible gun owner when he is an adult. I agree and support our right to bear arms. I do NOT agree with the NRA bastardizing our rights as unfettered access and entitlement to military grade automatic, rapid fire weapons. 

As a nation we hold not just accountability for our ability to maintain our rights as we collectively define and redefine them while we develop, change and grow, but also an obligation to ourselves, our nation, our global neighbors, and our future, to be held accountable for how we are maintaining these rights. It is impossible to argue for unfettered access to any fire arms without adequate equitable support or regulations with this access, and maintain that as a nation we feel any obligation to public health, keeping children alive in schools, or humanity at all.

The following are a few of your coworkers who cannot be considered or reasoned with because they have received money from the NRA and are fighting to develop and maintain anti-humane legislation regarding weapons in this country:

Senator Romney $13,647,676 received from the NRA 
Senator Burr $6,987,380 received from the NRA
Senator Blunt $4,555,722 received from the NRA
Senator Tillis $4,421,333 received from the NRA
Senator Gardner $3,939,199 received from the NRA
Senator Rubio $3,303,355 received from the NRA

For comparison, the average Social Worker earns $58K a year. Senator Romney could fund 235 full time Social Workers to support public health crisis with his NRA money - he does not.

Before any of them address anything to do with discussions on adequate and appropriate gun control, or any public official (Cruz, Abbott and their disgusting sycophants) who is not vocally, publicly, well-intentioned, actively disengaged from the NRA in all ways, they should be made to listen to the following list of schools as they are, through their NRA and lack of gun/healthcare support, actively advocating for students, my child, your child, to die by gunshots in schools, courtesy of their inability to see beyond their own greed. The following schools have been targeted with gun violence just since Columbine. I challenge you to READ THESE ALOUD to the person closest to you right now. I promise it will make a painful truth come alive to honor them this way by refusing to look away from this horrific public health crisis we are allowing in our schools (and communities) by having elected officials who are not addressing gun control. These schools, students, teachers, staff, children have been sacrificed by us in the name of our warped interpretation of our right to bear arms. We are abysmally shamefully inhumane.

Columbine High School
Heritage High School
Deming Middle School
Fort Gibson Middle School
Buell Elementary School
Lake Worth Middle School
University of Arkansas
Junipero Serra High School
Santana High School
Bishop Neumann High School
Pacific Lutheran University
Granite Hills High School
Lew Wallace High School
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
Appalachian School of Law
Washington High School
Conception Abbey
Benjamin Tasker Middle School
University of Arizona
Lincoln High School
John McDonogh High School
Red Lion Area Junior High School
Case Western Reserve University
Rocori High School. 
Ballou High School. 
Randallstown High School. 
Bowen High School. 
Red Lake Senior High School. 
Harlan Community Academy High School. 
Campbell County High School. 
Milwee Middle School. 
Roseburg High School. 
Pine Middle School. 
Essex Elementary School. 
Duquesne University. 
Platte Canyon High School. 
Weston High School. 
West Nickel Mines School. 
Joplin Memorial Middle School. 
Henry Foss High School. 
Compton Centennial High School. 
Virginia Tech. 
Success Tech Academy. 
Miami Carol City Senior High School. 
Hamilton High School. 
Louisiana Technical College. 
Mitchell High School. 
E.O. Green Junior High School. 
Northern Illinois University. 
Lakota Middle School. 
Knoxville Central High School. 
Willoughby South High School. 
Henry Ford High School. 
University of Central Arkansas. 
Dillard High School. 
Dunbar High School. 
Hampton University. 
Harvard College. 
Larose-Cut Off Middle School. 
International Studies Academy. 
Skyline College. 
Discovery Middle School. 
University of Alabama. 
DeKalb School. 
Deer Creek Middle School. 
Ohio State University. 
Mumford High School. 
University of Texas. 
Kelly Elementary School. 
Marinette High School. 
Aurora Central High School. 
Millard South High School. 
Martinsville West Middle School. 
Worthing High School. 
Millard South High School.
Highlands Intermediate School. 
Cape Fear High School. 
Chardon High School. 
Episcopal School of Jacksonville. 
Oikos University. 
Hamilton High School. 
Perry Hall School. 
Normal Community High School. 
University of South Alabama. 
Banner Academy South. 
University of Southern California. 
Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School. 
Taft Union High School. 
Osborn High School. 
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. 
Hazard Community and Technical College. 
Chicago State University. 
Lone Star College-North. 
Cesar Chavez High School. 
Price Middle School. 
University of Central Florida. 
New River Community College. 
Grambling State University. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. 
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy. 
North Panola High School. 
Carver High School. 
Agape Christian Academy. 
Sparks Middle School. 
North Carolina A&T State University. 
Stephenson High School. 
Brashear High School. 
West Orange High School. 
Arapahoe High School. 
Edison High School. 
Liberty Technology Magnet High School. 
Hillhouse High School. 
Berrendo Middle School. 
Purdue University. 
South Carolina State University. 
Los Angeles Valley College. 
Charles F. Brush High School. 
University of Southern California. 
Georgia Regents University. 
Academy of Knowledge Preschool. 
Benjamin Banneker High School. 
D. H. Conley High School. 
East English Village Preparatory Academy. 
Paine College. 
Georgia Gwinnett College. 
John F. Kennedy High School. 
Seattle Pacific University. 
Reynolds High School. 
Indiana State University. 
Albemarle High School. 
Fern Creek Traditional High School. 
Langston Hughes High School. 
Marysville Pilchuck High School. 
Florida State University. 
Miami Carol City High School. 
Rogers State University. 
Rosemary Anderson High School. 
Wisconsin Lutheran High School. 
Frederick High School. 
Tenaya Middle School. 
Bethune-Cookman University. 
Pershing Elementary School. 
Wayne Community College. 
J.B. Martin Middle School. 
Southwestern Classical Academy. 
Savannah State University. 
Harrisburg High School. 
Umpqua Community College. 
Northern Arizona University. 
Texas Southern University. 
Tennessee State University. 
Winston-Salem State University. 
Mojave High School. 
Lawrence Central High School. 
Franklin High School. 
Muskegon Heights High School. 
Independence High School. 
Madison High School. 
Antigo High School. 
University of California-Los Angeles. 
Jeremiah Burke High School. 
Alpine High School. 
Townville Elementary School. 
Vigor High School. 
Linden McKinley STEM Academy. 
June Jordan High School for Equity. 
Union Middle School. 
Mueller Park Junior High School. 
West Liberty-Salem High School. 
University of Washington. 
King City High School. 
North Park Elementary School. 
North Lake College. 
Freeman High School. 
Mattoon High School. 
Rancho Tehama Elementary School. 
Aztec High School. 
Wake Forest University. 
Italy High School. 
NET Charter High School. 
Marshall County High School. 
Sal Castro Middle School. 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Great Mills High School
Central Michigan University
Huffman High School
Frederick Douglass High School
Forest High School
Highland High School
Dixon High School
Santa Fe High School
Noblesville West Middle School
University of North Carolina Charlotte
STEM School Highlands Ranch
Edgewood High School
Palm Beach Central High School
Providence Career & Technical Academy
Fairley High School (school bus)
Canyon Springs High School
Dennis Intermediate School
Florida International University 
Central Elementary School
Cascade Middle School
Davidson High School
Prairie View A & M University 
Altascocita High School
Central Academy of Excellence
Cleveland High School
Robert E. Lee High School
Cheyenne South High School
Grambling State University
Blountsville Elementary School
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
Prescott High School
College of the Mainland
Wynbrooke Elementary School
UNC Charlotte
Riverview Florida (school bus)
Second Chance High School
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Williwaw Elementary School
Monroe Clark Middle School
Central Catholic High School
Jeanette High School
Eastern Hills High School
DeAnza High School
Ridgway High School
Reginald F. Lewis High School
Saugus High School
Pleasantville High School
Waukesha South High School
Oshkosh High School
Catholic Academy of New Haven
Bellaire High School
North Crowley High School
McAuliffe Elementary School 
South Oak Cliff High School
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sonora High School
Western Illinois University
Oxford High School
Robb Elementary School

These are just the schools. 

SHAME on all of us for allowing this to happen. SHAME on all of us for electing officials who fail us time and time again by pushing either personal interests in grabbing money from the NRA and affiliates, or pushing authoritarian fascism, believing their piece of greedy power and control will leave them in a protected sweet spot where laws and rules won’t apply to them at all.

I am angry. My community is angry. This country is fed up with the lack of boldly humane leadership, specifically in regards to gun control, mental health, racial/socioeconomic disparity, and safety for all. 

Please step up and do the job we the people want and need you to do. 

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading federal legislation to protect all of us from gun violence. 

If this is something you are unable to do, rest assured I will do everything I can to see someone else elected to represent us and get this done. These past few years have made me a single issue voter – either you are working to support equitable humane policies, or you are not.

If this is something you will do, I will write letters and contact anyone you need me to in order to support your efforts for necessary humane gun safety on our behalf.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ms. Herisme 

What more can we do? After activism, maybe more thoughts and prayers… G-D Damn y’all g-d freaking damn. Keep safe and check on your neighbors.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Uh-oh.  Now she’s going to preach about: gun control, teachers need guns, mental health, universal health care, libtards, evil conservatives, sexual assault, feminism, sexism, patriotism, nationalism, racism…

 

TRIGGER WARNING

 

trigger, trigger, trigger!

 

BANG!

 

Honestyism

 

Those of us living in the United States of America, are living in a fear reactive based culture in general.  On top of that, we maintain this bizarre “code of silence” about truths and realities of our culture/town/neighbors/school/family/self which permits us to disengage and disconnect from responsibility to ourselves and to each other.  These things prevent us from having productive dialogue, discourse, and disagreements, which could lead to healthy compromise and solutions.

 

For example:  I am confident that there are next to zero parents who want to their child to feel unsafe at school, or to be shot at school.  This is the beginning of a dialogue.

Some of us might feel that schools need security/police/armed teachers or staff for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

Some of us might feel that we need better gun control/mental health support over all for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

(psst… these are not mutually exclusive ideas, just different ideas)

 

When the dialogue becomes about the extremes, which we are brilliant at, the discourse breaks down and stagnates until the side with the most power and control gets their way.  This leaves the rest of us scratching our heads, “what just happened?!!” Or loosing complete interest and tuning into some reality television show/youtuber/drink/exercise/food/work/sex/whatever to tune out our reality.

BANG!

The power and control duo do not equal good leadership.

BANG!

Having power and control is not a good indicator of good decision making.  (hello, world history and anyone who has been in an abusive relationship)

 

One of the things that makes our country so great, is that we emerged from a group of people who were unified in their belief that there was a better system for collective living. Rather than relying on those who wielded only power and control, they developed a system of collective input and feedback (not equitable, and with other issues, yes, yes, yes I am simplifying.  I said “ONE of the things,” anywho…).

BANG!

We have the laws we have because we voted for them.

BANG!

We have the people in office that we have because we voted for them.

 

Gun laws or lack of?  We vote for those.  BANG! BANG!

Education system?  We vote for that.  BANG! BANG!

 

I am not under any Pollyannaish spell where the magical world of magical peace will be attained through everyone believing in my truth.

 

I am suggesting that, as a collective, we do not accept our own culpability or responsibility in our collective missteps, disappointments, inactivity/activities. Shame and blame game, baby.  Power and control for the win!

 

WORTHINESS is critical.  Believing that one is worthy and others are worthy.

 

All it takes is for me to look inside my own home, inside of my own family, inside of my own community, to see this playing out.

 

My Home/Family:

There are so many scenarios to demonstrate in this dynamic.  The two men in my son’s life who are the closest to him struggle to maintain civility, courtesy and respect with SonHerisme.  It is awful.  I draw my boundaries as I am able to do so, and I am getting stronger and more able everyday.  In the meantime, I wonder what these men are doing to help SonHerisme feel worthy as a person.  Worthy enough that he can see worthiness in others.  Worthy enough that he does not get to the end of his rope as an at-risk teen and go into a high school or workplace or concert, and decide that not only is he unworthy, but so is everyone else.  What are they doing to show him how to be a functioning healthy adult man?

 

I could have this conversation with them.  It would not be received.

 

After the latest High School shooting, my father wondered what the differences could be between that shooter and himself.  My father tragically lost his father when he was very young.  His mother became ill and died when he was a teenager.  He was poor.  He was bullied.  My father is completely at a loss in understanding why this young man in Florida, and other white men, are shooting kids at schools, when he did not do that.

Unlike these kids, my father had a support system of people who believed he was worthy, and showed him that others had worth too.  He had a consistent sense of reciprocal responsibility in his community from the time he was born.

He did not have access to the kinds of firearms people do today.

 

Bang

 

My School/Community:

In our school community, parents are not included in the school-day community at all.  It is considered a sacred place for children only (and the staff).  Our after-school community consists of primarily female-centric activities run by parents (girl scouts, brownies, garden club, writing club, mother-daughter book club… yes, gardening and writing are not just for girls, but they are female centric and female run).  There is a co-ed robot club too, limited and selective, and an athletic club that meets seasonally at a local park (also run by women).

 

I have reached out multiple times to try and establish interest and leadership in more male-centric activities (scouts, maker-space, running club etc) with little to no response, and ultimately no action.  Inevitably someone comments, “where are the dads?,” “c’mon dads, grandfathers, uncles, step up!,” on my social media posts on the school page.  As if publicly shaming the men, we will make them want to be involved.

 

I offered my intention to walk near the school on the planned walk-out days, specifically noting that I would not disrupt the school day.  I was told, through an intermediary, that I was going to frighten kindergartners (oddly no mention of the preschoolers, so I guess they are a-okay with my goings on). After much circular dialogue, I finally received confirmation that the principal specifically wanted this person to tell me not to walk near the school.  We are so ridiculous in our silence and assumptions.  No one thought to have the courtesy to ask me what my vision and intentions were beyond my post. No one thought of how to promote supportive community (as in the entire school community, not just the carved out piece of children and staff) in this charged time.  By the way, I was going to walk and talk about peace and safety with my son, on the public sidewalk near the school.  Which, it being a public sidewalk and all, no one can prevent me from walking on.  Ironically, no one else indicated they were joining us.  It was most likely going to be the two of us on a bonding stroll, reinforcing to my son that I was, in some small way, a member of his school community and supportive of the community.

 

Where in our community are we offering support for our boys to feel that sense of worthiness?  That sense that others are worthy?  That sense of reciprocal responsibility?  We can’t even do it in our own school.  How can we expect it to happen in our broader community?

 

bang

 

I am struggling in my own home with this.

 

bang bang bang Bang BANG

 

I am so proud to be a citizen of this country, despite our gross flaws, because each of us can potentially make a difference by using our voice and vote to steer our collective community and nation.  I am finding it amazing that more and more people seem to be engaged and interested in our country’s direction.

 

I agree that there isn’t a single answer for this recurring gun violence in schools issue, and also that we need to start somewhere.

Changing gun laws seems to be a no-brainer beginning, but it does not address our serious endemic issues (which are often institutionally endorsed).

I believe that we have been teetering on a tipping point for some time in our country. I hope I’m contributing to us tipping in the direction of peace and humanity.  I am trying in my little corner, to support my SonHerisme to feel his own worthiness and the worthiness of others.

 

Maybe I should do more.  Maybe I should do differently.  For now:

 

Please let me stay healthy and alive until SonHerisme reaches well into adulthood, to give him the best footing to not become a tragic statistic.

Please let us pause and collect ourselves nationally to support school safety.

Please check on your neighbor.

Please help our fatherless boys (and those with harmful fathers).

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey and hot sauce – mix ‘em up = bang bang sauce

Fry up some stuff, dip fried stuff into sauce

I hate mayonnaise.  Oh, wait.  I mean, I like to eat it occasionally when it is called for, but I hate it.  I hate the way it looks.  I hate reading the word.  I hate saying the word.  Blech

Do you know what I hate more than mayonnaise?  Hypocrisy, “code of silence,” lying, compromised health and safety, kids getting shot at school.  You know, the everyday.

b aaa nnnnn ggggggg