Comments : 115

Hi friends, I had a post scheduled to appear today but in my heart it just didn’t feel right. This shooting in Florida has hit me really hard. As a mother and citizen of our wonderful country, I am grieving for those families who are dealing with the unspeakable, losing a child, a husband, a father in the aftermath of another horrific school shooting. Here is my letter that I posted-

But as the details have come out, I have become more enraged than  ever seeing just how many omens and signs were there for all to see but somehow this monster  was allowed to fall between the cracks and was given the opportunity to commit this horrific crime.

I wrote a letter on Instagram yesterday because I found it hard to get back to posting the pretty pictures I so love to post, it made me feel vapid and shallow to go on with things as usual. I know we all have different ways of dealing with grief and sadness, and I am most certainly not judging but for me personally I just  needed to honor those innocent lives and their families by “venting”.



I thought my blog might too be a good place to start a conversation and share ideas on what we can do to as American citizens who need this to stop. Some will agree and others may not, but I want to think that we can all agree to disagree and respect one another for our opinions and beliefs while remembering essentially we all want the same thing-  a peaceful nation, one where our kids can go to school and not fear that they might not make it home.

We have become a nation of fatalism, where we have grown to accept that these incidences are  tragically, part of the society we live in. We talk about keeping these people in our thoughts and prayers but in a day or two, life goes back to normal and so it goes on.


My thoughts-

Every school needs  metal detectors at every entry point (and there is no reason to have but just a few for day to day access) , there is no  excuse to not have these in place immediately.  It might not be foolproof but it will be a deterrent. Think about it- it could do double duty, it could also be a powerful tool in taking “attendance” and keeping track of those who come and leave the school (especially high schools students). There could be an app that they could swipe that would take their attendance and aid in protecting the school from anyone bringing in a weapon.

Gun control– this needs to be overhauled dramatically. No 18 year old needs to or should have the right to buy an automatic weapon. When politicians say that taking away gnus will not change this or that they can still find a way to buy guns, I say this- when there is a treatment for cancer, it will not cure all patients but it certainly does cure a fair share and aren’t those lives worth saving? Same for gun control, it is not going to irradiate every shooting, but it will, as other countries have proven greatly reduce the number of incidences/casualties.  We don’t stop looking for cures for cancer because it’s better to save some lives than none at all.  In the same vein, we should be relentless in our pursuit to amend current gun laws if it means saving lives, pure and simple. Yes, gun control will not irradiate these shootings but it will make access harder and will decease the occurrence of these horrible school shootings.

Our gun homicide rate is disproportionately so  much higher (as much as 50 times) than any other industrialized nation. Why?  Because of our gun laws and how many people have access to them.

Just one look at other countries  who have greatly changed their gun laws after horrific mass shootings and relentless public outcry, the numbers speak for themselves. In each of those countries, the mass shootings have done down dramatically. It is a pretty simple equation. Look up and read about the UK, Scotland, Japan and Australia.

If the gun laws won’t change then the vetting process needs to be greatly amended. We don’t require a gun license, how about not only required a gun license but in addition to the criminal background check, having congress put into place immediately some kind of database with regard to mental health risks, I know with HIPAA laws that is gray territory but polices must be broken and/or amended to save our kids.

See something say something. We as a culture have become so numb and so careful to not offend, so obsessed with being politically correct that we turn a blind eye.  It has become a culture where we look the other way and not involve ourselves, we have become a selfish country. There were so many clues here, so many people saw this coming from neighbors, to people on social media, his family and teachers and fellow students. Where was the breakdown that allowed him to walk freely, plan and execute what had to have been a carefully laid out plan.

All social platforms should not exist until they can take the responsibility to more closely monitor the content it publishes. Whether it is increasing their “watchdog” groups to scan and recognize the messages  of hate filled promises of violence and report it to authorities. You Tube, Instagram and Facebook all had extremely distributing content on their platforms that for the most part nothing was done about. These postings, until the day this happened in fact remained on their sites, his promises and messages of violence and shooting people, the plan was there for all to see.

Doing whatever we can to help remove the stigma of mental illness. It is not a choice, but it is like any other illness, an illness that some are born with. I cannot even pretend to say how to go about this but I am all ears and would be willing to do my part, whatever that might be. The default answer for many when these shootings happen is blaming it on mental illness, while that is a huge part of this, it is the weapon that caused so many to perish. The combination of mental illness and owning a weapon is a lethal combination. How is an 18 year old  able to buy an assault weapon but cannot buy a beer? It is ludicrous!

I know there are no “sure things” but I think we can all agree something must change. We all need to do something whether it is writing our local congressman and/or public officials, if and when we see something or someone that is “off” or we feel is not right, we cannot be afraid to take action. We owe it our children and our country to do this so this madness can stop. No child or family should have to endure such an unthinkable pain ever again. Our country is better than that.


Would love to know what you think. You do not need to agree but I do ask that everyone comments in a civil and respectful way in a way that will honor  the victims and their families. Please share your thoughts and suggestions, so we can all learn from each other:) Knowledge is power!

Thanks for stopping in, I know so many of you come to my blog because it makes you happy (as it does me) and it can be a nice getaway from reality and I promise that on Sunday,  things will get back to normal.

I just felt compelled to write this post and vent a little, the sadness as the young faces and names have been released has overtaken me and I feel I need to practice what I preach, not hold it in, not be afraid to express my feelings but to put myself out there, to speak up when something is wrong.

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Mary Balagia on

Thank you thank you thank you

Amanda on

Spot on with every word. Our politicians will need to stand up and take a stand against these senseless murders by reassesing our second amendment. Like you said one look at other countries will show what happens when you take the guns out of the hands of the mass public. Why its taken so many mass shootings to drive this point home is beyond my comprehension. As you said ALL THE SIGNS WERE THERE, they were so horribly missed. I pray for those families. Thank you Tina for this.

Tina on

I agree with everything!

Sherry S on

Well said, Tina. I cannot agree more. Time to take action, and write ALL our Elected Officials.

Ruth on

I agree with your thoughtful remarks. It makes me sad that our children have to deal with metal detectors but I agree we’ve reached the point where they are necessary to protect them

M on

In the seventies we changed our laws so that states couldn’t hold the mentally ill against their will. This is what led to our homeless problem and the general devolving of our society. The more aggressive mentally ill left the facilities and committed crimes so that our incarceration rates soared. Since states only have so much money they had to close the facilities where some of the mentally ill were happy to stay so that they could pay for the huge surge in prison costs. That dumped even more people who could not care for themselves on the streets to be preyed upon by the aggressive mentally ill and mentally “normal” criminals. Since we are not allowed to hold people against their will except AFTER they have committed atrocities the mainstreaming of mental illness and its associated behaviors have spread throughout society. From San Francisco legalizing defecating in the streets to schools being forced to accommodate children with obvious psychologically based behavioral problems. A culture that has no standards for public behavior will not last long. We are seeing the fruits of that policy change from 40 years ago. When one group is allowed to get away with non standard behaviors, no matter why, other groups will want the same freedoms. When police pulled back from enforcing laws in black communities because of BLM riots and criminals in those communities took advantage of that lax policing we then saw a surge in criminality by whites and Hispanics. The white criminals wanted to get away with the same anti social behaviors that blacks were allowed. You can not allow one segment of society to have special dispensations, their behaviors will ALWAYS spread to segments of the general populace. That is what is happening with these school shooters. Some of them are seriously mentally ill and 40+ years ago would have been in a facility. Some of them are on the edge and since they see that anti social behaviors are not punished except in the most extreme circumstances they revel in their darkness instead of fighting it. Psychiatrists have long known that mental illness can spread through societies. Look at any of the social revolutions of the 20th century that lead to billions of murders. Even if some one is mentally ill and therefore aren’t responsible for their actions they have no right to degrade society. We don’t need gun control we need mental health control and enforcement of basic social norms.

Patti on

I agree with everything you say. It is sad to think that metal detectors are required in schools but such is the reality. Other countries don’t have to teach their little children “dangerous person” protocol in classrooms. Why do we continue to put up with these gun laws? But if nothing happened after the slaughter of mere babes at Sandy Hook I don’t have much hope for this administration.

christine on

And I so agree! Thank you for putting these thoughts and words out there. God Bless those families, my heart too is so sad.

Lee on

All shootings are so incredibly heartbreaking – but, this one in particular, even more so because of so many signals given by this very sick child. Our FBI failed, social media failed, his peers failed, we as a society failed. There are no reasons why anyone under the age of 21 should be allowed to buy weapons. If it is a household where parents feel a young person should own a firearm, then they should assume the responsibility for the purchase and safety of it and be held liable and responsible for the weapon. This is simple legislation which should be put into place immediately. Certainly a minor who has as many issues as this person should somehow be flagged in a database to prevent the ability to purchase firearms and what is needed to operate them. This situation is sickening as it was so preventable on so many levels. If this doesn’t wake up those who can begin to fix it – nothing will. Thank you for the discussion – it is so needed!

Ellen on

Well said, Tina!! I’m all for supporting the Second Amendment but no hunter uses an automatic weapon and no homeowner needs an assault weapon to protect his family. Yet, here in Virginia–the home of the NRA headquarters–no one runs for political office with a vision to restrict gun ownership. I’m sickened to see that so many people alerted the police that this shooter was troubled. Why can’t we empower our law enforcement to restrict guns from troubled people? It makes me sad that we can’t figure out a solution to this problem.

David on

I am perfectly fine with no guns at all (except for police and military). Are there any other people out there that would agree? I know that we have the 2nd amendment, but am I the only one that is OK with deleting the second amendment? The price for having the 2nd amendment in the constitution has become a price too large.

Catharine on

So proud of you for speaking out and sharing what we are all feeling. The hopelessness and sadness is overwhelming as we become hardened to these awful shootings No one….no one but someone in the military…needs an automatic weapon. They should not be sold! Gun lovers need to stop being so selfish and think about others….these automatic weapons should not be available. Gun control should be stronger. The NRA needs to stop donating millions of dollars to our politicians. We need to deal with this issue. Please go out and vote in November for candidates who are committed to doing something about this issue. Speak with your vote and get others to vote along side you.

Sandra Schreiner on

There are no words for this senseless tragedy! Am wondering where the talking points on violent video games, movies and tv are?

Mary Olka on

I am so outraged, saddened and terribly disgusted that I find it hard to express my feelings. Thank you for the courage to publicly express my very sentiments.

Mary on

I am so outraged, saddened and terribly disgusted that I find it hard to express my feelings. Thank you for the courage to publicly express my very sentiments.

Marydell Rogers on

Thank you for putting many of my thoughts into words. I have emailed my Congresswoman, Senators, and the President. We must all speak up.

Kathy Leonard on

YES!!!!! no reason for semi automatic weapons for the general public! They are military grade made for KILLING!! The NRA is to blame for its grip on our congress!!!

Dianne on

Thank you Tina… your words are well spoken & true?

Gina on

We have to stop the buying off of our politicians by the NRA.

Susan DLT Chairez on

Sadly, Mental illness is mostly ignored or turned away from in todays society. The evidence is on the streets with the overwheming homeless and unacceptable social behaviors. These people are people who need to be addressed & helped but not ignored. I know this because my mother has mental illness, my brother is a veteran with PTSD and sadly i have a daughter with extreme anxiety disorder. If I were to dismiss their illnesses, they could possibly be homeless and/ or destructive to themselves & others. But I Choose to Acknowlege them & get them the neccessary help. YES, the signs are there but are we willing to do anything to help when we see it? Where is this boy’s family? It really isn’t the gun thats the problem, it was a tool of choice in order for him to get noticed. I am horribly saddened for those who have lost their loved ones and always ponder, what if that were my child who was shot? I continually pray with my son every morning before I drop him off to school because I see the HUGH REALITY of what mental illness can bring forth.

Suzanne on

THANK YOU! Rules and laws are meant to be broken and amended, and if nto for the safety of our beloved children, then who?

One life is too many, but this is where I say government has the blood on it’s hands. Enough is enough. I have written my congressman and local representatives and will band together with America to be sure this is the last school shooting, we cannot tolerate the compliance any longer. Thank you for bringing up this much needed conversation.

Sheila Phillips on

My dear lady there is nothing I disagree with your statements. But you sell yourself short. Your blog brings beauty into our homes and hearts. We look and ah and maybe go out in the yard and clip some leaves and berries to bring in our homes. Inspired by you. Remain active in your social consciousness (well done) but know in your heart you also share beauty with us.

Elizabeth on


I have been mulling this over in my mind for several days. I agree with several of your points, we need to make stricter gun laws. We need to protect our kids while they are in school. WE ALL NEED to speak up. If you see a child bullied, acting crazy, etc. tell someone. We ALL need to be open to a dialog. WE ARE ALL individuals, we all have our own thoughts and lives that shape them. Enough already with the bashing of someone and their opinions, its ok if we do not all agree, we will manage to find some common ground.
If we are concerned about this issues, and mental illness than lets get off or collective butts and do something. I am sick and tired of all of the “lip service” from the celebrities, and influencers and bloggers( I am not referring to you) who get on their perch and preach. Then after a day or a week they are back doing their thing. That said, maybe they are working behind the scenes to make a difference I do not know. What I do know is this, kids are dying at an alarming rate from suicide, shooting etc. And much of this is taking place on the internet and social media.

These social media platforms must be more diligent about “policing” what is going on on their space. After all if they know the Russians were interfering in our election than they can certainly see a person that is acting irrationally by posting statements that they are going to shoot up a school.

Perhaps it is time in this country for a change. We could start by enacting term limits on our elected officials many of whom are old and frankly set in their ways. Many of these people do not have the best interest of this country at heart. Second, if we want change we as a people have to work for it, and we need to do it more than the one day a year we vote! We need to use our money, our platforms, and our voices, EVERYDAY! One person can make a difference in the world so imagine what we can all do together.
Here is my idea: Maybe we need to start a blogger group that instead of getting together to link beautiful rooms and projects takes the time once a week to remind their readers about these issues, about votes coming up, and who the representatives on these committees are? Don’t get me wrong I love a beautiful room and any recipe with sugar but we have become a complacent society and I for one am one of the bloggers that has been afraid to post on controversial issues. I was never like that before but in the last year people have become so violent and hateful if they disagree with your point that they troll you, send you death treats and simply act irrational. I have dipped my toe in the water with a few controversial “conversations” and I have experienced these things and more.

WE need to raise our voices, raise them loud, we need to shout from every corner, every rooftop. We are not going to take our children dying in schools, at the movies, or a concert any more. We are no longer going to let lobbyists run our country. (On a side note, do a google search of how many lobbyist there are per member of congress, you will be surprised. Having worked in Washington I have seen things that you cannot believe and they go on everyday, 365 days a year.)

We are no longer going to let politicians who do not listen to our wants and needs run this country.

Think of the Dr. Suess book/movie Horton Hears a Who, if you are not familiar with the story look it up. Again I say, raise your voice, not just today, but everyday! If you have something you are passionate about then work to make changes.

Tina, I really think that I am on to something with the blogger group. Let me know if you want to work on something together, or if anyone reading these comments wants to get together and take one day a week, or month to post on our social media platforms about making a change in the gun laws, etc. After all if a group of bloggers can rally their troops to boycott food companies and stores that support their platforms and make effective changes than just imagine what a group of fed up, angry moms, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends etc can do to these politicians.

Thank you for opening your blog to a civilized discussion.

Mary S on

I Agee with everything you have said. My feeling regarding guns is that I don’t believe any citizen needs an assault rifle. That is what should be banned if nothing else.

Joan on

To echo Mary B: Thank-you thank-you thank-you.
A friend sent me a post today: 20 years ago in the UK, a man walked into a school and murdered 16 elementary school students and their teacher. Shortly after handgun sales were banned in the UK. There have been no school shootings in the UK since.
There has to be a societal shift because “thought and prayers” are sounding very hollow and insincere and no longer ‘cut it’. “Thoughts and ;prayers” are not going to keep another assault rifle out of the hands of the next mass shooter. I hate to be cynical, but if a shooting at a Congressional baseball practice isn’t enough to wake these guys up, then what, God forbid. is it going to take?? And shame on every one of those cowards who went on tv and hemmed and hawed about ‘looking into the matter more closely’ in an effort to ‘not make any hasty decisions’. If only those on Capitol Hill were taken to that school to see the aftermath, and then to the morgue and funeral homes to look at those kids and their wounds and then forced to sit in a room with those families, look those parents in the eye and tell them why nothing can be done!

Beth Brace on

Yes I agree and our elected officials need to do their job. Again I feel they are thinking politically correct and do not serve the youth of the generation that will take care of us. It is a very sad day and it must stop.

Mary Mack on

Get money out of politics.

Donna R on

It is past time that we put this horrific issue to front and center and lay down the politics and fix our nation! I’ve traveled numerous times to Europe and they cannot believe the lack of gun control in the United States. It made me feel embarrassed and ashamed that we have so much violence here and yet we are one of the most wealthy nations in the universe. We can solve this by laying down our politics. I am a proud gun owner, but I believe there is no place for a military type fire alarm in the hands of regular citizens. These automatics should only be used for military purposes. What do we have to do to get our elected officials, that we all pay for, to listen to reasoning and common sense! Stop the violence now! Put our safety first! No child should have to go to school fearful of being killed. And what is this going to do to their general psyche and years to come when they must feel afraid and threatened, wondering when will it be their school? I am not proud of my country right now and we have to find an answer, like yesterday!

Vicki Sewell on

First, I have lost a child myself. Prayers for all these parents who have to travel this journey through grief, which there is no end. Agree there was no excuse for FBI not being able to locate him. I am no for taking away rights to bear arms, however the laws need to be obeyed that are already in place, automatic weapons need to be banned except for law enforcement and military. Period ! Mental health seems to be rampant in this generation of kids and need to be addressed. If illegals can be given more money than many people who draw SS, they can lower the hand outs and use that money for mental health. It is no wonder kids are tolerant of violence. The movies for the past 20 years are nothing but violence. Hollywood loves to sing their praises for being politically correct, yet they are very happy to get paid for starring rolls in these hideous movies. It begins at home. Period. End of my rant. Thank you

Kara on

I am discussded at our police and fbi. This kid had 39 visits from police in the last 7 years. The FBI knew about him. See something, say something…. people did…and still nothing was done. I live just a short distance from Parkland. It sickens me what our country has come to. Our elected leaders don’t do crap.

We need to protest in a huge way…not sure what the answer is. Something MUST be done. We aren’t safe in church, at school, at a concert or movie theater.

Everyone must rise up and make a stand!

Deanna on

I, too, am extremely upset. Our kids are sitting ducks. Metal detectors. Armed police at EVERY school in this nation every hour the school is open. Tax me. I’ll pay for it. No guns to anyone who has a whisper of mental illness. Depression meds? Nope, no guns. That means I can’t have a gun. I’m okay with that. And yes, Tina, you’re so right, everyone must be vigilant on social media and look for the “crazies” who post. My husband says these shooters are cowards. Watch their posts and take every weapon from their house. And please, stop HIPA now. Thx for your post. I just cry a lot now. Blessings….

Patrice on

Much of the horrific injustice of these tragedies stems from people too young buying guns on line. I am of the stance that NO One should be able to buy a gun before the age of 25 without parental co sign unless they’ve been in the military and are of sound mind. If they don’t have a parent then they have to wait until they are 25. I also do not think guns should be sold on line. PERIOD! A waiting period would be a good idea too. When I lived in Atlanta I was robbed at gunpoint twice over 15 years. I was so angry after the second one…I was going to buy a gun, something I never thought I would ever have the desire to do. At the time there was a state law of a 30 day waiting period after making application and having a background check. By the next month I had moved on with my life and decided to leave Atlanta and moved about a year and a half later.

Linda on

My very first thoughts were, as you said, why didn’t these students say something to the officials when they believed he was going to shoot up the school some day?? Kids talk among themselves and know more about what’s going on than the teachers. Metal detectors should be installed at school entrance doors. It’s not rocket science. The shooter pulled the fire alarm to get the kids out so they would be a better target, but he had to get into the school first. Ever since conceal carry was approved, things have gone crazy. We never had this kind of violence.

Susan Minahan on

I could not agree more with everything you said and I thank you for saying it! I am a conservative politically, but I do believe if our Founding Fathers could see what is happening with these weapons in schools and public places, they’d be amending the Second Amendment!!

Marvin on

Right on Tina. I wrote to my two Florida Senators (Marco Rubio – reluctant to talk about gun control and Bill Nelson – supports gun control) and Governor Scott along with Attorney General Pam Bondi who paved the way for 18 year olds to purchase guns. I told them I would diligently work on behalf of any politician who supports gun control. The NRA controls this state. Rapid fire assault weapons are not needed for hunting or to defend oneself and strict controls only ensure that guns are sold to responsible people. Thanks for your comments and allowing your fans to express theirs.

JoAnn on

Let’s please not denigrate the mentally ill, the vast majority of whom are not in the least violent. Although their behavior is terribly socially aberrant, these mass murderers are not mentally ill, They are angry, anti-social, sometimes ideological, obviously violent men with easy access to weapons and ammunition meant only to kill human beings. They may be encouraged by a culture of violence as entertainment and problem solving. They premeditate and meticulously and carefully plan their actions. They are not mentally ill; they know perfectly well what they do. They are sane and their actions are evil.

Diana on

You put into words everything I would say and believe; thank you
Tina; your writing as always is spot on.

Mary on

Thank you, Tina – it takes courage to speak out on this! I’d like to start by discussing the Second Amendment which specifically states that its purpose is to provide a “well-regulated militia”. At the time it was written, there were no national armed forces to protect the country. The NRA purposely managed to brainwash this country into thinking otherwise, in the interest of selling more guns.

It is beyond my comprehension that so many of our politicians are more beholden to the NRA than they are to their sworn duty to protect the citizens of this country. These people, to me, are just as guilty of murder as those who have pulled the triggers in all of these mass murders – they appear to have lost their souls. Truly, how do they sleep at night?

Yes, more needs to be done about mental illness, but the majority of the mentally ill are victims of crime, not perpetrators. Those committing mass murders are sociopaths which is a different category altogether…they are criminally insane – a less than perfect childhood did not cause their behavior. In our society, a person can’t be arrested until he’s committed a crime, regardless of what law enforcement may know about him…so what are we to do?

I didn’t mean to ramble on, but feel so passionate about this. Thank you, Tina, for giving me an opportunity to express my feelings.

M.L. on

Bravo, you have more sense and better handle on the matter than most politicians. Gun control is a huge huge part of this, until that is amended, our society will allow this to happen get again! Thanks for speaking up

Denise on

AMEN!!! How this fell through the cracks is a mystery to me. The police had been called to his home 36 times??? Explain that to me?. He carried a huge rifle into a school….no one saw that??? Explain that to me?
He posted sickness on Facebook, bragged about killing people, killed animals…am I reading the same news as you??? How did the FBI miss this!!! My questions and answers will not bring back those precious young people, but they might tell us how stupid we have become!!!

Benesse on

Tough issue, indeed. Complicated and personal. Even subjective.
I look forward to Sunday when once again, I can escape for a moment and enjoy pretty things.

Michelle Kaplan on

Amen to all your comments and views. WHO, outside a war zone, could possibly need an assault rifle? People are not taking responsibility these days for their children’s actions or what happens around them. Social media allows for uninhibbited expression without accountability. If you speak up for government control, you risk alienating those who want less control. Thank you for your well written words.

Jamie on

Hi Tina – It hurts my heart so much! I think of when my two adult children were in high school and how excited they looked at the future and cannot fathom someone taking that away from them in a place they were supposed to be safe in. It is a senseless tragedy. WE owe are children more than this!!

Polly on

Thank you so much for saying what we are all feeling. Why do we allow semi automatic guns to be sold in this country????? Why can’t something be done to prevent these weapons from getting into the hands of murderers??? There is absolutely no reason for this and it has to stop.

Catherine Christie on

Tina, I agree with everything you said but in my view, there was one glaring omission, and that is the movie and television industry as well as video games that promote such incredible violence that children who are often left to entertain themselves can not but be influenced negatively. Yes, I know that parental control should be in place, but for the teen aged youth who are the perpetuators of these crimes, they usually can find a way to play games and watch movies without a problem. They need to stop being made!

Gayle on

There is NO reason that anyone other than the military or law enforcement needs automatic weapons. There needs to be a buy back program and possession needs to be made illegal punishable by imprisonment. My boys hunt birds, deer etc. They grew up with shotguns. We don’t need automatic rifles or handguns!!!! People who grew up like this do not abuse this privilege. It is apparent that congress is unable and unwilling to change the gun laws. My state senator received over $3,000,000 in campaign contrubutions from the NRA. I recently saw the movie The Post. I think the reason Katherine Graham had the guts to publish is that she was a mother. How many more boys had to be sacrificed in an un- winnable war? Mothers/women will have to unite and vote out of office those who vote against gun control. More women will have to run for office. Maybe it can be done state by state if not on the national level. All these mass shootings are made possible by automatic weapons. We women will have to unite. We are the majority in America now.

Celia Becker @ on

Dear Tina,
Thanks for having the courage to use your beautiful blog as a forum for such an important and serious subject. I agree with everything you have expressed in such a poignant, heartfelt and loving way. I had thought for sure that after the Sandy Hook tragedy our politicians would enact change, that the public outcry would be such that they would start listening to mothers like us instead of the NRA. I was disgusted yesterday when I heard Marco Rubio say that they needed more information and facts before jumping to conclusions. What additional facts do they need beyond the fact that 17 innocent lives were lost??!! If I were one of those parents who lost a child yesterday I would be so outraged by Rubio’s callous words. If I hear one more politician say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” and then do nothing about this, I think I’m going loose all faith in our political system. It can no longer be tolerated, this padding of politicians pockets by the NRA at the expense of their constituent’s lives. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

Betty T on

Agree totally…voting out third in congress who year after year do nothing…will be a start

Betty T on

Agree totally…voting out those in congress who year after year do nothing…will be a start

Eve on

Thank you for putting into words what most of us feel. What a senseless tragedy. If we don’t do something this will continue We will go back to our lives until it happens again. We need spineless political figures who are not afraid to stand up to what is right.
May God hold these innocent victims in the palm of his Hands.
Thank you. Tina for President!!!

Barbara Liguori on

Tina, I have been so upset that I couldn’t sleep well last night and just wiped tears away after reading your thoughts. I feel exactly as you do. We NEED TO CONTROL WHO IS ALLOWED TO PURCHASE GUNS, and also what kinds of guns made available to anyone. I am a retired teacher of 35 years, working in a high school with wonderful, lovely students, parents and colleagues. I can’t even imagine how this school community feels today and will be able to face the next school day. When you live and work together in a school everyone becomes part of a little family. In some way or another, this horrific, tragic, incident will haunt the minds of all who attend that school. If any seniors were involved, I can’t even imagine what graduation will be like.
Anyway, I am totally in agreement with your thoughts and concern. We need to do something and do it now. We need to act as a concerned nation. This needs to stop. My sincerest sympathy to all families who have lost such precious treasures, their sons, daughters, dads. friends!

Mary on


I, too, feel like I have a heavy stone in my chest about Florida. Yesterday, my 17 year old daughter came home from school. A friend of hers, a sophomore, committed suicide. Why, why, why?
I’ve been spending a long time thinking about this. What has changed over time that results in this type of disregard for human life. What can be done. Here’s my list.

1. Not every child is born into a loving, healthy home. This is where most of us get a good start, an anchor, and a purpose. If you don’t have that, you are already at a loss.
2. Technology-our children have access to all the vile and disgusting things – pornography, violence, cruelty, crudeness, hatred with absolutely no filter, whether it be television or social media. Living in a free society is a double-edged sword….no one wants this regulated because of freedom of speech. Technology companies are making so much money off of this. It is so hard to control what your child is watching and seeing, because if they can’t view it at your home they can at another. Have you seen the video games where with the click of a button you can kill lots of people.
3. Look how public figures/ adults are acting-from our Hollywood types to our politicians. It’s disgusting. Their language, their hatred, their judgment and unfortunately they have the largest platforms. Profanity, violence, sex -It’s in the musical lyrics , the movies they create, the ads that are printed. Madonna saying the “F” word in public and how she wants to blow things up, really?
4. Religion. Attendance in organized religion is at its all time lowest. People don’t have a spiritual anchor or a need to believe in a higher being.
5. There is no concept of shame. Everything and anything goes.
6. Teachers, coaches, school administrators are trying to be parents, when the parents are failing. Parents are not present – Whether it’s financial challenges, drug abuse, lack of skills or too much selfish interest, children are being raised by others.
7. There is something to be said for physical exercise. Kids running around outside and playing are burning off the energy, learning how to interact with others. Most kids are behind their phones, computers, video games for HOURS every day.
8. There is literally no mental illness support anywhere. If kids can’t talk to their parents, and don’t have a priest or minister, who do they talk to?Where do they go?
9. Look at all the chemicals in our food. How do we know that isn’t affecting the brains of children? Most of the ingredients you can’t even pronounce….how many families eat good healthy food?
10. I completely agree with you on assault weapons. But anyone with an intent to hurt will-box cutters used to be just box cutters before 911. Cars were modes of transportation before terrorism.

Some short-term solutions:
1. Every school should have an armed guard. There are plenty of retired cops, military that need a job and would do this.
2. Make technology companies accountable.
3. I like your metal detector suggestion
4. Parents need to sit down and spend time with their kids. If other children are struggling we need to help.
5. We need to start assessing the mentally ill. Many cities are faced with vagrants, homelessness, panhandlers who are mostly suffering from mental illness. If you are over 18, there isn’t much anyone can do currently.

Look at what Mothers Against Drunk Driving did decades ago. They singlehandedly CHANGED the way alcohol affects teens and driving. Laws have changed because a group of moms took this on.

Maybe a group of mothers/parents should start Moms against School Shootings. We can’t rely on the government or teachers or anyone else to fix these problems. They have to start in the home and the community. A great adult could make a positive impact on a child that really needs it. I want to buy a big house and take every child who currently lives in an unloved home.

Vivian walker on

Dear Tina
Thanks for the post , you are right on . The minute congress makes buying a gun illegal people will run out and buy one .
The shooter , from what I heard pulled the alarm
So the students would come out of class so he did t go on campus at that time , but had the kids set up as targets so I don’t know how a medal detector would help, but we must must must stop this some how. If I call the cops and tell them I think my neighbor is nuts what can they do ? The guy says no I’m ok go away , there isn’t much they can do
Being crazy is not a crime .
I would like to see the killer put before a firing squad of parents
Each getting. Shot st him but no place that would kill him right away.
And what about the people he loved with what did they do to stop this crazy ? They must have known he was a nut and had a gun
Well enough from me. Don’t know how to stop all this

Rose Lee Josephson on

Dear Tina,
You wrote with such intelligence and knowledge about our country’s excessive and horrific school shootings. Thank you for speaking up and for your passion and compassion. Did you know that although the NRI encourages laws that allow guns into churches, libraries, theaters, schools, night clubs, etc., it doesn’t allow visitors to bring guns into its corporate building.
Women don’t want this carnage and we need to speak up!
Rose Lee Josephson, PhD

Darcy on

Thank you Tina. It is time, no, it’s past time that something happens in this country to protect our most precious asset – our children. No parent should face the abject horror and heart break of having a child murdered while in the protective walls of a school building. No more “thoughts and prayers”, no more empty arms where a baby was once held, no more. It’s now time for our lawmakers to take action; to finally stand up to the NRA and enact rational, real gun legislation.

Jean ann on

Tina, well said. I️ agree with you completely and appreciate your cancer metaphor. The only thing that is unrealistic is limiting social media. When the FBI was shown his comment though, why didn’t they follow up?

Susan Schneider on

So well said. I don’t see why any person needs an assault weapon. It’s all about the money made by gun manufacturers. surely we can do something about people who are under 21 from buyingsuch dangerous repeating guns.
Thank you for your very good comments. I would certainly be a part of any movement you could head up!

Alice Genzlinger on

Copy cats are everywhere. Our children’s minds are being feeled with the news that show this despicable act over and over. They watch the junk Hollywood puts out as entertainment that show people being killed and have become desensitized to the blood and gore. We have taken God out of our schools and have replaced him with lies. We don’t weight our words when talking about politics saying hateful, mean, disgusting lies about those we oppose. The family has broken down. One mother trying to be mother and
father to her children. We now call wrong right and right wrong. Unless we turn back to our family and God foundation nothing will change and will only get worse. . God save our nation.

Linda Cashman on

I saw on the news an interview with the people this boy was living with and they acknowledged that they knew he had that weapon and he kept it
in his room. When asked why they let him keep it in their house, the man said “It was his”. Come on, where is common sense? What could make an adult think a 19 year old should have a gun like that? This boy had just lost his mom from flu complications, and his Dad about 10 years ago. From all accounts, he loved his adoptive parents, but at age 19 had lost both of them. He was obviously a very flawed person. My feeling about the prevalence of angry, violent young people in our society today is the breakdown of our family structure. We have so called celebrities having children outside of marriage, morning news anchors who announce they are pregnant at their wedding (TODAY SHOW),
magazines fawning over teenage Kardashians getting pregnant outside of marriage, etc. There is a reason a child needs to be born within a loving home with a mother and a father–that is where they learn how to respect the opposite sex and learn that life and relationships are about commitment and work. We have so many kids adrift today without that family structure. I am honestly glad I raised my daughter in the 1980s and not now. All my daughter wanted to do was get out to the Farm after school and on weekends to be with her horses, there were no smart phones to be so attached to, no hanging out with no purpose at malls, etc. I was in the grocery store a while back and a 9 or 10 year old kid a few feet away from me asked his Dad for something and the Dad said NO and the kid went off on an “F word” filled tirade at the Dad. I was so
shocked I stopped in my tracks and just stared. The Dad said NOTHING and walked off! When did parents start accepting that behavior from
kids–and not even as old as teenagers?! We have a real big breakdown of courtesy, manners, work ethic, and family values in this country. Freedom of Speech only applies if everyone around you agrees with you–otherwise you are to be silenced (sometimes violently). College kids have become so close minded that they are “offended” by any opinion that differs from their own and feel the need for “safe spaces” so they don’t have to hear it. It used to be that you went to college to sample all kinds of different thoughts. This division in our society has made us more segregated as groups than we were in the 1960s. Politicians who demonized our police along racial lines played a part. I truly believe that the structure of the family and re-instituting family values MUST happen to give our kids a foundation to become well-rounded, happy people.

joyjc on

When I heard about the shooting, the tears just came out of nowhere. Those precious children and the adults that perished just made no sense. My prayers are for the families and friends of those who perished. I am so terribly annoyed with the powers that be that could expands gun laws that could possibly help to slow down if not eliminate these horrendous events. Clearly what we have in place is not working! What is it going to take?!?!


THANK YOU!!! You nailed this and it is so well written. Thank you saying everything I was feeling down to where were those students who were almost bragging on the news yesterday about how they bet on this sicko’s chances of shooting their school when law enforcement should have known? I was appalled watching those kids give interviews, one of them was so nonchanant about this as though everyone knew but no said anything. THAT is the problem along with a major gun control overhaul. I will take to the streets if need be, we must save our children.
How have we let things get this bad? It is such a tragedy for our country.

Susan on

I agree. Not one person, except military and law enforcement, needs an assault rifle. However, I do fully support the Second Amendment.

Mary ann Poole on

I agree with you – very well expressed. I get the WSJ on line so I read Peggy noonan’s column today – it’ll appear in tomorrow’s paper – and thinks that her political solution could work. I hope everyone will read it and comment.

David on

I’m sorry to say this, but this problem will persist and get worse. What is the difference between the US and other countries that do not have this problem? The Second Admendment. Until we remove the Second Amendment the US will always have this problem. The terror is a side effect of the “freedom” to bear arms. The price we have paid for the Second Amendment has become too great. I am 100% OK to remove it.

Margaret pisano on

Bravo. Well put. Our laws protect us if we are mentally ill. What laws protect us from the affects of mentally ill individuals who can acquire weapons. We need congress to help. Laws to protect us all. So many angles in this case that were missed. Thanks Tina

Irene DeVane on

Thank you Tina. I admire you and your comments ,I agree with you whole heartedly!

Donna on

Thank you for taking the time to write this! What is happening to the children in our country- should be immediately addressed and swift changes made. Children are being killed…. have we not seen enough to finally take action?

Arlene on

My heart has felt empty ever since this happened. Why our country way more than anywhere else:? Because of the guns and our lax laws.
As a lifelong Republican this has nothing to do with party but with humanity and saving our young kids. I will never forget Sandy Hook and those darling little first graders, that was the lowest point (with 911) for our country. Now this, and Vegas, and Colorado, I could go on…when is it enough? Maybe when it’s the politicians’ kids? Is that what it will take for them to see this is not a party issue but a moral issue. GUNS DO NOT BELONG IN PEOPLES HANDS UNLESS THEY ARE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT/POLICE. PERIOD.

Valerie on

I am so right there with you but am saddened that I do t think anything will change. It breaks my heart and should break every heart I our country and force our elected officials to work toward a positive change. Thanks Tina for doing all you can to begin a positive dialogue.

Lesley on

My heart goes out to the families of those affected by this and other incidents. We were horrified here at the number of gun related incidents in US schools since the beginning of 2018

We have had mass shootings here in the UK and gun laws have been tightened up but it is extremely difficult to obtain a gun here and our police are still unarmed (Incidentally, when you use UK it already includes Scotland)

Katherine on

Just one comment. Ordinary citizens cannot own “automatic” weapons. That is strictly a military thing. I have not read about this incident because I choose not to. Did this teen alter his rifle to make it an automatic? Automatic means a multiple burst of rounds with ONE trigger pull. A semi automatic, of which I, as a woman, own many and enjoy target shooting means ONE pull, ONE round discharged.

These are mental health issues not gun control issues. Millions of citizens like myself own guns and do not go on rampages. It is our constitutional right to own weapons and the founders understood an armed citizenry was essential to preserve freedom. Every country around the world that has taken from its citizens the right to arm themselves are the countries taken over by despots and thugs who are the only ones with access to weaponry.

Anne Marie O'Connor on

Thoughts and prayers go out to families who have lost their loved ones and the students and teachers who walk the school halls everyday who have witnessed and/or experienced this horrific tragedy.
Yes, I do believe mental health should be a concern to everyone but I also feel that guns are not always on the mentally ill minds. Two different topics. Separate the topics, help the mentally ill and get rid of the guns that kill. Take a stand.

Peggy Ekena on

For me, I agree 100% with you, Tina. After 9-11, our world has changed, as we once knew it. We have become complacent when tragedy strikes and we need to change that! I have four grandchildren and worry about what kind of world they are going to inherit from us. We do need stricter laws and some amended. When this country was founded, guns were needed for protection and killing animals for food. This country has evolved from those times and a system of Checks and Balances needs to be put in place, when issuing guns. A database that would prevent people, with a history of mental illness, from purchasing guns, would at least be a start! I want to attend an event, whether it’s a concert, parade, or marathon race and not wonder if someone in the crowd has an illegal gun. We really need to make a change for not only our younger generation, but for those living in the United States today.

J Fain on

Tina. Here, here. I totally agree with you. I can’t wrap my head around why we can’t pull together and demand that our legislators do more than “business as usual” . I know the NRA is a powerful gun lobby, but come on, how many innocent lives will be lost before we get “a grip” on this persistent problem. I plan to write my congressmen on both the State and Federal levels. I haven’t been moved to this point in a long, long time. It’s about time that I try again. We shouldn’t let frustration stand in our way.

Marcia Moorhead on

There is an article in Readers Digest about a teacher who felt she had to do something after the shooting at Columbine, it was well worth reading , she is making a difference . This issue needs to be addressed at all levels. ??

Janice on

As I understand it, the FBI had been notified about this man. What more could anyone have done? Metal detectors just make a beep. An armed and trained guard would have to be at each metal detectors. The answer is not easy. Norway has one of the strictest gun laws in Europe, yet the worst mass murder occurred in that country, over 70 dead young people. Maybe if we really worked on bullying prevention…all too common in our schools., that would help. And our society needs to face the fact that some mentally ill must be held for treatment against their will, which I can tell you, as a social worker and paralegal, is just about impossible in our country since the 70’s.

Joanie K on

I agree with Sandra S. where is Hollywood and big business when it comes to violence in movies and violence in video games? And the FBI dropped the ball on this case. The reality is we do not live in a safe society anymore. All schools should have metal detectors. Security needs to be ramped up in schools just like at the airports and at sporting events. All School doors should be locked. there were many people and signs showing this particular individual had problems and they were ignored. This is not as simple as let’s remove all guns. It’s a much much bigger issue within our society and how violence is accepted. Who knows why the FBI dropped the ball. It’s a sad day for all of those families.

Beverly Ozburn on

First of all, I have a hard time with the fact that you identified this young person as a monster. Yes, his choices and actions were horrific but I do not see him as a monster. I see him as a disturbed young man who desperately needs help. I do not forgive his actions nor do I think he needs to go unpunished but I still do not see him as a monster. Sometimes help can come in the way of punishment for wrongdoing.

I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be some attention to our gun laws. Why does anybody need an assault weapon unless there is a plan to assault?

Metal detectors would not have changed a thing in most of these school shootings and would take money away from educating children. Plus, technology now makes weapons that would not have set off a metal detectors anyway. Most of these shooters would simply have walked right through the metal detector and started shooting anybody who tried to stop them.

Actions like this are performed by those who are mentally ill and that is something we need to address with more attention. But, more importantly, we need to follow the laws and regulations that are already in place. We do not need to let reports and attention to somebody who has expressed such tendencies fall between the cracks. The truth is that officials cannot possibly enforce all the laws and regulations we have in place. They need help and we are the ones who are going to have to be certain that they get help to enforce our laws and regulations – be it through funding or through our stepping up and taking responsibility.

What really needs to happen is that we as parents need to spend more time and energy with our children. We need to start from a young age teaching them right and wrong and to have compassion and empathy for our fellow man. We need to become less egocentric and self-centered and teach our children not to be that way either. We need to set consequences for inappropriate actions and have the courage, tenacity, and concentration to follow through with the consequences to our children’s poor choices and behaviors even when it is inconvenient and frustrating and a punishment for ourselves.

Years ago, I sat in an professional development workshop and heard a speaker tell me, an educator, that the children who enter our classroom doors are not awful, or terrible, or monsters. They are the best child that their parent or guardian can send to school to be educated. That parent may need our help to educate the child not only in academic content but also in life lessons. This poor family did not intentionally send a monster out into the world. This young person did not aspire to be a monster. So, before pointing a finger and calling names, we need to have compassion and take responsibility and all work together to make things better.

While this young man is not a monster, he certainly is not alone and we need to focus on those other young people who need attention and consequences and care enough about one another to do our job at teaching our young people even when it is tough for us to do. We need to offer support to young families who might be ill-equipped to teach children right from wrong. We need not to look at ourselves as superior because we or our children did not commit a heinous act against others. We need to all take collective responsibility and do something to make changes and not give up until those changes take place.

Barbara on

To me your words rang true on every count. I agree he is a monster who does not deserve to take a single breath, given that he has taken 17 lives and broken the hearts of all their loved ones. The minute he started to plan this massacre is when he gave up his right to be treated like a human being. To think he is going to get served three square meals. a day, that he has a bed to sleep on, that our tax dollars are paying for his attorney fees and general well being makes me sick to my stomach.

Yes our country has sunk to a new low. I could spend hours telling what I think is wrong- our. movies, video games, who our kids idolize, our gun culture, our penchant for violence, our society who turns the other way, our politicans on BOTH sides of the aisle who will not step up and stand up to the NRA, our educators, our parents who want to pawn their kids off to others to raise, the average fellow citizen who sees but does not tell (example would be the fellow students who speculated and gossiped about what he would do one day), the FBI, it goes on. So many are responsible for what happened in Florida and all the other shootings.

Until our guns are taken out of the hands of people who do not need them, sadly this will likely never stop. Radical and extreme problems need radical measures. I say it is time to relook at our second amendment, it is not worth the lives of so many innocent victims and I think our forefathers would concur.

Jennie on

AMEN Tina! Thank you for saying all these things!

Yolanda on

Families have lost their children, each person take a stance and change what is unfolding before our very eyes. Stop the politics and bipartisan excuses and regain our dignity and integrity as a people as a country. When is enough enough, turning a deaf ear for what…politics SERIOUSLY.

Katherine on

There is no such thing as an assault weapon. That is language designed to inflame and distort. Every gun carries a round or rounds that will kill. Is a shotgun for hunting an assault rifle? What is the difference? 22 caliber guns will kill and that is a tiny tiny round. Is that an assault weapon? New organizations that mention “assault” weapons have an agenda folks that they want you to absorb and repeat. Replace the words assault weapon with rifle or handgun and the flames are not nearly as high. People need to learn to think critically and not regurgitate what they are constantly fed. Many weapons can and do kill people. Explosions kill people. Think critically. Mankind has been killing each other from the Garden of Eden, and it wasn’t because of guns.

Melissa Hebbard on

Very well said, Tina. I think that you are spot on. The rest of the World shakes their head in horrified wonder at the stubborn blindness to some simple things that can be done to bring school shootings down to the frequency enjoyed in UK and Australia, in otherwise, NONE! Firstly you need to redefine what is an arm that the people should be entitled to bear. In the founding father’s day, all weapons could only fire one shot at a time. Perhaps these assault weapons that can slaughter dozens with little aiming and frightening speed need to be reclassed as a weapon of mass destruction and their access, number that can be owned, and rights to own them would be strictly limited. Mental health and history of domestic violence or public aggression would automatically disqualify someone from owning anything more powerful than a weapon that could let off more than one or two shots at a time. Children and youth should only have access to weapons at a training facility or when competing in a sport such as clay shooting, biathlon, target shooting, duck hunting, etc and the guns are owned by the facility and remain there. The age at which a youth can legally own a gun must be raised to at least 21 and maybe, like driving licences have a probationary period in which the person cannot do any behaviours that indicate a lack of awareness of gun safety or activities of violence.
I do also wonder at the mental/social environment of the schoolyard. Here in Australia we have strict anti-bullying policies and many programs from kindergarten all the way through, that teach children respect for others, respect for people’s difference, anti-bullying, caring for each other and other such programs aiming to help every child feel safe, respected and included by all in their class so that these poor kids don’t become ostracised and don’t become the monsters that take their revenge.
Australians can still own guns but we have strict gun control laws that also include gun safety such as always keeping guns locked up empty when not in use and the ammunition kept locked away separately which make accidental gun deaths involving toddlers and children non-existent when people follow them.

Carla on

I agree with everything you have said so eloquently. I think this is a challenge we should all embrace. Our society has become so numb to evil, hate, and mistrust. We need to change the narrative. When you can’t send your children to school, watch a movie or attend a concert, there is a pervasive rot that we need to address. When politicians care more about their constituents and less about the special interests that endow their campaigns, we might have a chance. Over 90 % of Americans want stronger gun controls and yet they continue to ignore us. We need to keep calling and voting and continue this conversation and not let it fade to black. Bravo to you for speaking to what so many of us carry in our hearts and for the beauty you bring into our world!

Joanna on

Talk! Talk! Talk! That is all this is. If you want change, use your vote.

Faith Boggio on

Enough is enough!

Holly Rigby on

I agree 100%. Perhaps these high school students and their parents can do what all those Sandy Hook 6 year olds and their parents could not do. My husband and I both gun owners, agree that no one should have AR 15s except police and the military. I am disgusted with those politicians who are too cowardly to take on the gun lobby. There is also something about the disconnect between seeing the horrific deaths and only imagining them. As awful as this would be…but Emmitt Tills mother knew the value of the reality of a picture. And mental illness…ask any teacher anywhere and they can identify the kids who are at risk..and their parents. Thanks for your brave words. I am a recently retired teacher who lived through many a lockdown not knowing if it was real or not. No worse situation. Steve Scalia survived because he had armed guards and emergency services close by right there. Our school kids don’t have that option…and yet Scalise will vote against any gun control. Hypocrites…

Susan on

Tina, Thank you so much for your post on this horrific problem of children being shot in schools. There is NO NEED for anyone
to sell or purchase an AR-15 assault rifle. We must have a better vetting method for those people purchasing guns.

Gabrielle on

I am so pleased that I live in Australia. It is far more difficult to obtain a gun which will inflict such misery and change the lives of so many. Sending love and prayers for the families who been broken by this tragedy.

Rita on

My heartfelt condolences to all the families affected by this tragedy. Thank you Tina for stating a truth. I am from Australia and so glad our Government took action. I can not understand how it is so easy to purchase assault rifles. How many young American lives must be lost before action is taken? People talk about the right of the individual to carry arms, what about the right of these students to attend school and to return home to their loved ones.

Amber Lipari on

Well, I could say a lot about this, but not better than you already did, so will just agree to and reiterate two points of you made:

1) How hard is it to say that every entrance to a school must have a monitored guard desk and metal detector?? If there are too many buildings involved, wall them into a protected campus with only one main entrance.

2) Just like seat belt laws, stricter gun laws won’t prevent EVERY death, but they would prevent MANY – and isn’t that reason enough to have them??

Stact on

Every one of us needs to do something, anything to get the ball rolling. Speaking out to your local legislators and your congressmen/women. Joining groups and staying active, joining marches and/or demonstations- unity in numbers can be very powerful.
Agree with all you said but what I must reiterate is that parents need to take control back over their kids, instead of letting video games and phones babysit them. I see it all around me and it is very sad. It is the start of meddling with their young precious minds and for someone already predisposed to mental illness, this can be a very toxic stimulation that can lead to violence later on. There are so many studies on this but nothing has been done.
I am so sick of the cycle of something happening, the country becomes outraged, prayers and thoughts are sent, people get back to their normal lives and it’s not talked about. HOW MANY KIDS IS TOO MANY?
Another outaged American citizen

Janice on

Thank you for a well-written post. I think you said so many things that need to be said. We must begin talking about these issues and then take action if we are to stop this madness. Otherwise, it is hard to enjoy your beautiful pictures when others are suffering.

Southern girl on

Tina I have read your blog and many of the responses. Let’s do something people! Many agree there is no need for the average person to own an assault rifle. Call or write your congressmen. Just talking about this helps but we need action!!!

Karen on

Thank you for speaking up and putting into your words my convictions. Not only the social media platforms and they are plenty powerful, but I also believe film makers need to keep moving in the direction of non-violence.
My heart and prayers are with these families and friends, but our actions are needed as well.

Lindsbee on

I agree with everything you have written. I have already called my senator , Rob Portman, whose office gave the lame excuse that he was co sponsoring legislation to increase background checks on people with mental health issues. His office read the response and would not deviate although did admit that Rob Portman received campaign money from the NRA. I will continue to pursue all these issues as best I can. We need to start naming and shaming those who are complicit by their inaction,

Sally W. on

Tina, I urge you to check out Glennon Doyle Melton’s post about a teacher’s strategy to help prevent these horrible incidents. I think you will find it enlightening. I wish every teacher in America could use this idea. I think it’s brilliant!

Debbie on

Not only do I agree with everything that you said Tina, but I also agree with M. We definitely need major reform with our mental health system. These people don’t just wake up one day with a mental health problems. If proper help was available for young people with mental health without the stigma attached to it, we might be able to get them the help they need to prevent a mass shooting from ever happening again!

Karen on

Astonishingly the FBI has admitted to not following protocol in this case and if you may recall, they made previous admissions about being forewarned about the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston Marathon bombing and Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter also. These are just a couple that come to mind off hand. It’s infuriating to know so many knew something needed to be done and could have but didn’t. We should ask how many similar circumstances are being ignored? Those at the local level are equally at fault, actually more so in this particular situation imo. First of all, the school acknowledges they knew he was a serious problem. Did they disclose this to all the parents, if not, why? Why didn’t they get a protective injunction against him? An injunction would have prevented him from being able to purchase any gun and if it was after the fact, would require him to surrender them. If he were to possess a gun after the injunction, he would have been jailed. And based on the threats he made, the Sheriff easily could have obtained a search warrant. Considering the Sheriff’s office responded to 39 calls to his house, but nada…zilch; that’s inexcusable imo. Yet I see the Sheriff wasting no time politicizing this, calling for stricter gun laws. I must ask myself, why. Because it makes his job easier or ease his conscience? The fact of the matter is, in this case, the Sheriff had more authority in his jurisdiction to immediately utilize existing laws to protect the community from this kid than the feds did, but he failed to do so. I read new reports today of other agencies having received reports on this “troubled teenager” that also did nothing. God help us 🙁

To me, the incompetence and total lack of accountability of all those who are in authoritative positions to defend and protect, makes it abundantly clear that new gun laws will have zero sum effect, given so many obvious failures to utilize and enforce existing laws that are already in place to help prevent such tragedies.

I agree with others about contributing factors like mental illness, etc. desperately needing attention but it’s painfully obvious this tragedy like others, is swiftly misleading the public into the misconception and false security that new gun laws are going to quash these killings. Imo one of the fatal weaknesses of our society is its inability to grasp just how manipulating and grossly negligent our government can be. The same government that taught society a new lexicon of political correctness, where an argument can be made for contributory negligence, doesn’t deserve blind allegiance. How often does a citizen fail to say something out of fear of being accused of profiling, or worse? There are far too many opportunists willing to stymie common sense and inflame the masses, which as we see, ultimately ends of up leaving a society in the midst of danger. Personally, I have no problem banning AR15’s but I doubt it will impede these type of tragedies based on the fact FBI data showed the AWB implemented in 1994 failed to have an impact on gun crime, which is why it wasn’t renewed in 2004. We also must keep in mind, AR15’s hasn’t been the only weapon of choice in mass killings. The student who committed the deadliest school massacre at VA Tech used a handgun. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, common sense should tell us any law, new or old, is only obeyed by lawful citizens. A person with the mental intent of taking a person’s life doesn’t.

For those who think abolishing the 2nd Amendment is the answer, please stop. I have been a victim of a home invasion and if it wasn’t for our lawful right to own a gun, I may not have lived to tell about it. Don’t be willfully blinded by fear and please consider the numerous lives that have been saved because of our right to self-defend. In fact, far more lives have been saved by lawful gun owners for self-defense than have been murdered by their unlawful use. Until someone can guarantee a way to banish predators, I will remain convinced our 2nd Amendment is a protection we can’t afford to lose.

My heartfelt prayers are with all the victims. I want to see justice and demonstrable solutions prevail for them, and every other person, not just feel good measures for the sake of saying, something is better than nothing. My apologies if I made too long but it’s such a mess we’re in and there’s much that needs to be considered.

Diane on

You nailed it when you said an 18 year old cannot buy a beer, but he can purchase an assault weapon. This is wrong and it needs to change……now. Thank you for your very well thought essay on how we need to make changes to protect all children in the schools. There is “Never Again MSD “ Facebook page started by Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the MSD massacre, and I am hopeful there will be change.

Mary Jane on

Well,said. Thank you.

Dana Sipes on

Heartbroken. Words are powerful, thank you for using your space as a platform for dialogue.
Let’s come together and focus on the change we want, no NEED, to make a reality:
Less access and more waiting time for gun categorical sales and eliminate any sort of semi automatic weapon for sale other than to police or military
Very harsh consequences-financial, penal and license eliminating for second hand sales or black market weapon sales.
Gun shows. Sure, I guess. Have them if needed but under no circumstances should sales be permitted? Why?
Well, why not? Purchases should be made through selective and highly regulated weapons stores that have severely controlled access and background checks across the board and limitations to what it can purchase and sell. No hunter will go underpowered. No private citizen who has license and training to own self protection will go unarmed.
No second amendment will be violated.
But let’s come together -and together we stand accountable: to our children, the professionals who teach and protect our children
And we HOLD ACCOUNTABLE: violators of this regulation and policy. Strong, swift and severe consequences to people and business, public and private who do not act in compliance.

The Unites States of America is a glorious and wonderful Nation. Yes, we are flawed. But we are strong together, not divided. What could unify us more than protecting one another here in this great Country? We stand shoulder to shoulder, all races, creeds, religions and hold the line. Together. We start here.
Thanks Tina. Thanks to the thoughtful and solution based replies from readers.
United we stand, Divided we fall,
Dana S
Minneapolis, MN

Liz on

As a lifelong Republican I can no longer vote along my party line if they will not fully and openly support gun law amendments. These laws are meant to be broken and changed when the lives of innocent children are at stake. One is too many but this is becoming a national epidemic and as you said you do not see this anywhere but our country. We are so messed up, no wonder people have the impression of us that they do.

Agree with all you said and would add that the FBI is accountable here and I am sure there will be a massive lawsuit when the dust settles. I am personally so sick of ALL politicians whose pockets are greased with the hush money of the NRA and other special interest groups. Its time to put AMERICAN’S PEOPLE FIRST!!!! Praying for all those lost lives and their famlies.


As someone who is not an American I fail to see how this has remained this way for so long- your loose gun laws. I also do not see how there is not more public outcry and demand for change. People should be filling the streets every day in protest, flooding your local politicians offices with call and letters.

Bottom line here= guns are not toys, they are not display pieces. They have one function= to kill people or animals. Why should that be ok (except for law enforcement)? America acts like killing is for sport. That is so crazy, it is as easy as adding 1 + 1, it is time to change your gun laws so these killings will stop.

Judie Olivero on

I have followed many bloggers through the years. I have left a few of them behind when they have simply ignored tragic events occuring in our country. “No man is an island” resonates with me daily. You acknowledge and participate in this crazy world of ours. I admire and respect you for that.

Katherine on

I suspect what is ironic in this discussion is that while most of you seem very ready to take away rights from law abiding gun owners and express outrage that one can legally buy weapons – for which we are already subject to many gun laws, including background checks by the FBI- do you express outrage and tears when women use themselves as assault weapons? Nearly 60 million children have been dispatched by their own mothers since 1973.
“Annually, an estimated 56.3 million babies die from abortion worldwide; That’s approximately one baby being aborted every 1.8 seconds. Abortion in the United States via Guttmacher Institute / National Right to Life (last updated January 2017 ). An estimated 59.1 million babies in the U.S. have been aborted since 1973.”

Do you defend that a woman can end the life of her child at any time during pregnancy, including girls under 18 without parental consent? Do you have any tears or outrage left for those children who will never see the light of day? I doubt it. Because this activity is hidden from view, it can be done secretly and quietly.

Dianne Kropp on

I agree with M, We have always had a society of gun owners but we didn’t always have school shootings, why because the mentally ill were not running around with them. Think about that. The guns didn’t change, the people with them did. Taking away guns won’t stop these folks, they’ll find other ways to act on their deranged hatred. Make new laws for the mentally ill and get help for those that are on the path to it. We all know the signs but because we are so PC nowadays nothing is said Don’t want to offend anyone, better just let them kill people, right?

Judith Phillips on

Tina I agree with just about everything you said. I have children and grandchildren!! There is enough blame to go around. The elephant in the room that no one wants to address is not only are his parents , grandparents, teachers , friends , school guidance counselors to blame , but our FBI is spending all their time on the Russian probe and accusations that Republicans and Democrats blame each other for.
They should have caught this because someone called them about this young man. But ALL our politicians in DC are getting the FBI off point.
We need to come together as Americans !! Stop acting like spoiled children. !! We are all Americans.
God Bless Americans!!

Risa on

The school massacre, perpetrated by a deeply disturbed young man, should cause us all to reexamine many aspects of our contemporary culture. Because this crime was carried out with a gun, the gun control issue once again is brought into our self-examination as a nation grieving over this senseless tragedy. However I have a slightly different perspective on the Second Amendment and our right as American citizens to own guns,

I am blessed with two wonderful adult children and five beautiful granddaughters. However without my husband’s shotgun it is doubtful I would have lived past the night when, as a newlywed , a man attempted to break into our home shortly after my husband had left for work. The fact that I had grabbed my husband’s shotgun and was able to bluff him into the belief I was going to use it scared him away. I actually had no idea how to fire a shotgun, but the intruder didn’t know this fact. This all happened within a matter of moments, no time to call the police, much less time for them to have arrived in time to stop my injury or death. As a 110 pound female I was still able to confront a much larger male and protect myself. Needless to say, I took a firearm course after this. We hear of the instances where deranged mad men use guns to commit atrocities, but we seldom hear stories where guns also avert crimes.

Thank-you for allowing me to share this.

Sherry on

Agree with you completely one million times over.

Jana Rinehart on

I am a retired police officer. I do not think gun control will do anything to stop this madness. I own several guns. We have a safe and lock them up. However, I believe that the AR15 should be banned. This seems to be the gun of choice for these morons to go kill a lot of people…especially in the schools. I also believe that social media is destroying our culture. When I went to high school every pickup truck had a rifle in the back window and the truck was not locked .No one would have ever thought of hurting someone with them…they were for hunting. Our culture has changed for the worse. Everywhere kids look there is violence today. Mean people on social media talk about killings, video games, tv and movies are full of it. God was taken out of our schools and look what has happened. As a country we are a mess. Times have changed and we must change.

As divided as this country is, I doubt this will get fixed quickly. I think we need to put the schools on the defensive. Bullet proof front doors to schools, armed security and armed persons in the school at all times. Not all walking around with guns visible, concealed guns. One entrance into the school,and all other doors are locked from the inside. During the day the entrance to school yard is opened, But as school starts, only one entrance is open to parking lot and it is manned and covered with cameras. A person will be needed to man cameras at all times. And yes…every person that walks through the front door, goes through a metal detector. We must defend our schools and stop this madness now. It is not going to be cheap…but defense is the answer. The kids are sitting ducks waiting for the next mentally disturbed kid to go off.

Karen Baetz on

I agree with everything you’ve said. I have 2 kids in high school and one in middle school. Ever since Newtown I feel anxious when they go off to school. I feel like I’m the only parent who worries sometimes. There is complacency that “this is the way it is now”. I disagree and will vote and protest and be a squeaky wheel so we can implement changes that will protect all kids who are just trying to get an education.

Cherie on

What about the fact that violent video games in which the player kills everyone in sight with high power guns are the norm. That should not be entertainment. Hollywood makes billions off of movies that glorifies murders.

John on

Thoughts: If a society rejects morality then increasing, incremental tyranny/external control becomes the solution people cry out for. The road to slavery is paved with good intentions and those in power who seek to control/dominate you are masters at manipulating your perceptions so that you willingly surrender liberty for the elusive promise of security. People are so uninformed about history and therefore dangerously naive as to think it will not repeat itself. Without the 2nd Ammendment the US Constitution and America wouldn’t last 15 years. There is a laundry list of issues to resolve here before we even mention the word gun.

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