Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Enough is Enough

Today the anniversary of the Parkland shooting led many schools across the country  enabled their Students to partake in the protest about Gun Violence.  The intent was to demand their Representatives to respond to their request to examine gun laws in this country and make significant changes to address said demands in a way to  make our country safer and healthier from the ability to buy dangerous weapons that enable mass shootings with ease.

What is distressing and overlooked is that the reality is that the CDC spends hours on booze and its affects in the country but none on gun violence.  This  says less about their priority but more about laws and their inability to do so or in this case, no thanks to Congress hamstringing their ability to do so.  This too needs change

What We Don’t Know Is Killing Us
The New York Times Editorial
JAN. 26, 2013

In one of the 23 executive actions on gun control signed this month, President Obama instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal science agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. He called on Congress to aid that effort by providing $10 million for the C.D.C. in the next budget round and $20 million to expand the federal reporting system on violent deaths to all 50 states, from the current 18.

That Mr. Obama had to make such a decree at all is a measure of the power of the gun lobby, which has effectively shut down government-financed research on gun violence for 17 years. Research on guns is crucial to any long-term effort to reduce death from guns. In other words, treat gun violence as a public health issue.

But that is precisely what the National Rifle Association and other opponents of firearms regulation do not want. In the absence of reliable data and data-driven policy recommendations, talk about guns inevitably lurches into the unknown, allowing abstractions, propaganda and ideology to fill the void and thwart change.

The research freeze began at a time when the C.D.C. was making strides in studying gun violence as a public health problem. Before that, the issue had been regarded mainly as a law enforcement challenge or as a problem of disparate acts by deranged offenders, an approach that remains in sync with the N.R.A. worldview.

Public health research emphasizes prevention of death, disability and injury. It focuses not only on the gun user, but on the gun, in much the same way that public health efforts to reduce motor vehicle deaths have long focused on both drivers and cars.

The goal is to understand a health threat and identify lifesaving interventions. At their most basic, gun policy recommendations would extend beyond buying and owning a gun (say, background checks and safe storage devices) to manufacturing (childproofing and other federal safety standards) and distribution (stronger antitrafficking laws), as well as educating and enlisting parents, physicians, teachers and other community leaders to talk about the risks and responsibilities of gun ownership.

But by the early 1990s, C.D.C. gun research had advanced to the point that it contradicted N.R.A. ideology. Some studies found, for example, that people living in a home with a gun were not safer; they faced a significantly elevated risk of homicide and suicide.

Then we have the bullshit about arming Teachers and Security Officers and others with guns to arm up and shoot off should they feel threatened and that clearly worked out well this past week.  As a result there were two accidental shootings in schools by said Teacher and Officer, both trained and legally authorized to do so.  Whoops I did not see that said the blind man.

Today some schools in Nashville participated which shocked me.. no really it did but the response of one no.  Pearl Cohn a school wracked with violence, a shooting outside the school a month ago and yesterday a Student arrested for having a gun in his car decided to protest the concept of gun violence plaguing their community. They are not against the NRA, or about electing and demanding Politicians to respond to gun laws that are enabling their community to access said guns but to stop their community from relying on guns to resolve disputes, to settle scores and feel safe.  Promptly the kids marched across the nearby Pedestrian bridge and never returned.  (One newscast claims they returned two hours later) So much for meeting the school and districts edict about the protest. But then I have subbed there and that doesn't surprise me. What will is that no violence will occur there in the next 24 hours as a result.

 Hillsboro High, which is the International Baccalaureate High school,  did have an organized protest in front of the school on one of the busiest intersections in the city and across from its sole mall that deals with a wealthy clientele who few if any send their children to said school - which given our schools is not surprising.  The kids honored the intent and the organizer was clear that their protest was about the idea of arming Teachers and having guns in the schools under the guise of being safe which she was clear - that notion did not lend to that belief about anyone being safer.    I sub in that school all the time and it is a school within a school and there are real problems in the non IB portion of the school. And there is a rash of crimes of late in the area adjacent and I suspect it is the students.  They have wanted to relocate the school given its million dollar location and no it is instead being remodeled. I am sorry but again this is just another school in conflict with itself and that said I was surprised they protested but they did even with a truncated message but given the guns and bullshit here that was better than nothing.

And Hume Fogg the "highly achieving" school that tried to circumvent that by having a speaker from #MeToo come to talk to the school at the same time the walkout was scheduled the kids moved forward and found that she too supported the move.  They marched to the Capitol with her in attendance.   Well it's not MeTOO for nothing.

Of course our news covers the one school that last year protested the schools policies, hirings and firings and the slop they serve them which all was valid, chose this year to tear down the flags  and jump on a police car causing quite the uproar.  Yes let's see the priorities here - kids  expressing their valid truths or bullshit that is irrelevant.  The few others that also participated did not include any discussion on laws regarding guns or legislative action and in fact MLK had one encouraging arming teachers!

Shame the kids are not as engaged in the bizarre budget and bullshit that the Director here is pulling with the budget.  But again this is a town not known for conflict and confrontation. And to think I left Seattle as this could be its doppelganger.

However, what surprised me was en route to my Dentist I passed the  University of Vanderbilt private mid-high school and saw the kids and Teachers out front honoring the 17 minutes of silence as well  with one student of color standing away from the circle holding a sign about what guns are doing to this country as 7000 are dead this year due guns.  So I was surprised and that was more than I expected in this batshit town.

The reality is that we have a maniac in the White House.  There are no adults in the room, nearby or anyone of relative competence and whom any can have confidence.  I feel that way living in Nashville and in turn it explains my deteriorating health, my unassuaged anger and my isolation.  I cannot have a conversation that 99% of the time which immediately proceeding the encounter regretting it.  This is not living its dying slowly.

The former slattern, whoops I mean Mayor, truly represented what this city is about - full of shit.  I recall my early days attending Transit Meetings, Greer Park/Ft Negley Meetings and walking out wondering if this was all bullshit.  And yes I was right.  The Nashville Scene confirmed my beliefs in this article about Mayor Berry and 893 her days in office.

Her successor has the same number of days in which to serve the remainder of her term and has already come out swinging in the opposite direction of the former slut.  (Yes I am slut shaming and with good reason, we women don't need this shit right now it doesn't help) He is pro transit and that seems to be passive but at this point I feel it will not pass and frankly I am not surprised  as it is overreaching, out of scope and scale with the city and its actual needs this will fail.  Then we had Greer Stadium, after that debacle he has declared it a park and is allocating resources to move forward with that plan that a year ago many had discussed in open meetings so yes!  Then we have the City Hospital issue that serves the poor and was going to be shut, well door is open.  So Briley, a white man of legacy privilege is quickly addressing the Black community and moving forward to seek the job full time when the election is held, whenever that is. Again nothing here is ever done in a linear fashion.

Enough is  enough and yet out of this came something I thought was a positive way to change the systemic problems that contribute to the issues surrounding why individuals feel compelled to pick up guns, and one Father of a victim of Stoneyman Douglas came up with Walk Up.  He is right we can only walk out so many times and with the reality that our Congress have deaf ears when it comes to listening to their constituents we can begin to change some things right in our backyard.

I have to step up and step out and away from all of this.  I realized not today but said it aloud that my health and well being is my priority and I need to find a way to deal with what I see here in the community.  I say all the time the schools are mirrors of the adults that hold them and they are fucked up.  Enough is enough.

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