emma gonzalez



“So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it yet, and for those who will never speak again. We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and this happening again.” EMMA GONZALEZ

We rise every morning anticipating a great day filled with joy, happiness and safety in our daily endeavors.  We hug our loved ones as they go out the door about their day’s agenda.  We expect to see them later, don’t we?

We know life has no guarantees, but we trust in goodness and mercy.  Emma Gonzalez chatted with friends before classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas not knowing that there were a few whom she would never again see alive.  Shots rang out, young people were murdered and Emma’s life was changed forever.

One would think that fellow Americans would rally around the survivors who, on that morning in Parkland, witnessed life’s hell.  That’s who we are, isn’t it?  Many good people responded with open arms and words of consolation.  One would think that a nation in mourning over the losses in this tragedy and so many prior school shootings would come to terms with its obsession for weapons and violence.  One would think that, wouldn’t they?  So, what happened?  No, seriously, what has happened?  Emma and many of her protesting friends were ridiculed and name-called.  Some were mailed death threats.  Congress debated, state governments passed band-aid laws to placate their constituents and then the next school shooting devastated more families and communities.

It seems like years ago, but the Parkland shooting happened just last year on February 14th.  We saw the rally in Washington, D.C., we were amazed by the crowds and dignitaries attending and marching.  We said that this event will surely change the minds of politicians and effective gun legislation will be enacted.  Seriously? What happened?

In her new release, Madonna gives a shoutout to Emma Gonzalez incorporating parts of her speech in the lyrics.  Please take a few minutes to listen and reflect not only on the events of that horrific day, but also what we have become as a people.

May 03, 2019 · Madonna, in a statement shortly after the release, revealed that she wrote “I Rise” as a way of giving a voice to all marginalized people who feel they don’t have the opportunity to speak their minds. She added that as 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of pride, she believed the song will encourage individuals to be themselves, speak their minds and love themselves. MADONNA – “I Rise”

“They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun — We call BS! They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars — We call BS! They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred — We call BS…” EMMA GONZALEZ

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In any alternative dialog the Las Vegas tragedy could have been headlined as “Madman employs weapons of mass destruction to murder 59 concert-goers.”

Bush used the threat of WMDs to involve us in a war in 2003 which saw nearly a half million Iraqi citizens murdered in addition to thousands of American military personnel.  Our overwhelming use of firepower did not bring resolution to the people of Iraq, our persecution and consequent prosecution of Hussein did not stop the advance of international terrorism, and our military presence in principalities controlled by centuries-old tribal disputes has not deterred madmen from doing the things which madmen are known to do.  They murder.

The American breed of madmen is encouraged by the epidemic of violence which has blackened the souls of thousands of grieving countrymen.  The American breed of madmen is assisted in his/her diabolical schemes of murderous rampage by undeterred access to weaponry designed to be used only by soldiers fighting in combat situations.  And the American breed of madmen is supported by a senseless interpretation of rights under the 2nd amendment.  This underlying creed has facilitated the unfettered growth of the NRA (National Rifle Association) into an organization which became “an avatar of white anxiety” that viewed President Obama as someone who “wanted to deprive gun-toting Americans of their constitutional right to bear arms.”NRA

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump thundered before cheering throngs at the NRA’s annual meeting in April. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

Under Mr. Obama’s Presidency, annual gun production skyrocketed 239 percent and the NRA membership hit a record five million.  It poured over $30 million into Trump’s campaign and millions more to stack Congress with gun-friendly lawmakers.  All but one of the NRA backed candidates won.  NRA millions

We Americans live in a war zone.  The terrorists we truly need to fear do not face the east five times daily to pray, they are not sequestered under the leadership of a man named Kim in North Korea.  The terrorist organization in our midst is a well-funded , politically involved, 5 million-strong, violence-promoting corps of quasi-militants who gather under the auspices of the NRA.  We need to wake up. This is not the NRA which decades ago protected the rights of sportsmen to own shotguns and rifles for hunting.  This organization promotes the accumulation of WMDs under the guise of 2nd amendment rights.  It is government approved terrorism.

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Las Vegas

This will not go away anytime soon.  Too many times we have been horrified by the war zone shootings at schools, movie theaters, stadiums, nightclubs and in the streets.  Did you notice the key word in the previous sentence was “shootings”?  These are acts of violence carried out with weapons;  not just pistols, shotguns, and rifles but heavy-duty military style automatic and semi-automatic weapons which can kill scores of people in a few short minutes.

Already the NRA & WH have commented that now in the midst of this tragedy is not the time to open a dialog about gun control.  My reply is “Why the hell not?”  There is no better time than now to confront the 2nd amendment rights people who believe their right to accumulate an arsenal of guns within their homes supersedes the rights of fellow citizens who want to live in a peaceful and safe environment in their hometowns, where they work, where they go for recreation, and most of all where they send their children to learn.

The gun rights people supported by the powerful government lobby of the NRA try to convince us that it is the people, not the guns, who create havoc and grief in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and our schools.  Guess what, gun advocates?  I don’t care anymore who or what is responsible.  I just want it to stop.

We have seen that gun shop owners and vendors at flea markets are not doing a competent job of regulating who buys their guns.  We have seen that law enforcement is ineffective in regulating gun ownership, and we have seen that the federal government is unwilling to displease one of the most powerful lobbies in the country, the NRA.

People, whether they are deranged, drug driven, violent ideologues, or religious zealots, are indeed the propellant in this epidemic of violence, but their solution of choice in carrying out their diabolical schemes and madness is the unlimited array of easily available weapons.  Your 2nd amendment right does not include the freedom to randomly kill one another in order to settle an issue which in civilized countries is resolved with dialog, mental health treatment, and gun ownership restrictions.

You and your doctrines of violence are the festering sore which won’t go away,  you are the cancer which is destroying our country, you are the scourge of a society which needs to find more avenues of peaceful coexistence.  Yes, you, those of you who proclaim, “only from my dead hands will they pry my gun.”  You are directly the cause of America’s great pain today.

Along with millions of others world-wide, I am sad and grieving over the toll in Las Vegas of 59 dead and over 500 injured.  But, I have grieved too often.  The children at Columbine and Sandy Hook, the gays at Orlando, the prayer group at Charleston, the policemen in Dallas are speaking to us now pleading to stop the insanity of the proliferation of guns in America.  The statistics of death by guns shame us, a society which claims the largest Christian population on earth.  America, where are your values and the morals which define your faith?

No, now is the time to be angry and press the gun control dialog.  If our representatives in government continue to sandbag us while pocketing NRA and munitions/arms manufacturers’ money, we must replace them with others who see the long-term necessity for a society free of weapons of mass destruction as used in Las Vegas.  2018 and 2020 elections are just around the corner.  Get to know your candidates and their position on gun control and the 2nd amendment.  Do not believe the cynics who say we don’t have the power to effect changes.  As our illustrious President Obama said, “Yes, we can.”

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