Tuesday, March 27, 2018

March for our lives in Parkland, FL 3/24/18

We participated in the #MarchForOurLives event in Parkland. It was an emotional day.

On February 14, 2018, Jim and I went out for a Valentine's Day breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, Commercial Point Cafe. When we were leaving, we noticed a Blood Mobile in the parking lot and, since we had no other obligations that day, decided to take the time to give blood. This is something we used to do regularly before we took to the road in 2003. So, it's been 15 years, and we picked today to give blood again. Did we have a premonition? No. But, later that same day, a shooter blasted away at a high school nearby, killing 17 and injuring many others. I can only hope our donation did some good.
Back when I was a lawyer in California in 1980, I debated gun control, my research showed that a gun you own was MUCH more likely to be used against you than to protect you. I just can't believe that our country loves guns so much they can't even ban semi-automatic rifles used in so many mass shootings. In fact, they were banned from 1994 to 2004 - how could we let that ban expire? I hope these kids from Parkland are indeed the tipping point to say that gun culture has reached its peak and it's time for the pendulum to swing the other way. We were happy to have the opportunity to support them in the march.
I see our gun culture as a public health issue, the more guns, the more gun deaths. It's hard to change culture, it takes time, but it can be done. Look at cigarette smoking. Not that long ago, every bar was filled with smoke ... not now. I have hope that we can begin to change the gun culture.Just a thought - if you really want a weapon for self-defense, aren't there non-lethal alternatives? Stun guns? That way, you could have it available at all times without fear that you'll kill someone by mistake, or that a child will get hold of it and kill someone by mistake. My Dad slept with a gun under his pillow. He also drank a lot ... I tried not to think about it. One night a police officer came to his door, he thought it was a burglar and shot. Luckily, he missed.
I recently read an account of a tourist in the US who was pulled over for a traffic stop, being from Australia, his nature was to be friendly and get out of his car to greet the police officer. He did not know that police have to assume everyone has a gun! What a shock when the officer had him down on the ground, hands up. Actually, it seems to me that police should be the biggest proponents of gun control. They are the most at risk.
Here's a comedian's sketch on guns in the US that I think makes great points. If you're offended by the F word, don't watch.


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