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Amaryllis

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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,429

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Anyone know where I can live stream CNN (don't have cable) for the town hall tonight?

Anyone doing an official discussion thread on it?

"I'm a teenager. And I'm fed up with adults' excuses for weak gun laws."

Article very worthwhile. Something that is really coming to the forefront since Parkland is how much fear students live with every day in school as shootings have become more commonplace:

I’m a teenager. And I’m fed up with adults’ excuses for weak gun laws.
We’ve grown up with the looming threat of school shootings.
By Elizabeth Love

On Thursday, in his statement on the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump assured America’s children that we “are never alone.” As a 17-year-old and a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City, I found this strained attempt at consolation empty and infuriating.

I was born in April 2000, a week shy of the Columbine massacre’s one-year anniversary, the event that marked the beginning of the modern school shooting epidemic. By the time I started kindergarten, there had been five more fatal school shootings in elementary, middle, or high schools.

As I near the end of my senior year, the number has swelled to 32 since 1998, not including suicides or gang-related violence. School shootings are etched into the timeline of my education as clearly as talent shows and picture days.

President Trump’s statement is meaningless. We have been alone for 20 years.

When Congress failed to pass gun reform after Sandy Hook, it was baffling. If 20 dead first-graders were not a call to action, then a call to action would never come. But that does not mean we’re stuck.

In 2016, the Associated Press found that only 15 percent of Americans believed gun policy should be a top-five political priority of that year. Though 92 percent of Americans support universal background checks, gun reform was a less significant issue to voters than terrorism and the economy.

But I can feel this changing. For older voters, gun violence may not feel so dire, so personal. But for those of us in school, there is nothing more personal. I was in seventh grade when Sandy Hook happened. I saw a school that looked like mine, with kids that looked like me, suddenly turned into a war zone. I spent the weekend after Sandy Hook terrified to return to school. When I did return, I was anxious whenever I was on my school’s first floor, reasoning that the second was safer.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the layout of my sister’s elementary school, worrying that her classroom was too close to the school’s entrance. I eyed closets and windows in my own classrooms, imagining where I would hide were a shooting to happen.

The teachers led drills, telling us to crouch beneath our desks. One sketched a diagram on the whiteboard to show us how to turn our desks into a barricade if the day came. “Lockdown” drills were routine.

My experiences are not unique. In American schools, the fear of gun violence always looms. Last week, even before Parkland, a car backfired outside my school, interrupting class with a sharp pop-pop-pop; adrenaline shot through my veins as I grabbed a friend in panic. All 32 pairs of eyes in the class widened as our teacher rushed to the window to confirm it was only a car.

For the students in Parkland, the ever-present fear turned into reality — and heightened worries in other schools. My friends whisper about who they fear would attempt something similar. They discuss how hard it would be to escape were an attack to happen on the lawn where we eat lunch.

More at link-very illuminating article:
https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/2/20/17032364/parkland-florida-school-shooting-teens-protests

Anyone seen this excellent Ted talk by Sue Klebold, mom of Dylan Klebold, Columbine shooter?

Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters who committed the Columbine High School massacre, murdering 12 students and a teacher. She's spent years excavating every detail of her family life, trying to understand what she could have done to prevent her son's violence. In this difficult, jarring talk, Klebold explores the intersection between mental health and violence, advocating for parents and professionals to continue to examine the link between suicidal and homicidal thinking.

And yes, she does address the issue of access to guns.

This is thought provoking and shows there are not easy answers, but makes it very clear that more and better mental health care and limiting gun access are both paramount.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sue_klebold_my_son_was_a_columbine_shooter_this_is_my_story#t-905951

Here is the transcript, if you'd rather read it:
https://www.ted.com/talks/sue_klebold_my_son_was_a_columbine_shooter_this_is_my_story/transcript

"It has taken me years to try to accept my son's legacy. The cruel behavior that defined the end of his life showed me that he was a completely different person from the one I knew. Afterwards people asked, "How could you not know? What kind of a mother were you?" I still ask myself those same questions."

Has anyone seen thoughts and prayers being offered this time? Dare they with all the mockery? ?

Just saw this cartoon and wondered with all the mockery if they will consider it not politically expedient to offer thoughts and prayers this time. Maybe they are substituting "We have to do more for mental health."



Cartoon taken from this thread, to give credit where it's due:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210240202

Show the Carnage: Time for Americans to see the true result of mass shootings

Slate

snip

For all of the killing, though, it’s striking how little Americans have actually seen of the violence. We are shown the aftermath, and sometimes—as with Parkland—we see victims hiding or escaping. But we don’t see what the bullets actually do. We don’t see the crumpled bodies or the bloody hallways, the mutilation that results when a medium-caliber round leaves a high-powered rifle and strikes a living person, tearing flesh, destroying bone, and leaving them either dead or gravely wounded. For the public, mass shootings are bloodless.

That might be part of the problem. Simply hearing about another shooting—seeing the familiar footage on television—has not been enough to turn ordinary Americans into activists or even single-issue voters. Maybe we need to see the results of our choices—of our policies—to prompt a change.

As attorney general, Eric Holder saw the carnage of Sandy Hook firsthand. “If the American people had access to those pictures, if the American people had seen those pictures, the calls for reasonable gun safety measures would have been passed,” Holder said in a 2016 interview. “If members of Congress perhaps had a chance to see those pictures and see what happened to those little angels I think we would’ve seen a different result.”

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former district attorney, echoed that sentiment. “As a prosecutor … I had to look at autopsy photographs. When you see the effect of this extreme violence on a human body, and especially the body of a child, maybe it will shock some people into understanding this cannot be a political issue. We have to be practical.”

snip

The fight to pass a federal anti-lynching law stalled for decades before it was propelled, in part, by gruesome images of Southern lynchings, printed in newspapers and circulated by black activists and sympathetic allies. The horrific violence done to Emmett Till, captured in photos and published for the world to see, helped energize the civil rights movement. There is no firm empirical relationship between press coverage and the public’s turn against the Vietnam War, but images of fighting and death played a real part in pushing some Americans from quiet disagreement to staunch opposition. Images from Abu Ghraib contributed to the wide sense among Americans that U.S. officials were condoning torture in Iraq. And more recently, graphic videos and images from police shootings of black Americans have galvanized a broad protest movement and led to real change in public opinion.

More at link
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/its-time-to-show-the-carnage-of-mass-shootings.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=traffic&utm_source=TheAngle_newsletter&sid=589dfd6ebcb59c58118b45d5

Edited to add: I can see both sides, and I do not have an answer to this. I do respect Kamala Harris and Eric Holder, and they have a valid point worth considering, and yet...I also respect the right to privacy of families who have been torn apart and would not want to see it handled in a way that added any more agony than they are already suffering. This is not a question with an easy answer.

Some funny animal photos just because we all could really use a good laugh:

Hopefully a little bit of an antidote to today's news!



























https://www.boredpanda.com/perfectly-timed-funny-animal-pictures/

Lawrence just referred to Kelly as "being hired to run the asylum."

This is getting crazier by the day.

Thinking of Rs. Guess if you have no shame you are not capable of being embarrassed.

Two Gay WW 2 Vets in VA Home Marry; Surprised By Warm Reception They Receive

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/09/583998949/two-vets-celebrate-love-if-you-came-to-see-the-bride-you-re-out-of-luck



When John Banvard, 100, met Gerard "Jerry" Nadeau, 72, in 1993, neither of them had been openly gay.

"When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I'd never had a real relationship. Now, we've been together almost 25 years," Jerry tells John during a StoryCorps interview.

"What would it have been like if you didn't meet me?" Jerry asks John.

"I would have continued being lonely," John says. "I'd been absolutely lost."

Both are veterans, having served in World War II (John) and Vietnam (Jerry), and when they moved into the veterans home together in Chula Vista, Calif., in 2010, Jerry says people there wondered what their relationship was.

"Well, when we got married, they knew what our relationship was," Jerry says, laughing.

The couple married in 2013, and John says he was surprised by the warm reception they received. "I was expecting we'd be ridiculed, and there was very little of that," he says.

snip

Later, their achievement was affirmed by a simple introduction. "I was with you in the cafeteria, and somebody came up with their family, and they said, 'This is Gerard Nadeau, and this is his husband, John,' " Jerry recounts. "I'd never heard that before."

"Yes, that was very nice," John says.

"You've made my life complete," Jerry tells John.

"I could say the same to you," John replied. "I think we're probably as happy together as any two people you're likely to meet."

Edited to add: It makes me so happy to post something happy! Positive things are so important to keep our spirits up in today's climate.

Sen. Wyden at town hall Friday; he's very concerned about & working on election security for 2018

Just FYI, I went to Senator Wyden's town hall last Friday. Hoping this will be reassuring to you all:

At one point he did specifically mention how concerned he was about election security and that he was doing a lot of work on it. He did specifically mention voting machines and other cyber security issues and registration data bases. So there are some Dems working on this. He takes questions by lottery so your number has to get called to ask a question, which is fair, but frustrating in that I am often left wanting more information! I was dying to ask more but my number didn't get drawn.

He is on Senate Intel so knows as much as anyone about Russian election meddling. He is also all over the entire Russia thing and has been since it first was a thing. He's been saying for a long time to follow the money and the trail of dead Russians.

I always feel so much better after going to one of his town halls because I know that at least we are in good hands with Wyden and Merkley. He has a town hall in every county in Oregon every year, and has had more than that in Portland since the election. Probably because his constituents are so concerned. And I am immensely grateful and aware of how fortunate those of us are who have good senators and reps.

Jill Stein is delivering the Green Party's response???

"But wait, there's more. Former Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., will give the official Working Families Party response via Facebook Live, while Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka will deliver the Green Party's response."

https://www.nbcnews.com/card/democratic-rep-joe-kennedy-will-deliver-official-rebuttal-others-can-n842331
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