Posts Tagged ‘ Obama ’

The Sandy Hook Promise: This Time There Will Be Change

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

It has now been over a month since the tragic event that inspired me to write you, ”Processing The Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting As A Parent.” Since then, I’ve observed two natural responses from American society:

A) To help those who are grieving and B) to try to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

The latter has led to many discussions about gun control, for as much or as little as that term may be referring to. For the past month, I have been deliberately avoiding public involvement in these conversations.

But now, I am willing to share with you how I feel about it. What makes it easy for me is that I read an article today on The New York Times’ website called “Families of Newton Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort.”

After reading the story, and after reading between the lines, it appears to me that the Sandy Hook parents who are quoted are saying out loud what I’ve been thinking to myself for the past month.

To summarize, they are ultimately thanking the President for his efforts to help by trying to prevent another similar tragedy with his effort to ban the kind of assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the Newtown shooting.

However, the parents interviewed in the New York Times article, who have started a non-profit group called Sandy Hook Promise, are more focused on creating a national dialogue about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility.

Here’s the Sandy Hook Promise, according to their website:

“I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.”

It can’t be assumed that all or even most of the Sandy Hook parents feel the same way as those who have founded Sandy Hook Promise. Even still, it’s interesting to see enough gun-owning members of Sandy Hook Promise who are basically saying, “Hey, wait, before we focus so much on banning guns and ammunition, let’s take a look at the other issues too…”.

Maybe (!) I’m reading too much into the article, as well as, the Sandy Hook Promise’s website, but I think the term “common sense solutions” is an indirect way of saying that banning guns is not a common sense solution.

I find it interesting and no coincidence that when you go to the website for Sandy Hook Promise, there is a button you can click to receive email updates. It says, “I promise,” followed by, “this time there will be a change.”

(It is worth noting that the President’s campaign slogan of 2008 was “Change we can believe in.” Complete coincidence? Again, maybe I’m reading into something that’s not actually there.)

Personally, I feel that if certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines were banned, it would surely make it more difficult for troubled, mentally ill young men to use those certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines in public shootings. But it wouldn’t stop them from finding other ways to hurt large groups of people in theaters and schools.

Even with a complete gun ban, which I know the President nor the Democrats are not actually in favor of, a crazed attacker could still find access to homemade bombs, poisonous gas, and most likely… guns.

Honestly, my opinion on gun control and the Newton, Connecticut shooting doesn’t really matter. However, the opinions of the Sandy Hook parents are actually very relevant and they absolutely do matter.

And best I can tell, they’re more interested in having a national conversation about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility. Not “banning” guns.

Read The New York Times’ Families of Newtown Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort” and the Sandy Hook Promise website… see what you personally think about it.





Top image: Little boy holds his father’s hand: Shutterstock.

Bottom image, No guns allowed, abstract art: Shutterstock.


Add a Comment

I Love Reading Conflicting Religious Post-Election Facebook Comments!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

23 months.

Yes, I actually voted. Because we all know Tennessee is a major swing state and my one single vote made the defining difference.

The truth is, the main reason I voted is actually because I would have a low self-esteem for the rest of my life if I knew I let an election go by and I didn’t go through the slightly annoying trouble of going out and voting.

It may sound a bit strange that the major motivating force behind me voting was to establish a consistent record for my son to see as he eventually gets old enough to understand the voting process.

But that’s exactly what happened on Election Day.

I want to be able to tell my son that my political beliefs are so strong that I have actually voted in every election since I was 18. So far, so good.

In the quick years it will take him to eventually upgrade from his Thomas the Train trike to his first real car, I will be setting a major example for him everyday along the way.

Basically, I want to brainwash, I mean, teach him the principles of why I support the political stance that I do. And I want to back it up with my actions.

It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear people complain that “they took prayer out of schools” when it’s our jobs as parents to teach our children to pray, in our homes.

Similarly, I get annoyed when people make a big deal about The Ten Commandments not being in courthouses when interestingly, those same people usually can’t even name all ten anyway. Again, if the Ten Commandments were so important to us, we would already memorize and apply them to our lives, teaching them to our children as well.

We wouldn’t need the government’s help in making our faith a powerful thing. Because our faith would be strong enough from the inside to radically change the outside.

I love reading religious post-election Facebook comments. They make me literally LOL, and that’s not a phrase I use lightly.

It’s like half of the post-election Facebook comments say something like, “Thank God! Hallelujah! Obama has been re-elected. Now the women, minorities, gays, and poor will continue to be cared for!”

The other half seems to read something like this: “Start praying for America! Obama being re-elected has officially begun fast-forwarding our nation into the Rapture!”

Here’s the funny and obvious thing I have to point out:

About half of the voters on my news feed who identify as Christians and who post on Facebook about it seem to be Democrats. The other half seems to be Republican.

Our nation will always be about 50% liberal leaning, 50% conservative leaning. Every couple of election terms, the undecided voters and swing states decide to switch back the other way for everyone else.

If suddenly 80% of the population converted to being Democrats, then by default the Democratic party would split into a more conservative and a more liberal sect. Same thing if Republicans became the majority. They’d still split.

Naturally, we find a way to make it to where we have a choice; where we find a side of the fence to relate. There is no easy middle, in order for our political system to work the way it has for so long. We evidently do better with checks and balances.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are evil or stupid, even as some Facebook comments seem to relay.

I just know I can’t live the rest of my life thinking that half of the population is always wrong. Otherwise, my son would also begin to think that about the American population too.

To think that would simply be wrong; not to mention evil and stupid.


Add a Comment

The Real Threat To The Sanctity Of Marriage

Friday, May 11th, 2012

17 months.

I don’t feel threatened by how the government defines marriage because I firmly believe in the importance of separating church and state.

Do certain conservative believers in the Christian god have exclusiveness over the right to marriage, as recognized by the American government?

If so, then it’s time to start converting any non-Christian couples before they wed.

There is marriage as recognized by the nation I am a citizen of; then there is marriage as recognized by the particular religious faith I belong to.

Two separate things… and the first one is not something I’m too concerned with.

Though it makes me feel good that my wife took my last name.

It’s actually pretty funny to me when the same people who complain about the Ten Commandments not being displayed in government buildings can not even name all ten of the commandments.

And I always think it’s ridiculous when I hear that “they took prayer out of schools.” No. No they didn’t.

(I’m assuming “they” is referring to Communists and this is the year 1985?)

As the dad of a toddler and the husband of a Christian woman, I pray while holding them both each morning before we go our separate ways for the day. When my son Jack goes to his daycare, I don’t expect them to have prayer for him there.

If I want to teach my son to pray or to learn the Ten Commandments, then it’s my responsibility as his dad to teach him in my home.

I laughed pretty hard recently when I heard a guy complaining about the Presidential support of “legalizing gay marriage,” saying that it threatens the sanctity of marriage and the future of America.

The most obvious reason his viewpoint was invalid is because he unashamedly admits to watching pornography regularly and says there’s nothing wrong with flirting with other women in bars because at the end of the night he’s not going home with them, he’s going home to his wife.

Here’s what I know:

I’m protecting the sanctity of my marriage by loving my wife the best way I know how. That includes not coveting other women, keeping strong and open communication with my wife, spending quality time with her, and being the best dad I can be to our son. Oh, and prayer, too.

But not the kind endorsed by the government… because, you know, the government took away prayer from us.

Here’s the video I stole from a friend on Facebook that inspired this article. Now handing the mic to Julie Borowski:


Add a Comment