Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who is standing up for those kids?

"Those parents lost little kids. I had 20 years with my son. That's all I'll ever have," he said. "But those people lost their children at 6 and 7 years old. How do you think they feel? And who's talking to them now, who's doing anything for them now? Who is standing up for those kids that died back then in an elementary school? Why wasn't something done? It's outrageous."

Rebel Girl suspects that everyone who works at the colleges has been thinking about those students and their families and friends today - and of course, our own students.

We should, of course, do more than think about them. We need to act.

Among the actions Reb took this morning was to call the local office and the D.C. office of Congressman John Campbell and make the suggestion that now is the time for Campbell to revisit his position on gun control.  She reminded the people who took her call that Campbell, of course, has a UC campus in his district. The congressman, it should be noted, has yet to make any statement.

Call and ask that he do so.  It takes about ten minutes tops.

(949) 756-2244
(202) 225-5611

Rebel Girl is always surprised at how many people have never called their congressional representative.  You should. We pay them after all.  It's supposed to be about US, not them.  Today  make it about us.  Better yet, make it about those students.

When Rebel Girl drops off her little guy at his elementary school, she walks by those parents who still shepherd their kindergarteners and first graders to class - and wait with them for the teachers to arrive.  Reb remembers when she used to do that.  She couldn't leave until she had seen him safely into the classroom.   Once, for a brief time, Reb worked as teacher's aide in a kindergarten and she used to volunteer in her son's.  She knows what those rooms are like, the tiny desks, the bulletin boards covered with the handmade work of young children, the teacher's desk, the floor where the students sit cross-legged gather to hear a story.   Now, every day, when she walks by those classes, she cannot help it, she thinks of Sandy Hook. Every day. Without fail. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.  But every day. Flashes. What it must have been like in those classrooms. Sometime she thinks if they had released photographs of the classrooms which had become, within minutes (minutes!) horrific crime scenes, maybe that would help. She knows that would be disrespectful, in poor taste - but she wonders what it will take to move people, a nation to really look at the human cost of gun control policies.

Sandy Hook vigil at Irvine High School. 2/15/12
Consider joining the vigil tonight at Aldrich Park at U.C. Irvine.  7 pm. All are welcome.

What is Campbell's position on gun control?  Here are the main points of a bill he co-sponsored:
Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington D.C.

Nothing in any provision of law shall authorize the Mayor, or any governmental authority of the District of Columbia, to prohibit possessing firearms by a person who is allowed to possess firearms under federal law.

Denies the District any authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.
Repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons.
Repeals the District's registration requirement for possession of firearms.
Repeals the trigger lock law.
Maintains the current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.
Eliminates criminal penalties for possessing an unregistered firearm.
Specifies exceptions to the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in the District.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, and for so eloquently sharing your thoughts on Sandy Hook.

We are paralyzed as a nation. Normal people (I say normal because how can anyone who argues for weakened gun control laws following a mass murder be normal?) want to do something but it seems insurmountable. The fact that I'm the first to comment on your post -- when it's been posted for a day now -- frustrates me. What is wrong with us?

Rebel Girl said...

I think it's because people don't know what to do, don't know what to say - we are not taught, somehow? - so we do nothing. We don't even make phone call or write emails, let alone stand in the dark with a candle or sign. This gives people like Campbell permission to keep doing what they're doing...meanwhile, those parents are burying their children. Both types of children - victims and perpetrators, are, of course, our students. Right?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:53, thank you for posting this.

I would like to humbly pose the question: What do gun control policies in general (aside from Campbell's particular stance on the matter) have to do with this tragic massacre? From what I understand all of the shooter's firearms were purchased legally and were not even of the type typically criticized and under consideration for banning (i.e. "assault style weapons"). Additionally, I understand that the shooter was not diagnosed with any condition that would have excluded him from gun ownership. In this case it does not appear that common gun control measures supporters proposed would have made any difference. Is our only recourse for meaningful action in the face of a tragedy like this the outright banning of firearms?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the old gun control measures would not have stopped this particular shooter argument...It's a complicated problem to be sure but some kind of action in the face of this - and Sandy Hook - and other similar events is surely needed. Restrictions on ammo? Registering ammo? A licensing process similar to a driver's license? Restrictions on a number of guns? Age restrictions? Something. And to be sure there are other issues at play here - adequate mental heath services, broader cultural issues of misogyny and violence - but to suggest we're helpless (which I know you did not) - is a real danger.

Rebel Girl said...

Actually the proposed Gun Violence Restraining Order could have made a difference.

Rebel Girl said...

If adopted, that legislation could be put in effect by a call similar to the one the young man's mother m(or other relative) made earlier to the police. It acts as like a restraining order - but targets gun possession.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the gunman purchased the guns legally is a huge part of the problem. Why should it be legal for him to own those guns, not to mention the ammo? Why is it so easy to purchase rounds of ammo, at any sporting goods store? We're bonkers, people.

Anonymous said...

As Ronald Brownstein wrote in the LA Times earlier this week: "If a foreign terrorist had attacked Santa Barbara (or Newtown), we would exhaustively study every chink in our defenses. It's indefensible to turn away just because the violence came from down the block."

Anonymous said...

One cannot legislate the maniacs off the street ... these maniacs can only be shut down by an armed citizenry. Indeed bad things can happen in nations where the citizenry is armed, but not as bad as those which seem to be threatening our disarmed citizenry in this country at this time.

Anonymous said...

“The death of your kid does not trump my constitutional rights.” (Joe the Plumber)

1. Half the victims were stabbed to death
2. A BMW was used in one attempted murder

Should there also be new laws for knives and cars?

My take on this is that the parents are 90% responsible, and the police, 10% The parents knew all along they had a problem child and all they did was enable, enable, enable instead of having him institutionalized when they had that power. They enabled him with an expensive sports car and paid all his living expenses. The news reported that he completed a total of three CC courses over three years. He really had no business living in a college town and hanging with UCSB students.

The police dropped the ball when they could have been more thorough and actually followed through. Is a life threatening/mass-murder youtube video not enough evidence to get a search warrant? The police could have stopped this.

Anonymous said...

Don't the police actually "investigate" anymore? All they had to do was match this guy's name in the gun registry database. One would think that along with his threatening youtube videos, they could have easily gotten a search warrant. The police failed to connect the dots.

I'm always skeptical when press conferences begin with several congratulatory mins. of a job well done by public officials. It usually means big mistakes were made and they are just covering their own arses. I place a much higher % of responsibility on law enforcement than 5:17 does.

Of brothels, and cheerleaders and our country as a casino

Dennis Hof, center, and Heidi Fleiss, right, react after receiving election results June 12 in Pahrump, Nev. David Montero / Los Angeles ...