While it's always refreshing to see high-profile calls for a properly functioning mental health system, one has to wonder, where were such calls when we learned that there are ten times as many mentally ill people in jails and prisons than in mental health institutions?
It was the Fourth of July in our little Mayberry town and for the first time in our ten years living here, I marched in the annual parade. I was marching with the group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.
The Black Lives Matter movement needs to continue nonviolent civil disobedience to evoke the change it seeks to fight for. Tying BLM to a potentially violent movement, however politically convenient this may be over the short-term, would delegitimize BLM.
Laws have the weirdest consequences that their proponents somehow seem to never think through.
Many say the right wing has an inferior sense of humor, and I guess it's only logical that the political right are not up for a laugh. After all, their politicians are the first to slash arts from the budget.
In the two mass gun shootings at movie theaters in Aurora, Colorado, and Lafayette, Louisiana, there were a total of 14 deaths and 79 injuries. At the movie theater attack in Antioch, where a hatchet was used, a total of zero people were killed.
This solution should not seem so far-fetched. If these senators truly believe in lax or nonexistent gun laws, it should delight them to enact those principles and stand by fellow citizens by enrolling in mass-shooting self-defense courses.
These are eye-opening facts about a significant portion of our citizenry that are all too often neglected in our national awareness about gun violence.
It is important -- and more illuminating -- to ask another question; In what low regard do these policemen (and they are generally men) hold themselves that they shoot to kill the victims so rapidly and frequently?
Most people can't imagine commanding their friends, acquaintances, or co-workers to "unfriend them" in real life when they don't agree with them about every detail on a trending topic or tightly held belief. So why do we do it on social media?
It is widely assumed that crime is increasing, and is prima facie evidence of a breakdown of public order and private morality. Yet the facts point in quite the opposite direction. Indeed, the latest U.S. crime data has stunned even the most optimistic of observers.
It is at this point in the evolution of our culture that we need to find what the political parties and media have worked so doggedly to hide from us, our common ground. We agree more than we think we do, and there is too much at stake to give up and walk away.
Unwittingly, I became a member of a club no one wants to belong to early on a chilly Friday morning, December 14, 2012. I had never even heard of this club. There is no formal name for this group and we don't have a clubhouse. The members are from across the country, all races, ages and genders. We live in urban areas, the suburbs and rural communities. Yet we all met the memberships' one criterion, a life taken by gun violence. The price of admission to this club is bullets.
This week brought multiple challenges to move from outrage to action. On Tuesday, the dash cam video of the violent arrest of Sandra Bland was released; authorities later said autopsy results suggested she had committed suicide while in jail. But many questions remain, including why, already this year, an estimated 651 people have been killed by police -- 172 of them African American, 142 unarmed. Less questionable is that our justice system is broken, and in ways that inescapably involve race. On Thursday there was yet another mass shooting, this time in Lafayette, Louisiana. The gunman, despite having a long criminal record, had legally obtained his weapon. Just hours before the shooting, President Obama had said the "great frustration" of his presidency was not being able to pass "common-sense gun safety laws." As we move into the election season, it's time to put both of these critical issues on the front burner. Neither will change until we demand it.