mass shootings

Students come together to oppose gun violence

When the most responsible adults in the room are also the youngest:

“The sad and terrifying reality is that another school shooting like Parkland will happen if we don’t take action now," said Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. “I hope that one day students won’t have to fear going to school because of gun violence. I hope that school becomes once again a place for education and promise instead of a terrifying gamble of safety. I hope that students in the future won’t know the pain and trauma that accompanies gun violence because we will have the regulation our country desperately needs.”

Taylor-Arnold is a junior at Asheville High School. She said she wanted to attend the Summit to learn more about gun violence and hear first-hand accounts of how it affected so many young people.

I am proud of these students, but also kind of angry. I'm angry that our lack of action on this issue made them feel the need to push for change. Angry that nothing of any substance has been done to limit the insanely easy access to deadly firearms, and that every (single) common-sense approach is viciously opposed by gun fetishists and the businesses that profit from them. Here are some of their ideas:

Annapolis newspaper shooting reveals the dark side of Facebook

Sometimes a blast from the past is the last thing you need:

In what a judge called "rather bizarre" behavior, Ramos used Facebook to contact a woman he knew in high school and then sent her threatening emails, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself, court documents and the article say. "If you're on Facebook, you've probably gotten a friend request or message from an old high school classmate you didn't quite remember," the article begins. "For one woman, that experience turned into a yearlong nightmare."

The article says Ramos contacted the woman and thanked her for being kind to him in high school. She wrote back, and they emailed. She suggested he see a counselor. Then, he lashed out at her. She "lived in fear for her safety for months," the article says.

I recently told a small group of people if they really wanted to use social media to advocate for a cause, they needed to let down their drawbridges. Make their posts public, so they can be shared and/or found in searches. And we discussed the positive and negative aspects of increased exposure. At one point I told them that "stranger danger" is a virtually non-existent threat, because most Internet trolls are basically cowards at heart, and stifling your advocacy is their main goal. This horrible incident does not change my views on that. She knew this guy from high school, he did not fit the classic definition of "stranger." And after he got in trouble over harassing her, he transferred his rage to the newspaper that told everybody else about his obsession:

Scott Pelley and CBS News owe us an apology

Big Pharma

CBSNews is apparently enamored of former Congressman and Sen. Ted Kennedy's son, Patrick Kennedy. I thought the 60 Minutes interview done by Leslie Stahl was a good piece of journalism. Then Scott Pelley had to overdose on the Kennedy legacy, and ran a segment on CBS Evening News tonight with Patrick Kennedy giving a lecture to America on how to prevent gun violence through mental health legislation.

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