Friday, 16 February 2018


I have a friend in the USA (I actually have several, and family too, some of whom reside in Florida) however the particular friend I am talking about is in Arizona. He's more than just a friend. He's my "go-to" guy, the person I share every single aspect of my life with (if you ever want dirt on me he is the one you need to speak to for there is nothing about me he doesn't know). He's my voice of reason when I'm not being rational. He's my shoulder to cry on when things get too much for me. He's the one who tell me straight when I am being a total and utter tit - believe me, when I say he's always honest with me, we are talking brutal, not holds barred, honesty. He tells it exactly like it is. 

The circumstances in which we met were quite random, but he's been a part of my life now for so long I can't ever remember him not being in it. The best thing about us, is that we still communicate in the "old fashioned way". Well, almost; I no longer use pen and paper, choosing to use my laptop and printer, but it's almost the old fashioned way. There's a lot to be said for "Snail Mail" I love that feeling when you receive a letter from someone who means something to you. It's not all paper, pens, and printers; we do, on occasion, chat on the phone, however, the majority of the time it is how it used to be. Oddly I think that's why we are still so close. Don't get me wrong, we've had falling outs (big ones) however, in between we usually get another letter and it's soon forgotten about :) I find it really helps if I have a problem too. I put it all down on paper, sned it off, and it's as if the problem goes with it. By the time I get his reply the problem has been dealt with and I'm on to the next one - we average a 3 week turnaround, meaning if I posted today, I'd get his reply 3 weeks today.

We come from totally different walks of life. I am a white, English woman, who grew up in what I guess would be classed a suburb, with working class parents (not quite working class for their were slightly poorer than your average working class). My parents bought their home brand new, in a good area, with good schools and a great local community; I have a younger brother - 8 years younger. He is Native American, born and raised on the reservation with 2 older brothers and 2 older, 1 younger, sisters. They were (by our standards and to all intents and purpose) poor. They pretty much grew up with nothing. Our backgrounds could not be more different if we tried, yet somehow we found each other, connected, and have been friends ever since. He's an amazing artist, with 3 great kids and I could not imagine my life without him in it. 

The reason I am telling you about him today, is because I was writing to him last night, talking about what had happened in Florida with yet another school shooting, and I thought I should really get how I feel out there (as I do with all mass murders on ours and their soil which seem to happen more-and-more these days - I am aware there are mass murders taking place all over the world each and every day that are far worse; I'm not that ignorant to the world, but him and I primarily talk only about our respective countries). I figured that rather than write it all out again, I'd just copy and paste what I have said to him. Hence why I have explained about us, for it could sound as though I have finally lost the plot to read through what I've said, as I'm writing to him directly, not to the general population.

Here's what I said to him.... 

I feel as though we do this discussion way-too-often so I’m not going to dwell on it or give it too much of our time, but I just can't let another school shooting pass by without mentioning it. How many have we discussed over the years? How many more kids have to die? I just don’t get it. I truly do understand the 2nd Amendment - ish, but for crying out loud, it was dreamed up in a different time, when the world was a different place. I totally get that outlawing guns will not stop such things happening, and there is no way you would ever get back all those which are out there; what I don’t get is why the fuck does anyone (other than someone in the military) need a semi-automatic machine gun? They are made for one reason only. To kill as many people in as short amount of time as possible. You will never be able to ban guns totally but there really does need to be some kind of logic as to who they are sold to. We have guns over here; I know how to shoot a rifle, was taught at a young age (I wasn’t a bad shot back when I was younger) however, I was also taught about how dangerous they are and we were never allowed to handle one without an adult present. Every now and then we lined tin cans up, shot them off the rail we had them on, then the gun was taken away, and locked back up. I believe the gun had to be licensed and that license had to be renewed every year. I’ve never once all my years since those days wanted to go and  buy one for myself though. Why would I need one? Over here you buy them because you belong to a club, or you hunt pheasant - again, usually with a club where control of the guns is kept tight at all times. We have shootings over here, there are certain people who can get hold of them but we have nothing like you guys over there. I have to admit if I lived on your side of the pond I would probably want to have one myself as a deterrent, and that’s why I get the 2nd Amendment; it’s better to defend yourself against an armed intruder if you are armed yourself (although I don't totally agree with that because can you imagine how much more carnage and death there would be if those kids had been armed and began to fire at will?) this is why you will never be able to fully outlaw them over there - but jesus; nobody, and I mean nobody, needs a semi-automatic.

The kid who did it (apparently) had a history of mental health issues, was forever posting images of himself with dead things he had killed, would share photos of him with his gun and was the one everyone (supposedly) said would end up one day going on a mass killing spree. If he was known to be that way, why the fuck didn’t anybody flag him up? All those lives ended, all those others which will never be the same again, and for what? Shit, your kids should be safe when they go to school. No parent should spend their day wondering if their child is going to make it home alive again. A friend was saying yesterday that her boy in kindergarten has to go through drills on what to do if someone was to open fire on them while they are in school. Whatever kind of country are you lot living in over there? Fucking kindergarten kids having drills on what to do if someone enters their classroom with a machine gun. I just can't get my head round that. Kids should be learning about bugs, and stars, and their times table, not how to survive being shot in school. The only safety drill they should have is the fire drill. It’s a pretty fucked up world when they can’t play in climbing frames in case they fall off and graze their knee (or, god forbid) break a bone, but hey kids; let’s learn how to survive when someone’s shooting at us in class. I just don’t get it. And all because of 4 words written on a document of amendments some 227 years ago. If they were able to make changes to an original document back then, they can make changes to the amended one now.

I don't get it. I will never get it. I am so glad I live in a country where I don't have to "get it". I just can't help but wonder though - How many more? They said this morning there have been 18 school shootings already this year; THIS YEAR. Not in the past decade, not this century. This year; we're only just 47 days into the year. That's pretty much 1 every 3rd day. How can America sit back and let this keep happening? How many more children, party goer, clubbers, church goers and shoppers have to die before someone finally grows a pair and does something to stop it? Will they still be as nonchalant if it was their child, sister, brother, father or mother? 

I think the image below, which my cousin on the East Coast shared on her facebook, just about says it all  :( 

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