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We Face a Moral Breakdown PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stuart Sheldon, BT Contributor   
December 2019

Gun violence has metastasized in this country

MPix_FamilyMatters_12-19y friend Crystal, in Philadelphia, received the following text message from her 15-year-old daughter, M, on October 30: “Mom -- there is a lockdown. They say it’s not a drill.”

M attends a top public school. Crystal is a married working mom, hustling to raise two teen girls. As if that’s not hard enough.... What does one even do with a text like this from your baby girl? And what does it say about America, our “shining city on a hill”?

Crystal didn’t see the text for over a minute, as she was in a meeting.

Then, in her own words: “Slow motion. But rapid-fire texts asking where she is, what she hears, what are they saying to her, what people are doing. Desperately thinking of something reassuring to say and thinking, ‘This could be the last thing M reads.’”

Gun violence is no longer in America. It is America. It’s metastasized to become who we are and how we’re seen. Let’s call it by its right name: moral rot. Death of an empire. Ignorance. The loss of decency and basic respect...for the sanctity of children…and human life.

There’s silence from Crystal’s daughter. Because they’re being quiet and because she has no answers.

My son was almost six when 20 six-year-olds were slaughtered in their little school chairs at Sandy Hook seven years ago. Where have we gone since? Inconceivably, further down the shameful pit of Second Amendment soundbites and psychotic “patriots” and young black men shot in cold blood for being black.

Finally, a text: “It’s over.”

Sixteen minutes later, M’s school sent a businesslike e-mail explaining the lockdown, congratulating students’ behavior, and assuring that no one was harmed. Classes resumed, homework was given.

Crystal, in a state of mental/emotional discombobulation, spent the rest of her day wondering how she was supposed to talk with her kids later that night. “So, honey, one heckuva lockdown at the old schoolhouse, huh? Heh heh.”

She asks: “Are we raising robots or empathetic adults who aren’t desensitized to trauma?”

Over dinner, she forced her daughter to walk her through the events of the day:

-- M in line for lunch in the cafeteria, where there are no doors. The cafeteria kids were the last to know; they found out when the lights went out and people began to panic.

-- The lunch ladies tried to yell over the mayhem. Announcements to “find the nearest classroom” were coming over the PA, but only snippets were caught. “This is not a drill.”

-- Some 150 cafeteria kids linked hands and ran out the only exit -- directly into the hallway where they heard the shooter was.

-- M didn’t know where those 150 kids went. Some people were white with terror, others kept repeating that this wasn’t real.

-- M huddled in a corner of a nearby music room and said her plan was to dive behind a cello, should the gunman enter.

-- An “all clear,” and students were told to go to class.

-- M didn’t get lunch.

At the end of this day, Crystal, tells me, she has “emotions coming out of my armpits.”

A brush with a school shooting is a wakeup call, she said. And America gets the same wakeup call several times a month now.

So, wake the f*&k up!

A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found that in 2017, 1144 U.S. active-duty military and police officers were killed by guns worldwide, while 2462 U.S. school-age children were killed by firearms -- more than twice the number.

As if that’s not proof that our society has putrefied, approximately 3 million children witness gun violence every year. What do you say to your little one after he’s watched a guy get killed?

I lived in Costa Rica the past year, a country with 4.9 million people. And guess what? Children never see people getting shot because that doesn’t happen in normal countries. In fact, I never heard of anybody getting shot. Practically no one has guns.

Words don’t matter anymore, and you’re probably already bored with this rant. I don’t blame you. It’s beyond exhausting. So let’s cut to the call to action.

Assemble and vote!

Contact Everytown for Gun Safety (www.everytown.org). We hosted an Everytown meeting in our home and connected victims with compassionate citizens. Everytown raises funds to pay lobbyists to beat back the beasts.

Get your kids off shooter games. Our society is crumbling. Rome, the Ottomans, Britain. No one thought their suns would set. Our sky is dark.

Most important: Vote out anyone who tries to normalize M’s story. No more smokescreen talk of mental illness, thoughts, and prayers. Silence is collusion.

Be a real patriot. Fix it!

 

Stuart Sheldon is an award-winning artist, author, and Miami native. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram @stuart_sheldon and his blog, FancyNasty.us.

 

Feedback: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

My friend Crystal, in Philadelphia, received the following text message from her 15-year-old daughter, M, on October 30: “Mom -- there is a lockdown. They say it’s not a drill.”

M attends a top public school. Crystal is a married working mom, hustling to raise two teen girls. As if that’s not hard enough.... What does one even do with a text like this from your baby girl? And what does it say about America, our “shining city on a hill”?

Crystal didn’t see the text for over a minute, as she was in a meeting.

Then, in her own words: “Slow motion. But rapid-fire texts asking where she is, what she hears, what are they saying to her, what people are doing. Desperately thinking of something reassuring to say and thinking, ‘This could be the last thing M reads.’”

Gun violence is no longer in America. It is America. It’s metastasized to become who we are and how we’re seen. Let’s call it by its right name: moral rot. Death of an empire. Ignorance. The loss of decency and basic respect...for the sanctity of children…and human life.

There’s silence from Crystal’s daughter. Because they’re being quiet and because she has no answers.

My son was almost six when 20 six-year-olds were slaughtered in their little school chairs at Sandy Hook seven years ago. Where have we gone since? Inconceivably, further down the shameful pit of Second Amendment soundbites and psychotic “patriots” and young black men shot in cold blood for being black.

Finally, a text: “It’s over.”

Sixteen minutes later, M’s school sent a businesslike e-mail explaining the lockdown, congratulating students’ behavior, and assuring that no one was harmed. Classes resumed, homework was given.

Crystal, in a state of mental/emotional discombobulation, spent the rest of her day wondering how she was supposed to talk with her kids later that night. “So, honey, one heckuva lockdown at the old schoolhouse, huh? Heh heh.”

She asks: “Are we raising robots or empathetic adults who aren’t desensitized to trauma?”

Over dinner, she forced her daughter to walk her through the events of the day:

-- M in line for lunch in the cafeteria, where there are no doors. The cafeteria kids were the last to know; they found out when the lights went out and people began to panic.

-- The lunch ladies tried to yell over the mayhem. Announcements to “find the nearest classroom” were coming over the PA, but only snippets were caught. “This is not a drill.”

-- Some 150 cafeteria kids linked hands and ran out the only exit -- directly into the hallway where they heard the shooter was.

-- M didn’t know where those 150 kids went. Some people were white with terror, others kept repeating that this wasn’t real.

-- M huddled in a corner of a nearby music room and said her plan was to dive behind a cello, should the gunman enter.

-- An “all clear,” and students were told to go to class.

-- M didn’t get lunch.

At the end of this day, Crystal, tells me, she has “emotions coming out of my armpits.”

A brush with a school shooting is a wakeup call, she said. And America gets the same wakeup call several times a month now.

So, wake the f*&k up!

A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found that in 2017, 1144 U.S. active-duty military and police officers were killed by guns worldwide, while 2462 U.S. school-age children were killed by firearms -- more than twice the number.

As if that’s not proof that our society has putrefied, approximately 3 million children witness gun violence every year. What do you say to your little one after he’s watched a guy get killed?

I lived in Costa Rica the past year, a country with 4.9 million people. And guess what? Children never see people getting shot because that doesn’t happen in normal countries. In fact, I never heard of anybody getting shot. Practically no one has guns.

Words don’t matter anymore, and you’re probably already bored with this rant. I don’t blame you. It’s beyond exhausting. So let’s cut to the call to action.

Assemble and vote!

Contact Everytown for Gun Safety (www.everytown.org). We hosted an Everytown meeting in our home and connected victims with compassionate citizens. Everytown raises funds to pay lobbyists to beat back the beasts.

Get your kids off shooter games. Our society is crumbling. Rome, the Ottomans, Britain. No one thought their suns would set. Our sky is dark.

Most important: Vote out anyone who tries to normalize M’s story. No more smokescreen talk of mental illness, thoughts, and prayers. Silence is collusion.

Be a real patriot. Fix it!

 

Stuart Sheldon is an award-winning artist, author, and Miami native. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram @stuart_sheldon and his blog, FancyNasty.us.

 

Feedback: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

My friend Crystal, in Philadelphia, received the following text message from her 15-year-old daughter, M, on October 30: “Mom -- there is a lockdown. They say it’s not a drill.”

M attends a top public school. Crystal is a married working mom, hustling to raise two teen girls. As if that’s not hard enough.... What does one even do with a text like this from your baby girl? And what does it say about America, our “shining city on a hill”?

Crystal didn’t see the text for over a minute, as she was in a meeting.

Then, in her own words: “Slow motion. But rapid-fire texts asking where she is, what she hears, what are they saying to her, what people are doing. Desperately thinking of something reassuring to say and thinking, ‘This could be the last thing M reads.’”

Gun violence is no longer in America. It is America. It’s metastasized to become who we are and how we’re seen. Let’s call it by its right name: moral rot. Death of an empire. Ignorance. The loss of decency and basic respect...for the sanctity of children…and human life.

There’s silence from Crystal’s daughter. Because they’re being quiet and because she has no answers.

My son was almost six when 20 six-year-olds were slaughtered in their little school chairs at Sandy Hook seven years ago. Where have we gone since? Inconceivably, further down the shameful pit of Second Amendment soundbites and psychotic “patriots” and young black men shot in cold blood for being black.

Finally, a text: “It’s over.”

Sixteen minutes later, M’s school sent a businesslike e-mail explaining the lockdown, congratulating students’ behavior, and assuring that no one was harmed. Classes resumed, homework was given.

Crystal, in a state of mental/emotional discombobulation, spent the rest of her day wondering how she was supposed to talk with her kids later that night. “So, honey, one heckuva lockdown at the old schoolhouse, huh? Heh heh.”

She asks: “Are we raising robots or empathetic adults who aren’t desensitized to trauma?”

Over dinner, she forced her daughter to walk her through the events of the day:

-- M in line for lunch in the cafeteria, where there are no doors. The cafeteria kids were the last to know; they found out when the lights went out and people began to panic.

-- The lunch ladies tried to yell over the mayhem. Announcements to “find the nearest classroom” were coming over the PA, but only snippets were caught. “This is not a drill.”

-- Some 150 cafeteria kids linked hands and ran out the only exit -- directly into the hallway where they heard the shooter was.

-- M didn’t know where those 150 kids went. Some people were white with terror, others kept repeating that this wasn’t real.

-- M huddled in a corner of a nearby music room and said her plan was to dive behind a cello, should the gunman enter.

-- An “all clear,” and students were told to go to class.

-- M didn’t get lunch.

At the end of this day, Crystal, tells me, she has “emotions coming out of my armpits.”

A brush with a school shooting is a wakeup call, she said. And America gets the same wakeup call several times a month now.

So, wake the f*&k up!

A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found that in 2017, 1144 U.S. active-duty military and police officers were killed by guns worldwide, while 2462 U.S. school-age children were killed by firearms -- more than twice the number.

As if that’s not proof that our society has putrefied, approximately 3 million children witness gun violence every year. What do you say to your little one after he’s watched a guy get killed?

I lived in Costa Rica the past year, a country with 4.9 million people. And guess what? Children never see people getting shot because that doesn’t happen in normal countries. In fact, I never heard of anybody getting shot. Practically no one has guns.

Words don’t matter anymore, and you’re probably already bored with this rant. I don’t blame you. It’s beyond exhausting. So let’s cut to the call to action.

Assemble and vote!

Contact Everytown for Gun Safety (www.everytown.org). We hosted an Everytown meeting in our home and connected victims with compassionate citizens. Everytown raises funds to pay lobbyists to beat back the beasts.

Get your kids off shooter games. Our society is crumbling. Rome, the Ottomans, Britain. No one thought their suns would set. Our sky is dark.

Most important: Vote out anyone who tries to normalize M’s story. No more smokescreen talk of mental illness, thoughts, and prayers. Silence is collusion.

Be a real patriot. Fix it!

 

Stuart Sheldon is an award-winning artist, author, and Miami native. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram @stuart_sheldon and his blog, FancyNasty.us.

 

Feedback: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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