STOP the blame game. If BOTH sides refuse to come together – these shootings will continue

It’s devastating. 17 people. It’s really difficult to wrap your head around, isn’t it?

Yesterday, when we heard about the tragedy – my husband and I noted that the media was giving it a lot of coverage – sadly, they usually just mention these shootings.  Apparently, it’s just become a part of life. Like, oh by the way, two children were killed today. Shot while in school. And in other news….

Is that where we are right now?

Here’s the thing – when hearing about these mass shootings, I have to try really hard to control my anger. I’m filled with anger.

And I despise what comes next. It’s the same thing – time after time.  Two sides – planting their feet firmly in partisan rhetoric. Talking points spelled out – over and over and over.

It. Is. So. Predictable.

It’s also a big fat waste of time. If neither side is willing to budge – NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

Wait – before you say anything – I get it. I know the GUN didn’t shoot anyone. A person did. I get that.

I understand this person might have mental health issues – I know there is much to learn about the motive. I know. I get it.

But I hate this.

I understand there are other ways to kill people. Yep, I get that, too. I mean I get why people say that.

But really?  Can you kill a dozen or more people with a knife?   Really?  Not that many people. Not without someone tackling the killer. Could you drive your car into a crowd?  Yes. We’ve seen it.

But, today, we aren’t talking about that.

I realize when people are filled with such hatred – they can find ways to hurt others.

But man, it seems like we make it so easy for them. No?

I try hard not to take much of a stand. Mainly because if you take a stand – people just assume you are on a side. And, the truth is – I’m not.

The only side I’m on – is the side of the children; the side of those families left to bury their child. I’m on their side.

I hate this.

As soon as horrific events like this happen – and they happen WAY too often – right away people start defending guns.

You can say that you hate gun violence – and they counter with the talking points  – a person did this, not a gun – etc. Blah. Blah. Blah.

BUT – here’s my question – can’t we all hate gun violence?  That’s what I’m saying. Can’t we hate that some sicko picked up a gun a shot round after round after round. Killing innocent kids. That’s gun violence. It’s worthy of our hatred.

It’s worthy of stopping.

So – those on the right –  do we really need those AR-15 semi-automatic riffles? I realize there are millions of them out there – and getting them turned in is nearly impossible – I get that. But, let’s stop selling them NOW?  Does a 19-year-old really need one? NO.

For those on the left – it’s not JUST guns. It’s mental illness. It’s violent video games. It’s violent movies.

It’s also technology, social media – and the breakdown of family values.

I see nasty, hurtful, awful posts out there from ADULTS. Kids see those, too. They think it’s okay to be nasty and bully. Let’s teach them to be kind. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but you should treat everyone with kindness and human decency.

And don’t tell me I can’t send thoughts and prayers. Yes, something must be done but until then – I will pray for those people and the hurt and heartache they are left with.

It’s not one thing.  It’s just not.

I believe in the second amendment.

I’m not saying I hate hunting.

I’m not saying I hate people who own guns for protection.

I know you have the right to carry a gun.

I thank my GOD every day that what I don’t know – is how those parents feel who have to bury their child. I could not imagine.

I do know what it feels like to not know if my child will live or die after being shot. That I know about.

My daughter was shot by a boy playing with a gun. Yes, an accident – but still gun violence.

Maria was shot in the leg 8 years ago. I think about that EVERY SINGLE DAY. I literally thank GOD every day that it wasn’t in her head or chest. Every single day. Her leg was bad enough. Right through her femoral artery. Severing it. Crushing her femur. The strongest bone in her body was shredded like paper. By a bullet. From a gun.

She almost died.  She lost most of her blood. Months in the hospital. Several surgeries.

She suffered. She still suffers. She has horrible scars. And pain. She deals with this everyday.

My other daughter – who was there – still has PTSD. Still suffers mentally from seeing her sister like that. From helping to stop the bleeding with a sweat shirt.

I wasn’t there with them to protect them. Just like those parents weren’t in school to protect their children. It’s impossible to be there 24/7.

Yes, the boy who shot my daughter is to blame. I get that. But so is that gun – at least in my opinion. And I hate it. I’m allowed to hate it. Give me that. Please.

There is NO reason to go to a school and start shooting people. Or a movie theater. Or a shopping mall.  I don’t care what the motive ends up being – NOTHING can make us truly understand this horror.

But, aren’t you sick of hearing about it? Aren’t you devastated for these parents who will have to bury their children? Shouldn’t something be done?  Don’t we owe it to them? Didn’t we owe it to the kids at Sandy Hook?

Our children have drills on what to do in the case of an active shooter. They practice hiding in a closet – and then they actually have to do it. This is a part of school life? But wait – once you’re in there – you aren’t allowed to pray because that is NOT allowed in school.

It does not make any sense.

No, I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. I just don’t. But our elected leaders, activists and others MUST come up with a plan. That is WHY we elect them. Something has to be done. Until then – and probably long after – I will still hate guns. I won’t judge you or dislike you for owning a gun. It’s your right. But I will hope you keep it away from your children and from your neighbor’s children. I hope you will practice gun safety. In fact, I hope you never have a need to use it.

Life can change in a moment. And it does. We don’t have to be a divided nation on this or any other issue. We can choose to work together on making safe and happy communities for all of us. Nobody should send their child off to school and never get to see them again.

This is something that impacts ALL of us. So, maybe we should take a moment and really think about coming together.

I am not picking a side. I am trying to be realistic – and reasonable. I am trying to say that we CAN do better. We can’t allow this to continue. We have to address every single thing that COULD be leading to such horror. We waste more money on bullshit than any other nation – so I can’t listen to the “where will we get the money” from. If you’d like some examples of government waste – I’m happy to provide them. But, I’m sure you don’t. I am sure that you are well aware.

We are a nation filled with smart, motivated, caring people. We can do better. Together, we can do better.


Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

Comments (2)

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    Tammy Slater


    I agree with you 100% but for now they need to do more to secure these schools so these crazy gunmen can’t get in. They need to keep the doors locked so people can open from inside but no one can open from the outside, a peep hole of sorts and an armed security guard to clear the person before entering. I think it’s time they install metal detectors in ALL schools and maybe security at every entrance. The government needs to step up and take action for once. What is is going to take for that to happen, perhaps a shooting at one of their loved ones school? If they don t step in unfortunatemy this will happen again somewhere!


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    Thank you Mary. For echoing my thoughts exactly!!!! My heart is broken for all the people affected by this tragedy. I am angered by the “stands” and the bickering. The fact is something needs to be done and we can only do it TOGETHER.


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