Let’s stop pretending that gun violence is all about mental health. I know. If feels good to say that only the “crazies” commit violence, especially the worst kind of violence. It’s all about the other. But the fact is, over half of all mass shootings are related to domestic violence. And the vast majority of violence committed in the United States is a result of escalating arguments or as a part of a cycle of violence. Maybe we should start saying that losing one’s temper is a deficiency of mental health? Continue reading
Anyone who knows my son knows he has been Harry Potter obsessed for the last year. He tore through all seven books and watched (curated) versions of the films. He then quickly moved on to The Spiderwick Chronicles, which took about a week to read. And instead of moving on to Beyond Spiderwick books, he decided to try out The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Admittedly, I played a part in this by 1) buying the book at a garage sale and 2) taking out the audio books from the library. Guided reading at its best.
I have no qualms about nudging my kids into the types of books I loved as a child. And still love. We are starting the Little House books as well. I can’t wait to share the joys of The Hobbit and the adventures in A Wizard of Earthsea. But I am sad, in a regretful, slightly morose way, that there are films out there already. I know it’s so hard to resist — and it absolutely informs the interpretation of characters to see stills and clips and entire tellings. But still — it’s totally worth it for the companionship of these stories.
Exposing his extreme cowardice and an utter lack of leadership ability, Christie eviscerated A2006, a bill to reduce the legal limit for firearm magazines to ten (down from 15). Parroting NRA claims that it’s mental health and not the amount of bullets, Christie showed his ignorance of mass shootings around the world (the USA doesn’t have a monopoly on mental health issues) and common sense (more bullets = more deaths and injuries). Continue reading
Seagulls fight over forgotten fruit and crustless triangles. Unable to raise his eyes, knowing that the lack of joy in hers would harden concrete over her words, he studies a footprint in the wet sand and wishes he’d never answered her song.
Featured here is The Abandon Ship Band performing various tunes of Rock & Roll.
This weekend was an active one for gun violence prevention in the Tri-State Area. (In NJ, the tri-state area means NJ, NY, PA.) In Newark, there was an Anti-Violence Rally that shut down an intersection. In NYC, Moms Demand Action held a rally for gun sense over Brooklyn Bridge and at City Hall Park. And in Philadelphia, Million Hoodies held a power summit to move gun violence prevention forward. Lots of people are talking.
Lots of people are also writing. The Times of Trenton printed a letter in support of the Ten Round Ammunition limit recently. The Star Ledger printed this letter asking ALL of NJ’s Congressmen to support expanded background checks on firearms. And the Montclair Times printed this letter supporting the GunSenseVoter.org campaign. And there are more. Many more.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of violent and unbelievable news stories, know that you CAN act. You can CALL your elected representatives. You can TALK with your neighbors and friends. You can WRITE to your local newspapers. You can COMMIT to voting only for candidates that support common sense gun reform. You must ASK about firearms and whether they are properly secured before leaving your children at a home.
Don’t let the news cycle of horrific and preventable tragedies dishearten you. Staying mute and still is not required. Feeling helpless is not a given. Be bold.
Fathers show strength in so many ways. Sometimes it’s a literal strength, like carrying a stumbling drunk daughter into the house. Other times it’s by holding in emotion to help family and friends bear their own pain more easily. And sometimes the greatest strength is shown in exposing what others might call weakness.
This StoryCorps submission shows that last example of fatherly strength with intense clarity. Please give it a listen today.
Our backyard is roughly twice the size of what it would have been in Brooklyn. Which means it’s about three times the size of a four-door sedan. And while it would be nice to have grounds resembling Pemberley, we can barely keep up with the weeds as it is. Besides, it’s just the right size for a sprinkler break on a hot day.
Plus, the entire yard gets watered as the kids play.