my country is killing people

my country is killing people
separating parents from children
building walls to keep “them” out
and to keep “us” in
my country is killing people
in the streets because of the color
of their skin, their sexual orientation,
and their religion
my country is killing people
in their newspaper offices, churches,
at concerts, schools, and malls
because guns are more important
my country is killing people
in an economy that gives tax
cuts to the rich, and denies access
to health care for the poor
my country is killing people
as it kills the environment with coal
trains, fracking, oil pipelines, pesticides
and greed

and i am ashamed

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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More Guns Is Not the Answer

I found out about the shootings on Facebook. A friend messaged me to ask if my husband, Scott, a photojournalist, had gone to the Mall to cover the shootings for his newspaper. I called Scott to find out where he was and learned he was on his way to the shootings.

He’s home now – finally walked in the door at midnight.

There are four dead. Another critically injured. All had been in Macy’s.

Right now I don’t know anything about the victims, other than their genders. I don’t know if I knew them. I don’t know their ages. I don’t know their names. But I was in Macy’s a couple weeks ago and I remember the young woman in the shoe department who laughed with me when I teetered around on those 6 inch heels she brought out for me “just for fun.” I remember the older lady  who was so helpful and friendly when she rang me up. I remember the pretty ladies in the cosmetics department – and, although I didn’t stop to do any cosmeticking, they all smiled at me and wished me a good day. All of them – every single one of them – added something happy to my day. I believe that nothing good anybody adds to the world is ever lost.

Some of my Facebook friends are suggesting that if everyone at the Mall had just been carrying a weapon the shooter wouldn’t have gotten far. And… really?!! I picture it – guns coming out of everyone’s holsters, shots being fired in rapid succession as the “target” moves through the store, bullets zipping past the shooter and hitting innocent people. The store becoming a war zone – a scene from the wild west.

No. I do not believe more guns is the answer to our nation’s problems.