I’ve written a longer guest blog for BSPC, but it won’t be published today because our country is broken and so is my heart.

My kids came home from school yesterday.

I get to write that sentence.

Our children shouldn’t have to live like this.

Our children shouldn’t have to die like this. 

Thoughts and prayers have become blasphemous.

I was a student when the massacre at Columbine occurred in 1999.

I’m not sure there is anything to say that has not been said since then.

And I’m not sure what I can do to change things.

Gun violence in America is a public health crisis.

Just last year Texas eased gun restrictions, allowing residents to carry a gun without a license or training. The Governor of Texas announced the deaths of the children in Uvalde on the eve of his appearance at the NRA National Convention.

There are gun owners in my family. They are not evil.

What are your thoughts? What can we do?


-Written by Jenni Betz

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  1. Libby Wetherholt May 25, 2022 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Hi Jenni – We can vote for ANYONE who is FOR common sense gun laws and FOR MORE gun instruction, not less like here in Ohio also. I was teaching when Columbine happened and I also knew the mother of one of the Columbine shooters when she was growing up here in Columbus. She didn’t raise her child to be a killer, but lax gun laws and rampant availability of guns is a toxic mix. We have to take our shoes off in airports because ONE person had some explosives in his shoe, but we still can buy assault rifles.

  2. Gretchen Metzelaars May 25, 2022 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Thanks Jenni, You echoed my thoughts completely. When is too much enough? There are 50 senators blocking HR eight, universal background checks. There is only one solution I see… Vote. Vote the ba****** out.

  3. Susan Curphey May 25, 2022 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I’m no fan of guns. Fewer guns/stricter access could save lives. But I wish there was more action/conversation surrounding the mental health crisis. What’s driving young people to kill their classmates? It’s so very sad and troubling.

  4. Kathleen Lewis May 25, 2022 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Vote, vote, vote. That’s the only thing I can think of. All has been said and it is unbelievable that some of our leaders will be going to the NRA convention.

  5. Judy Siehl May 25, 2022 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    And let’s ask for more controls on Facebook and other internet sites, including Twitter where hate speech is rampant and where people can livestream violence.
    Thanks to the persons who have written on this blog.

  6. Annette kuss May 25, 2022 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    We must address mental health issues and vote for representation for stricter gun laws snd background checks. So many senseless killings.

  7. Jane Leiby May 25, 2022 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Vote and hope our vote will be counted.

  8. Pamela Schirner May 25, 2022 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I’m just heartbroken! All the above are good suggestions but there is no one answer or solution. Governor DeWine’s proposals to address gun violence after the Dayton shooting were a good, common sense first step. Partisanship, hate speech and mental health issues all play a part in my opinion. I worry for my teacher friends and grandchildren.

  9. Margaret Williams May 25, 2022 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Governor DeWine’s proposals went nowhere. He has signed measures making it easier to buy and own guns. We need to vote for politicians who will support bannning assault rifles and who will enforce backgroud checks. These last two shootings were done by 18 year olds. Why were they allowed to buy these weapons?

  10. Brent Alan Burington May 25, 2022 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    You are correct in that there is nothing new to be said. However, we must keep repeating what has already been said until someone in power actually does something positive to bring about common sense gun laws in this country. When cars and people’s bodies are more thoroughly regulated than guns, the system is broken. We need to keep electing officials who will try to fix this and who will honestly listen to the words we have been repeating now for all these years.

  11. Bill McDonough May 25, 2022 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    We are beyond common sense gun laws. There is no ability to to have common sense applied to guns.

    So just imagine if we put the same skills we use to stop terrorists from violating our freedoms or from targeting someone—as they did today in stopping a threat to Former President George W Bush. In today’s world we can do this. Data analytics, AI, big data. We have the tools to start doing to our home grown terroroists what we do to international terrorists. Stopping them before they act.

    Is it a violation of our civil rights? We’ll, here we go again.

    But we have to think outside of the conventional realm to figure out how to deal with this in a 3-D way rather than a binary way.

    Remember that insanity is doing the same thing over and over whole expecting a different outcome.

    We have to think of new and different ways to confront the pathological, cultural and medical realities of our problem.

    The country that believes that it is the greatest country in the world should not have 8 times the loss of life to guns that countries we would consider our values-based peers have. 8 times!!

    Stop with the binary thinking.

  12. beth stafa May 30, 2022 at 9:29 am - Reply

    I believe gun violence is a symptom of something greater. What is at stake is a nurturing community versus a destruction of a community. There is a lot to deconstruct both at a systems, community and individual level.

    Feeling like you belong to a group – connected or feeling like you are othered (work from the Institute of Othering and Belonging). And what kind of group is this that makes you feel connected? Does this group practice othering?

    This past week I have been thinking a lot about hatred, resentment, pessimism, and self hatred. And envy…especially towards our neighbors having something we don’t. And what types of people does one attract when you feel these feeling. What types of people prey on others who feel this way.

    Yes, I believe changes in gun laws will help. Yes, I believe in taking a safety test…we do this to get a car license. But, it is a bandage or a pill to mask the real issues at hand.

  13. Martha Campbell June 28, 2022 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Just reading these comments which have good insights. I think we have fallen into a political trap which seems like panic 😱 on the part of those running for office. Placate anyone who disagrees with you just so you can have the prestige and perks that go with being a member of Congress. Represent only the people who can help you stay in office. Of course that is not new, but it has been carried to extremes. Our government is shaky and it’s scary.
    We can and should make reasonable compromises. I hope we can.

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