President’s Message – February 2018
Last Tuesday, I was working on my monthly president’s message when an alert came over my phone about a possible live shooter situation in Parkland, Florida. I read the alert and prayed that it was not another shooting and that the authorities had the person in custody before any lives were lost. I continued editing my piece which was focused on faith, family, country then politics. I wanted to tell you all that we need to live our lives in that order and that our hour and a half with Kay McConaughey and her three sons at our closing session at Leadership Day demonstrated that, as Americans, we are better than bi-partisan politics, we are stronger when we can come together in a room and put politics aside for a time. The article was light and uplifting, it was how I have been feeling since Leadership Day. I was pleased with the piece and was about to send it to Melody, then Fox News reported that 17 people in Parkland, Florida were dead and young American children were, once again, subjected to senseless violence. I scrapped the message and decided I had no choice but to start over.
As the tragic events unfolded, we learned that this horrific act was carried out with an AR-15 rifle, purchased legally by a young man with a sorted past. Immediately Democrats jumped on the ‘we need stricter gun laws’ band wagon. I wish the fix was as easy as passing legislation to ban assault rifles, if it were I would be calling my representatives right now, but it’s not and everyone in Washington knows that to be true. Banning guns is the easy way out, it takes guts and courage to get to the underlying reasons our society is broke.
The 19-year-old murderer had no parents; he was described by many as peculiar. He posted on social media that he was going to be a ‘professional school shooter’. He had been expelled from school, killed small animals, and participated in paramilitary drills with a hate group. The signs were all there.
We live in such complicated times and Americans are hungry for our government to do something to fix the problem with more laws. But creating additional laws is not always the answer. President Trump is calling for action and action means talking about mental health and guns. If there is one thing I have learned about our President is he is a man of his word and he does not tackle problems as a Republican or Democrat, but as an American. I don’t know that politicians can fix a situation as complicated as we have in our country right now, but lawmakers can start by trying to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
It’s easy to blame Washington for the increase in mass shootings, but society plays an equally important role is keeping our citizens safe. The society we live in has dramatically changed in the past 20 years. We have seen an increase in prescription drug use, a surge in social media use, the desensitization of violence, the collapse of the nuclear family and a decrease in worship. All these factors contribute to the increase in cowardice brutality we see in our country. We need to get back to the basics of the family and deep meaningful interaction with one another. We must get back to putting God first.
After countless attacks, we need more than thoughts and prayers, we need action. Let’s start with some hard conversations with each other and put bi-partisan politics aside. Let us, the members from the Texas Federation of Republican Women, take the lead in this conversation.