Gun Control: People Mag publishes Congressional phone numbers

I don’t read People Magazine, even in doctor’s offices but I may have to start!

People Magazine published all the numbers of our Congressional representatives, all of them.  And People is asking people – that’s you and me – to call our elected officials and demand that they start the process of controlling access to guns.

With the most recent slaughter (yes, folks, slaughter) of those innocent people in Oregon, I feel compelled to jump in with both feet.  Quoting People Editor, Jess Cagle, “So far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 10,006 gun-related deaths in the United States, and the CDC says firearm injuries and deaths are ‘a significant public health problem.”

Gun ownership world wide

Clearly guns are out of control in the US.

Why are so many people being shot in the United States?  Guns and a whole lot of them. Just look at the map showing rates of gun ownership by country.

Want to see our numbers in color with pictures?  VOX has assembled statistics on guns and gun violence from the CDC, Harvard’s School of Public Health, Mother Jones News, Pew Research and several other venerable resources.  Read the numbers, please. If you read nothing else, read the Vox compilation about guns in America.

And remember, the people who died did so because they made the mistake of just being somewhere where there was mad man with a gun.

Bottom line, stacked up against the rest of the so-called” countries We kill more people with firearms per capita than any other country.

Mass shootings in the US

People are dying…for gun control.

Since Sandy Hook, in 2012, there have been 986 mass shootings in this country.  More than 1200 people have died and 3565 have been wounded.

How is it possible that we can continue to call this an argument over the right to bear arms?  Isn’t it really an argument about the right, my right, our right to be protected from people with “arms” who should never have gotten them?

At what point do we figure out that GUN CONTROL IS A PRIORITY.

I am not saying take away guns. My sisters both have guns and concealed carry permits.  I own a gun.  We were taught how to shoot before we hit 3rd grade and the best birthday present I ever got was my own rifle.  I was 11. Guns are not the problem folks; gun control is.

How many more men, women and children will die before the courage to create a gun control system is summoned?  How quickly would you want gun control if your child was gunned down while sitting in the lunch room of her school?

I started with People Magazine; I will end with part of the article they ran with the phone numbers.  And I will ask that each and every one of you use these phone numbers before it is your child, wife, sister, brother, husband, mother or father who is killed for not more reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

From editorial director Jess Cagle’s note: As President Obama said, our responses to these incidents — from politicians, from the media, from nearly everyone — have become “routine.” We all ask ourselves the same questions: How could it happen again? What are we doing about gun violence in America? There are no easy answers, of course. Some argue for stricter gun laws, others say we should focus on mental health issues, some point to a culture that celebrates violence. But this much we know: As a country we clearly aren’t doing enough, and our elected officials’ conversations about solutions usually end in political spin. [People] Cagle goes on to urge readers to contact their representatives by devoting two entire pages of the magazine to a list of all 535 phone numbers of the voting members of the House and the Senate. That could mean a whole lot of phone calls: “We need to know that our representatives in Washington, D.C., are looking for solutions and not giving up, and they need to know if we agree or disagree with their strategies,” Cagle said. “Let’s make sure they know from now on that routine responses just won’t cut it.” 

Pick up the phone. Make the call. Before it is too late.


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Silence in the Face of Political Aggression & Abuse

I have been silent here, not wishing to talk about the politics of the United States because, for the most part, our political leaders, Congressmen and Senators disgust me.

No more silence.

Thanks to Robert Reich who I loved when he was in Clinton’s cabinet and who I love still as a Professor, political commentator and author, I will begin to bring issues to the table that need airing. Like many of you, I have been silent, too long.

Here, without edit, is the Facebook post from Robert Reich that opened this door for me, again, and made me walk through it and begin to fight for the rights of all those in this, supposedly the most glorious country in the world, who do not have a voice, the power or the money to fight back.

I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther King Jr.’s admonition that we repent not merely for what the bad people say and do but also for the “appalling silence” of the good people.

We are at a point in American history when candidates for president of the United States are telling voters abominable things – justifying and legitimizing hate. Why aren’t the decent Republican members of Congress and Senate, or former members, or former Republican presidents and vice presidents repudiating this? Where are the news anchors and opinion makers – the Edward R. Murrow’s of today’s national conscience? Where are the priests and rabbis and ministers? The editorial boards? The university presidents? The foundation heads? Why do they remain silent in the face of this untrammeled public bigotry?

Where are they when a Republican candidate says Muslims cannot be trusted to be President, another says the current President is a Muslim and wasn’t born in America, and another that Muslims in America and other Western countries are creating “no-go” zones where Sharia law is practiced?

Why do they remain silent when a Republican candidate calls Mexican immigrants “rapists,” several candidates urge that undocumented workers be rounded up and “expelled,” and another asserts that Mexico intends to “merge” with the U.S. and Canada?

Why do they say nothing when several Republican candidates say women – even those who have been victims of rape or incest — should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies, and one candidate says women who rely on government-assisted contraceptives “cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government?”

Why are they silent when several Republican candidates assert that public officials don’t have to sign marriage licenses for gay couples if the officials don’t believe gay couples should wed, one says homosexuality is a “choice” because “a lot of people enter prison straight and come out gay,” and another says being gay is like being an alcoholic?

The silence of good people in the face of such brainless intolerance only serves to legitimize it, and ends up debasing our entire society.

Reich asks at the end of this Facebook post, “What do you think?”

I think it’s time that we all get off our buts and start fighting to take back this country from bigots and bullies. I repeat, like many of you, I have been silent too long. No more.

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Heat Wave: Do Not Speak Poorly Of Your Life | Bedlam Farm Journal

Jon Katz had found a way to say something I have tried to say for years – you become what you think!

Author and animal rescuer, Katz says he learned this while writing about (and riding along with) Billy Graham.

Before you click back, neither Katz nor Graham pound bibles or demand undying love to their God or their faith.  What Billy Graham does is help Katz understand that thoughts, our thoughts, have lives.

Our thoughts make a difference as Katz clearly states, “Speaking poorly of your life corrodes the soul, makes for a bitter spirit, breeds fear and anger and resentment, it drowns out hope and snuffs out the creative spark. It is a sad way to live…”

I hope you enjoy this beautifully written essay on why we should all love our lives, love the good days and especially love what we think are the bad ones.

Heat Wave: Son, (Or Daughter) Do Not Speak Poorly Of Your Life | Bedlam Farm Journal.

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Most People Are Wonderfu

I fell on the street in Center City Philadelphia, yesterday.

I literally landed on my face.  My left shoulder and elbow and both hands are bruised and sore today.

What isn’t sore today is my heart.  In fact, it is full of thanks for the kindness shown to me by two strangers, two women.  Both rushed to my side as I lay on the road.  Both reached to help me up.  Both smiled, murmured words of kindness and gentility and both helped pick up my purse and the things that flew from it when I landed.

A piece of the gingerbread I was taking to my doctor’s office fell on the street, just one piece.  I asked if the “…:30 second rule” applied.  Then immediately said no – not on a Philadelphia street.  We all laughed.  They helped brush the cinders off my face and shoulder and tentatively asked if I was okay.  One of them walked me into the medical building where Dr. Uberti Benz’s (my dermatologist and another angel) office is.

What exceptional people. What exceptional women.  Neither was in health care; both were seeing their own doctors.  I think both were angels sent to lift me up off the street, sent to touch my soul with theirs.

Sometimes it takes a fall, literal or figurative, to remind you that 99% of the people who share this planet with you are good and kind and caring.



Filed under Death & Dying, Gifts, Healthcare, Life & Death, Mysteries, Religion

Love Knows No Bounds – from Upworthy

This morning, I share some wonderful moments of love, just love, love that is not bounded by race, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability.  This is a beautiful video.  Please enjoy it and know that this is the world I want to live in.


Filed under Inspiring People, Life & Death, Love and Marriage

Vietnam Veteran & A Young Boy’s POW Bracelet


All these years later, all the tourist brochures and sunny reports of a lovely country in Southeast Asia…that word, that name still conjures up the place where close to 60,000 American servicemen lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were wounded or ruined or both.

Some memories you never want to awaken but this morning, reading the story of Captain Guy Gruters, I was overwhelmed, heartened and once again, reminded, of just how many wonderful men who went to war and the wonderful people who kept vigils for those who were taken prisoner – like the man whose post I am sharing with you today.

His discovery of the POW bracelet worn, all those years ago and how he found the man for whom he prayed for a safe return  make a beautiful story with a happy ending.  I hope you enjoy their story.

I need some advice… | OUR LIFE IN 3D.

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Edward Abbey – The Voice Crying in the Wilderness

The Voice Crying in the Wilderness is one of those books that I have long wanted to read but never quite got to until this week.  I wish I had read it when I was younger.  I’m glad I didn’t start reading it until now.

Abbey was a writer of some repute authoring books like The Monkey Wrench Gang and The Brave Cowboy.

A naturalist, well-educated and well-read, Abbey was also a truth teller, a writer who pulled no punches, a man frequently described with a single word – iconoclast.

He was, also, a man who kept a journal for 21 years, jotting down thoughts, observations and ideas and eventually coalescing all into the small but powerful book of which I am writing, today.

This small volume looks like an easy read and it is.  It’s also a deep, insightful, belly-laughing, terrifying and sad read.

Abbey saw, really saw his world, the world around him and the world we live in.  Divided into categories like Government and Politics, Life and Death and Money, etc, Abbey’s book doesn’t just report what he sees, it shares what he thought, his philosophy, if you will.

But The Voice Crying in the Wilderness went a bit further because Abbey’s insights are, in some cases, more than 30 years old and yet, spot on for today.  For example, the current and terrible economic situation – 1% of the United States population owning 42% of the financial wealth of this country, might resolved or at least ameliorated if we followed this insight of the author’s:

“If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others.  Neither to serve nor to rule. That was the American Dream.”

Abbey’s predictive powers appear to be like those of the best science fiction writers, writers like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Theodore Sturgeon,  Sturgeon once told me that sci fi was predictive because it was based in science. Sturgeon called it “scientia fiction.”

In coming weeks, I will be sharing other Abbey insights that I find compelling, telling or just plain funny. Do you have a favorite Abbbey quote? Please feel free to share it, here!

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