Jul
2016

When will it end?

PicMonkey Collage

Be informed about gun violence in the U.S.    At The Guardian, you can follow the number of killings this year (566 so far) and where the shootings happen.

From DRES Tha BEATnik on Instagram:

you cannot wear a hoodie.
you cannot sell cigarettes.
you cannot play music in your car with your friends
while reveling in the culture you created.
you cannot play with fake guns.
you cannot sell CDs.
you cannot ask “why am I being pulled over?”
you cannot ask for help after a car accident.
you cannot walk down the street with your best friend
weeks shy of starting college.
you cannot go to your bachelor party.
you cannot pray in church.
you cannot sleep on your grandma’s couch.
you cannot put your hands up.
you cannot breathe.
you cannot be you…beautiful boy. beautiful girl.
you cannot be, you cannot be.

I cannot protect you.

Feb
2016

Motivation for Monday, 15 February 2016

The news over the weekend that Supreme Court Justice Scalia died, has put American politics into a whirligig of absurdity and hypocrisy.  Valentine’s Day, on Sunday, can often be viewed as a saccharin example of hetero-normative commercialism.  Oh gosh.  I’m trying to find some motivation for this day, this week, this month, this year.  Trying… super hard.  Here’s what I have.

preach

Nov
2015

Motivation for Monday, 8 November 2015

There’s a lot of talk and action here in Columbia, about and around the University of Missouri and recent calls for University President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin to resign or be removed. In the coming days, we must listen instead of merely hearing. We must be fair instead of giving the appearance of fairness. Press the buttons that help us grow together, instead of pushing buttons that divide us.

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Oct
2015

Each Time This Happens

1 October 2015

Senator Claire McCaskill,
Senator Roy Blunt, and
Representative Vicki Hartzler,

I am your constituent. This fall marks my eleventh year living in the state of Missouri. Today marks the 41st time there has been a shooting at a school in the United States. It has to stop. Now.

I am not a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association. But my brothers are. My father was. I may not be a member, but I’m a pretty good shot. In actuality, none of this matters. I shouldn’t have to give you some proof that I’m on the right side of the ‘gun issue.’ I’m an American who is tired of seeing her countrymen, women, and children killed every single day. I’m a teacher who is tired of wondering if this will be the day when a student believes his ‘right’ to an “A” supersedes a professor’s right to live, and my campus is featured on the national news. I’m a rhetorician that is tired of the faulty logic and lack of logos used against calls for gun access reform. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. I guarantee you that Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, and others wouldn’t have been able to kill the dozens they did, in mere minutes, if they had be forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat. I’m tired of being tired.

Change our world. Change it now.

We need universal background checks for guns. Please pay me and millions of other Americans a wee bit of respect and don’t try to tell us that this “won’t solve the problem.” It’s a start. Honest gun owners won’t have a problem proving they’re reasonable. Give them a chance to prove to you that they’re not spoiled, petulant children unable to play well with others.

Close the gun show loopholes that allow fast, quick, and far too easy methods of obtaining these handheld weapons of mass destruction. Save a family the pain of having to grieve their daughter’s death because it was more important for someone to take a rifle home one Saturday afternoon.

I kindly ask you to care, to give a damn about the millions of Americans who are tired of these murders. Why do you want more Americans to die, when simple measures have been proven to have a positive impact on reducing gun violence?

This fall marks my eleventh school year as a professor at Columbia College, in Columbia, Missouri. I’m a tenured professor of Communication Studies. This semester I’m teaching my students how to speak in public, how humans uniquely communicate, and how mass communication effects our society. Nine years ago I had a student rage about a grade he received on a speech. He stormed out of a staff member’s office with such anger and speed, that the employee called campus security. When the young man proclaimed “I’ll take care of this!”, the staff member feared for my safety. Unbeknownst to me, campus security and the Dean of Student Life, stood on watch, outside of my office as I naively went about my work at my desk. They left an hour later, grateful nothing had happened. I knew nothing of what had transpired until a colleague clumsily told me of the entire series of events. I truly consider myself lucky to be alive.

I’ve told friends, family, and colleagues that that day was transformative. Ever since then, I’ve felt in my core that I would die at school. Please work to prove me wrong. Please care enough about me and my students and my colleagues to protect us. Care about our country to change our violent culture, by enacting full and complete background checks for all gun purchases.

Amy L. Darnell, Ph.D.

p.s. Should I die at the hands of a student carrying a gun, I’ll be sure to tell my family to invite you to my funeral.