I will be speaking to the Northumberland County Democrats on July 19th at 7:00 p.m. at the Northumberland Public Library in Heathsville, Virginia. I have been asked to speak about my books on school shootings and what steps can be taken to reduce or prevent the carnage. The public is invited.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Poets, playwrights, and writers of all kinds are urged to participate in the an Open Mic afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. on July 21st at the Lancaster Community Library, 16 Town Centre Drive, Kilmarnock, Virginia.
Bring a piece of original work to share or come by to listen and enjoy the creative genius of friends and neighbors. Sponsored by the Writers Guild of Virginia, the Open Mic is free and open to all.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Sunday, June 17, 2018
What will it take stop the increase in gun violence on school grounds and begin to reverse the numbers of shooting incidents?
Quite simply it begins with good people speaking out against extreme gun-rights advocates. Specifically, actions such as the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) excursion into paranoid lunacy—a world of complete unfettered access to all guns.
The NRA’s latest excursion into mind control and violation of the constitutional right of freedom of speech centers on their efforts to get states to adopt laws that make it illegal for doctors to ask patients if they have a gun at home. According to USA Today, three states are considering laws that would penalize doctors and other health care providers for asking patients or their parents whether they have a gun at home.
“The National Rifle Association and other pro-gun interest groups argue that doctors violate patients; second amendment right to keep and bear arms by inquiring about gun ownership. Doctors say they ask only because of safety concerns. Prohibiting them from asking about guns violates the first amendment, at least one constitutional law expert says.”
What about the right of any doctor to ask any patient any question pertaining to the patient’s wellbeing? Apparently the NRA believes there is only one amendment in the Bill of Rights and that is the Second Amendment. If you are going to apply order of importance to the amendments, then it is not unreasonable to think that the most important consideration on the founding fathers’ minds was freedom of speech. The last time I counted “one” came before “two.”
What a shame if the power of the gun lobby, coupled with the cowardice of the politicians, rewrites history and interprets the Constitution to the benefit of the paranoid few and the profits of gun manufacturers and the NRA.
What will it take to stop the blood baths on our school grounds? As a beginning, it will take people such as you demanding action along the lines outlined in this poar. (To Be Continued)
Monday, June 11, 2018
Poets, playwrights, and writers of all kinds are urged to participate in the an Open Mic afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. on June 16 at the Lancaster Community Library, 16 Town Centre Drive, Kilmarnock, Virginia.
The state of Virginia points to the millions of dollars it has spent on security systems as proof Virginia schools are safe. Yes, Richmond has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on electronic security systems; yes, it has developed new security procedures. What Virginia officials don’t say is that everything was in place on April 16, 2007 to prevent the slaughter of 30 people and wounding of 17 others in Norris Hall. No new electronic security system was needed.
What Virginia state officials fail to mention is that no one was ever held accountable for incompetence—specifically for failing to initiate the warning and lockdown.
No matter how much is spent on security, it always boils down to the human factor, and until someone is held accountable for his or her actions or inactions leading to mass murder, the state’s schools will not be measurably safer. The flaw is always the human factor.
So, what should be done in Virginia to prevent another Appalachian School of Law slaughter or a repeat of the April 16, 2007 tragedy at Blacksburg? A great deal, and here are three places to start:
First, the Virginia legislature should adopt a law stating that if a faculty or staff member identifies a student as mentally unbalanced and potentially violent, the student must be referred to mental health authorities for evaluation. At the same time an alert should be issued to all gun stores banning the sale of weapons and ammunition to that individual. Any person selling a gun to someone for whom a warning has been issued should serve a mandatory, long jail sentence.
Second—and by law—all educational facilities in Virginia, both public and private, should have in place a mandatory emergency plan. All presidents of the state’s colleges and universities should be required to annually read and understand their school’s security plans, and to sign that they have done so
Third, in the event of any shooting on or near school grounds, the school should immediately lockdown. Police should be called and posted around the facility until it is clear that the shooter has been captured. (To be continued)