Roanoke, Virginia is once again in the national spotlight because of yet another shooting in our community. This time it was the shooting deaths of WDBJ7 Reporter, Alison Parker and her photographer, Adam Ward. A third victim, Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce was also shot. Ms. Gardner survived but is in stable condition. I wish Ms. Gardner a speedy recovery.
This area has now had three shootings of this sort; the Backstreet Café on September 22, 2000, where my friend Danny Overstreet was shot and killed, Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 and now the murders of these two young people from WDBJ7 on August 26, 2015. What makes it worse is a Gun Trading Show is scheduled for this weekend (August 29 and 30, 2015) at the Berglund Center. I have started a petition to have the show cancelled.
This action will have to be done by the Berglund Center and not the Gun Show Trader who have twice deleted my posting on their website stating the show should be cancelled out of respect of the WDBJ7 victims. It is quite obvious the gun show people sincerely don't care. The only thing they care about is the money they make off of pushing deadly weapons and to hell with who gets their head blown off!!
Starting this petition, which is the first Change.org petition I have ever started, has pretty much pissed off some gun nuts in Roanoke. That's quite alright though. I'm used to controversy. You can't expect to be something of a public person without scrutiny. I hope some people get pissed off in the right way and decide to start pressing for stricter gun laws.
Gun right advocates always scream gun laws aren't the answer, more guns are the answer. What is going to take to get these weapons out of the hands of these maniacs? How many more bodies are going to have to pile up in order for the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun nuts to realize more guns is not the answer? I just don't know. We are living in an age where you may be taking your own life in your hands by doing nothing more than going to a movie theater.
Frankly my stance is really one the gun nuts hate. I say repeal the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and make gun ownership a privilege and not a right just like driving a car. It's ridiculous when you have to do more to own and drive a car than you do to possess a gun. Even stricter background checks has its flaws but if the gun show loophole is legislated out, at least some whack job won't be able to circumvent the background checks by buying a gun at a gun show which is something I'm sure will happen this weekend in Roanoke. I personally feel these gun shows should be banned as well.
I believe if someone wants to own a gun they should have to go through at least a six month process of classes consisting of firing range, gun safety and a weekly visit to a mental health professional all paid for by the person seeking gun ownership. If the person can't afford it, then they won't be able to own a gun simple as that.
People have told me oh that would take too long, I say EXACTLY!! This would stop some whack-job from impulsively buying a gun out of anger or vengeance and going out and killing a bunch of people. If some think I'm an ass for taking this stance then LET THEM THINK IT!!!!
It is obvious too many people in this country are crazy and should be locked up instead of being able to go out and buy a gun.
The man, who shot Alison Parker and Adam Ward, was fired from WDBJ7 for being difficult to work with and from what I heard was pretty much a stock raving lunatic who would go off if he didn't get his way. Yet again, someone who showed signs of not being totally sane wasn't caught in time before he took the lives of two young people. This time the shooting was on live television for all the world to witness. I saw the footage from both Adam's camera and from the killer's camera. Just absolutely horrible. I'll never be able to forget the sound of that girl screaming as she was being shot to death.
This killer really had some balls who videoed the people he was murdering and then posted it on Facebook and created a link to it on Twitter. What kind of crazy is that?
So I ask again, "WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE??!!!"
Alison and Adam's family should be planning weddings for the two, who were engaged to other people at the TV station, instead of now planning their funerals.
So again, "What's it gonna take?"
Gun advocates don't seem to care. From my experience it seems these gun advocates simply don't give a damn about the public's safety as long as they're able to load up with an arsenal the size of their choosing.
Frankly I'm tired of seeing people being blown to bits just because some psycho has an ax to grind. What about the sane people's axes to grind who are sick of these senseless killings? Seems no one, especially our elected officials, really cares about them. Oh politicians get on an open microphone after one of these shootings and spout stricter gun laws but then nothing gets done...NOTHING!!
So rich businessmen, like Donald Trump, who are running for president and are advocating repealing a Constitutional Amendment, should instead be advocating to repeal the Second Amendment and not the Fourteenth. Oh they won't do that because they, especially the Republicans, are simply the puppets of the NRA.
I watched the premiere of "I Am Cait" on the E Network last night and I must say Caitlyn Jenner had my undivided attention. I normally don't like reality shows but "I Am Cait" is the exception. At least this show is trying to do some good and is not just a bunch of celebrities or people who are famous for doing nothing acting stupid.
The debut show of "I Am Cait" first dealt with how Cait's family is dealing with her sexual reassignment then focuses on Cait reaching out to the family and friends of a transgendered teen who committed suicide. It did have a bit of humor with how Caitlyn dodges the paparazzi by changing cars several times in order to thwart photo seekers from snapping an undesired photo. The first show was nicely done and I'll be tuning in next Sunday to see what happens next.
I remember when I met my first transgendered female back in the early '80's. Back then they were called "transsexuals". This was a woman named Jessica who had once been named John and who owned a beauty parlor (as they were called then) in Northwest Roanoke, VA. Jessica went through a lot of discrimination from both straight and gay people. She eventually left Roanoke because it was too difficult for her to live in her hometown where a lot of people remembered her when she was physically a man. When she left, she totally disappeared never to be heard from again though with what she went through, I couldn't really blame her.
In my opinion, the gay and lesbian community needs to really do some soul searching and remember transgendered folks get discrimination from both ends, from straight people and from gays and lesbians, and their existence is by far a lot more difficult than what even persecuted gays and lesbians go through.
A couple of years ago, another one of my transgendered friends moved out of Roanoke because she found it too difficult to remain here. In this new day of acceptance where same-sex marriage is now the law of the land and the lesbian and gay community can now enjoy the same rights as straight married couples, we have to remember not to turn around and discriminate against another minority in our community. Gays and lesbians persecuting the transgendered community doesn't make us any better than the homophobic bigots who have discriminated and persecuted us over the years.
Unlike many transgendered people, Caitlyn Jenner has the resources and the platform to make a difference and she is using it well in raising transgendered issues in my opinion. More power to her.