A few days ago, the parents of a 14 year old girl had to a say goodbye to her.
She was one of the victims of the senseless shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.
“Our daughter, Gina Rose Montalto, was a special girl who melted each heart with an infectious smile that lit up a room,” her family wrote. “She was instant friends with everyone she met. She had a great sense of humor and always made people laugh. She was a kind spirit, always eager to lend a helping hand. She was a member of her school Color Guard – a team which she loved dearly, a Girl Scout and active member in her local church. She was a talented artist who illustrated for a local magazine. She enjoyed volunteering and loved little kids. She loved to cook with her Father and her Grandmother, especially during the holiday season. She was an avid reader and loved Harry Potter books, Hunger Games and Wonder Woman. She loved fashion and enjoyed shopping, spa days with Mom and NY Jets games with Dad. She played soccer and flag football in the local recreational leagues. She always earned the highest grades in school and had a bright future ahead of her. She was best buddies with her little brother and she loved her whole family especially all her cousins.”
We all know kids like Gina. Good kids, planning for their future. For too many Americans, those dreams are being extinguished by violence.
What are we going to do about the violence in our society?
Instead of sparking an interest in a serious discussion, this question seems to rile a shockingly large number of people. Check out social media and you will read pointless debates about whether an AR 15 is really a military weapon (research it and learn that was the intention of its designer). Then there’s the talk about the Second Amendment and a baseless fear that officials are going to go into homes to remove weapons.
Even when the violence repeatedly enters our schools and our churches, some say no to even discussing the issue.
So let’s keep the discussion simple. In most of these cases of crazy violence, most who had crossed paths with these gunmen knew they had a few screws loose. In the case of the Florida kook, the police had been called numerous times because of his antisocial behavior. If we cannot rationally discuss the issues of guns, let’s just discuss the issue of mental health and make sure we have a good system to keep guns from mentally deranged people and see that these people get mental health services.
Our local school system is to be commended for their efforts to prepare school staff and our precious youngsters – just in case.
As you go through your day and notice the many good kids in our area, say a little prayer for them and remember Gina and her devastated family.