Category Archives: Guns

Why Gun Lovers Don’t Get To Grieve Another Massacre With Me

Amen. Thanks so much for this. The time for condolences is long past. Only righteous anger paired with activism is appropriate now.

john pavlovitz

I am grieving again today.

Once more I am mourning the senseless execution of beautiful souls torn to shreds in the prime of their lives and in the middle of their ordinary. I am grieving more premature funerals and canceled weddings and discarded futures—and I want to be alone right now.

Gun lover, please don’t tell me you’re grieving along with me today too. I just don’t think I want your company.

If you’re still against greater gun control measures—you don’t get to grieve with me today.
If you’re part of the zealous, gun-glorifying community—you don’t get to grieve with me today.
If you are a militant, unrepentant NRA apologist—you don’t get to grieve with me today.
If your right to bear arms ultimately matters more to you than the human wreckage strewn about the Umpqua campus (and schools and movie theaters and shopping malls and highways)—you don’t get to grieve with me…

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Held Hostage

As Will Rogers said, decades ago,

“We have the best politicians money can buy”



With God and Our Side-Arm


At Liberty U, students can’t dance or see R-rated movies – but they can bring loaded guns to class 


Liberty University, founded as a socially conservative learning institution by the late Rev. Jerry Fallwell, restricts certain interaction between male and female students.

According to the handbook that outlines expected behaviors by Liberty students, “The Liberty Way,” students can be fined for entering the bedroom of a student of the opposite gender and are subject to disciplinary action if they are caught watching R-rated films.

Just knowing a film’s rating may not be enough to avoid punishment. Many “PG-13” and some “PG” movies, although not prohibited, may also be inappropriate.

Liberty has strict guidelines for the hairstyles of their students. For men:

Hair and clothing styles related to a counterculture (as determined by the Student Affairs Deans’ Review Committee) are not acceptable. Hair should be cut in such a way that it will not come over the ears, collar or eyebrows at any time. Ponytails for men are unacceptable

For Women:

Hair and clothing styles related to counterculture (as determined by the Deans’ Review Committee) are not acceptable. Dresses and skirts should be no shorter than the top of the knee (sitting or standing). Skirt slits should be modest; open slits should be no higher than the top of the knee, closed slits should be no higher than two inches from the top of the knee. Shoulder straps should be no less than two inches wide. Anything tight, scant, backless, see-through, low in the neckline or revealing the midriff (in any position) is immodest and unacceptable. Slips should be worn under thin material. Earrings and plugs are permitted in ears only. No other facial piercings or plugs are allowed, including tongue.

In 2004, Andrew Garib outlined many practices at the university that some find objectionable with portions taken directly from the handbook. For example, Liberty has had, since 1988, a system of mandatory, random drug testing:

To participate in this drug-testing program, which permits the University to test any student (hair, urine or blood as specified by the administration), irrespective of the method by which that student was selected. Student selection will be accomplished both on a random basis and on the basis of suspected use and/or drug possession as defined in the “The Liberty Way.”
NOTE: Students who test positive for drug use will be responsible for covering the cost of the drug test.

Students are also expected to observe a strict curfew – midnight on weekends (except Thursday, when the curfew is at 10 p.m.) and 12:30 a.m. on weekends.


Another Child Shot In Boston, MA


A 13-year-old boy was in critical condition late Friday night after being shot while walking to church for choir practice on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, his mother and ­police said.

Gabriel Clarke, the 13-year-old Roxbury boy who was shot in the stomach as he walked to church Friday evening, is in critical but stable condition today and is expected to recover, according to police and his pastor.

“I honestly believe this is nothing short of a miracle,” said the Rev. Nigel G. David Sr., the pastor at their church.

Damn, damn, damn. I do not want to hear about miracles, and of course the shooter must be caught. For starters, I want to hear how the city and state plan to deal with entire communities filled with generations of citizens suffering post traumatic stress syndrome. 

How can any child be expected to function academically while living under siege. And while knowing full well that the larger world has no interest in keeping them safe from deadly harm.

I want to know when the emergency committee of experts from schools, courts, hospitals, law enforcement, media, social service agencies, etc. will be convened with major funding, and not dismissed until city planning groups, university-school partnerships, job training and hiring commitments, lab schools, tutoring programs, etc, etc. charged with turning Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan into a national and international model for ways to turn throw-away minority neighborhoods into safe, functioning communities have done the job. (Add writing/editing skills to that list.)

And enough of expecting the clergy to lead the way. Some fine people, no doubt, but politicians cannot palm off the responsibility onto a group that, here in Boston, has been spinning its wheels for decades. 

An active social gospel in the Neighborhood House tradition– with solid counseling, medical and dental clinics, meals-on-wheels, pre-school, child care, and other services– can always be a useful part of a larger vision, but we are not going to pray away an on-going emergency. The house is on fire, dammit!