Free Speech

Whew. We all know there is Free Speech, and there is Below-the-belt Speech. One attacks beliefs, thoughts, and opinions, etc. The other attacks people’s personal attributes.

Be my guest – go for my opinions. I don’t expect everyone to opine the same way I do. Nor would I want that. Because exchanging ideas makes me smarter. Conversation improves my knowledge and informs me. I encourage sharing ideas.

And bring on your emotion. My emotions run high when innocent children – people are slaughtered. Sixteen years ago youngsters were gunned down while attending high school. It happened a dozen blocks away from my home. These were students I’d seen around the neighborhood. One had been our paperboy years before.

Our area of Columbine was never the same after April of 1999. The impact of the tragedy has touched our community. Tragedy. It is so commonplace now that it’s called an incident.

I was never the same after that day either. I worked hard writing letters, making calls, and supporting in any way I could. I am a victim’s rights advocate. And for sixteen years have not forgotten that it is our civic duty to protect one another and ourselves.

Days ago, I again felt frustrated and hopeless. Columbine was meant to be an emblem of courage and strength to see that our young people are safe. We want future generations to be secure.

Columbine High School has become a primer for future killers to study. Mass murderers who want to be rock-stars research it. They are self-styled celebrity-seeking malcontents. They take life as if it is no more than a tally of their evil. Yes, that angers me. Inhumanity angers me, and yes it saddens me.

I’ve tired of being a mediator for logic. I’m done being an apologist for sick people who want headlines, and are sane enough to get them. So I’ve become vocal about ways to stop the madness.

Those who object to any suggestions I might present, fine. I implore you to solve the problem. Something that hasn’t been tried. We’ve spent billions to solve the problem. It hasn’t worked. All of our efforts have simply produced failed policy. Sixteen years and countless deaths have not made us safer.

My opinions may not be what people want to hear. I don’t want to say them. No one has to respect or accept my words. Argue your points. Tell me respectively about your thoughts.

I’ve shunned confrontation. Admittedly it’s my journalism background of seeing both sides objectively. But recently I’m realizing that my suggestions, thoughts, feelings, should be heard.We don’t need to agree. We need to be civil. That exchange of thought might give way to an idea that will work.

But there is no need to personally attack me. Not only is it against FB policy, but it is unsportsperson like.

Please, be kind if there is a disagreement. You can tear apart my logic, my thoughts, my opinions. .

And your attack on people may break their hearts. They may have thought you a better person.

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5 thoughts on “Free Speech

  1. Kieran, Thank for saying what I think most of us feel. I feel your pain and the frustration the majority of our nation feels. My heart cries for our nation and for those innocents than have been loss.

  2. Hi Kieran. I have never lived close to one of the schools that had a terrible event happen. It is so very sad that our young people have to worry about attending school safely. It makes me wonder why these young men did the horrible shooting. Even their parents are at a loss to explain the reason. My sister who taught south of Atlanta was trying to break up a fight one day and was grabbed. They thought her arm was broken, but it was sprained. Something like that is not what teachers should have to put up with. Trying to protect students from abuse.

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