By David Alhadeff
Two weeks ago, my 14- year-old niece was murdered by a lunatic who abused the right to possess “arms.” Since then, my family and I have experienced many emotions. Today, I can admit I’m still in shock. I’m numb and still do not have words to describe how I’m feeling.
Alyssa Alhadeff was truly an innocent soul and happy young teenager. Her passion was to be among others and make others shine in her presence. I learned even more about my niece in these past 12 days from listening to her friends and members of the community speak of their experiences with her.
In her youthful years, Alyssa would run to greet me with a hug and kiss, along with an excited smile to see me. She laughed when I said, “Uncle David doesn’t do diapers.” In fact, she would intentionally run up to me to when her brother’s diapers needed changing just to get a laugh. As she got older, she would take great pleasure in jumping on top of me to wake me up. She loved spending time with me.
As a pre-teen and teen, Alyssa would call me “lame,” with a smile on her face, when I made an attempt at humor. She still managed to find time to say hi, occasionally respond to my text when I sent messages. What impressed me even more is that she would never take money from me when offered out of the blue.
Great memories and great times. However, I’m forced to fast-forward to today, 12 days later as I’m filled with a void and worry about her parents, brothers, and grandparents, and uncles, and cousins. None of us will have the opportunity to watch Alyssa continually blossom throughout her teen years into her adult life.
As we move forward, I’m saddened but encouraged by the great strength of her parents and all of the surviving youth who are proudly exercising their first amendment right to speak out and stand up for their future. Their protests and voices are non-violent and potent. Their words are spoken eloquently and with such power. With their great resolve, the world is finally listening.
One of the 10 commandments states, “Thou shall not kill.” No matter the faith, the commandment is constant. When the U.S. constitution was written, the “right to bear arms” was not developed for acts of senseless murder. It was developed in a barbaric time when people needed to defend themselves. Key words, “Barbaric Times.”
Even with these atrocities in today’s world, i.e. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Pulse Night Club, Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, the “right to bear arms” was exploited and used as a sick method of destruction, not “defense.” Hatred and mental illness were at the core of the destruction.
In each instance, our laws and government chose to fail our society rather than protect it. Our children have become casualties of personal greed, rather than at the forefront of protection. Rifles, machine guns, grenades, etc. serve no purpose other than to cause hurt.
Shakespeare said it the best, “Words speak like daggers to thine own heart.” We do not need guns and weapons to defend ourselves. We have our words and mouths!
That brings me to the next point. Metal detectors in schools is a bandaid to the problem and not a solution. So long as people have access to these weapons of mass destruction, there will always be ways to get past the detectors. The issue is the elimination of guns, not metal detectors.
So let’s say we do put metal detectors in our schools, what message are we sending our children? If Trump has it his way, we would have teachers receiving incentive pay to have a gun in their classrooms. So does that mean we, the teachers, are the armed guards and the students are our prisoners? Why not just say, let every psychopath have a free pass by not having to carry anything since we are making it more accessible for them to use our schools as a firing range. Do you think for one minute that if a student or teacher becomes frightened for any reason that they wouldn’t reach for the “power” of the gun to gain control over one another? That’s preposterous! Mr. Trump, you have a young son. Would you want people gaining access to a weapon that could endanger the survival of your flesh and blood? Think for a second and do not speak!
The NRA is not a modernistic organization but rather, a prehistoric institution that fosters the notion of the “survival of the fittest.” In maintaining your principals, you are not even giving our children a chance to become “the fittest.” You are choosing to eradicate your own offspring’s survival and legacy.
With all this said, I urge every person who wants to preserve our future and the lives of our children and our children’s children, to speak up, march at the rallies, and cut your financial ties with the NRA until change can be affected. Get up and vote out the ineffective leaders who are destroying the lives of our children!