I’m Just One Person . . .

If you’re like me, you might be asking yourself, what can I do?  I’m just one person.

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Connecticut, I’ve been burrowed in, connecting with my family and my friends, wrapping presents, baking cookies, driving around the island with Joe looking at the lights and decorations, working on my book and watching old movies, but always with sadness and a kind of sick feeling that won’t go away; the worst of it has been how helpless I’ve felt.

Gabby Giffords broke my heart, that young good woman. The Colorado movie theater was a senseless nightmare; twelve people died, fifty-eight people were wounded by a mentally ill man with an assault weapon.  Now they are burying innocent children and young teachers.

These terrible deaths and all this heartbreak cannot be for nothing, it just has to mean something.

The only thing I know; to write letters.  And now, there seem to be so many of us moms, grandmas, sisters, aunties, daddies, brothers, and best friends, thinking alike; I thought I’d gather together some links to make it easy for you to let your feelings be known in case you feel like I do, like you want to do something.

Here’s the way you can find out who your congressperson is in the House of Representatives. When you get his name, Google him, there will be a contact for him, a phone number or email address you can write to.

This is a Petition to the House of Representatives and the Senate you can sign . . . Right now, at gun shows, where 40% of guns are purchased, no background checks are required.  We, the people, have to take off our shoes in airports, but anyone, including terrorists (and criminals and mentally ill) can legally buy assault weapons in this country.  A sensible woman does not agree with this.

You can sign a White House petition for better mental health care.

Here’s one to Ban Assault Weapons.  Also, Diane Feinstein, Senator from California has a bill ready to go to Ban Assault Weapons and those big clips with hundreds of bullets in them.  She says we should “get weapons of war off the street.” Supporting this woman in her quest is the sensible thing.

Wal-mart, you will be happy to learn, has just pulled the Bushmaster Assault Rifle off its shelves. This is a very good sign. (Wal-mart sells assault weapons? Really?)

Write or call the White House or your Representative to see what we can do to ban violent video games which our Supreme Court in its infinite wisdom has deemed “free speech.”

One of the good guys spoke out yesterday, and made me cry.  I detected a little Superman cape around this guy …. perhaps an “S” on his T-shirt. Proud of him. Proud of the way people are coming together to grieve, to pray, and to find answers.

After today, I am going back to real life and do a new post all about love, fun, happiness, joy, all the little things that make life sweet. I’m going to play happy music and show you what Jack has been doing.  My real job.    I love you, Girlfriends.  Wishing you a wonderful day. xoxo

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817 Responses to I’m Just One Person . . .

  1. Philippa says:

    It is oh so tragic.
    Our hearts are broken in Europe too.
    One day it will be ” one too many ” and the American gun laws will change,but it will take courage for the person who changes them.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s going to be now, I feel it in my bones. How can they look themselves in the face, or look their children and grandchildren in their eyes, if they let this go without at least trying. I have faith that these children have not died in vain.

  2. Peggy says:


  3. carmel says:

    All the teachers gathered in the library before the start of classes yesterday to discuss what happened last Friday and how we would collectively handle any fears or discussion that might come up with our elementary school aged children (and to support each other). It turned out to be a peaceful day with our children and returning to our routines helped us all cope. I was able to come to your blogs and be comforted by being with others who felt the pain but also felt outraged that we still don’t have any form of gun control. I have been an advocate since I was a teenager. Maybe the tide is finally turning and something will get done this time. I will call and write. Many thanks for being a catalyst for us. Praying for peace of hearts for all of us.

  4. Julie Marie says:

    Oh Susan, thank you so much. I have been so “lost”… I am going back to real life tomorrow too… thank you also for letting me know that will be okay, xoxo Julie Marie

  5. Robin Murray says:

    Susan, I am in sorrow also, for what has occurred! I feel like I have not been the same or myself, since this tragedy. I have been going about my business with a heavy heart and sadness in my being. I like your approach to contact our people so we can make a change and “now” not later. We must all stick together for these families and make sure their losses were not in vain. God must have a reason for this all!
    Bless you and your family, xoRobin❤

    • sbranch says:

      It made me feel like I had some sort of “control” to sign these petitions, write my congressman. To just do something!

  6. judi says:

    It is time girls….it is time. Put your thoughts into words, calls, action. Thanks for the links Susan!

    • Laura says:

      Yes….thank you so much Susan…I will do all of the above and also recommit myself and our family to peace.

  7. jeannine leonard says:

    Thank you, as I get my girls up for their day at school. Hopefully Washington will do the right thing so all of America can be a peace. I think the laws of mental illness in society really need to be examined also. People need help sometime and it is sad to know they cannot get it until something tragic in their lives occurs.
    Cannot wait to see the happy posts that are coming our way. Baking and making
    a marshmellow wreath today.

  8. Janet says:

    Susan, I think we all feel the same way,helpless. But there are things we can do to lessen the chances of this happening again. I can’t say eliminate the chances because that will never be. The larger battle is good vs. evil and that is not going away anytime soon. There is no law that could prevent what happened Friday. There are laws that may make it more difficult, but in the end, someone who is smart enough and broken enough – broken in heart or mind – will find a way to do what he did.

    I work in a parish ministry and I cannot tell you how many families are struggling with a family member that is mentally ill. I’ve heard this more than once since Friday; the discussion about guns is the easy one, the discussion about the mentally ill in America is the hard one.

    Just recently I spoke with a young woman who has taken custody of her nephew because her brother and his wife are hard drug users. She told me that they realized much too late that her brother’s problem was not drug abuse, it was a mental illness that had not been diagnosed. He uses the drugs to cope. She said that her family has tried everything to get him the help that he needs but there is nothing that they can do for him. Nothing. Since the 1970s when the mental institutions were opened in the name of patients’ rights, a family is helpless to do anything for a mentally ill member. The individual has to seek help themselves and if you are familiar with anyone who is paranoid/schizophrenic as I was once, for example, there is no way they will do that on their own.

    Then she told me something that I cannot get out of my mind and probably never will. She said that periodically, her brother does something that lands him in jail. When she visited him last year in jail, he told her that jail was “the only place where I feel free”. She said that made perfect sense because he needs a highly structured life in order to function well. Unfortunately, the only place he can do that right now is in jail. There are no programs available to him.

    I heard John Lott, a gun usage and crime expert, speaking yesterday and he made a remarkable statement. He said that every major shooting incident that has occurred in our country took place in a community that had the strongest guns laws. I realize that the laws are necessary, but we cannot think that they will prevent this from happening again.

    You don’t need to post this.

    • sbranch says:

      Believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it. I don’t think there’s anything we can’t do if we set our minds to it! Jail is the only place there is for mentally ill these days; I know from experience. But that can’t be right. There needs to be something else. Anyway, we are the thing that will get it started, us good people who never give up.

  9. mary spring says:

    …wow !… Susan, thank you !!…yes, we can do this.!!! .. we can make a difference !!!!! …thanks for this information…

  10. judi says:

    just a note: a typical goverment quagmire. If your congressional representative was defeated in Nov. ….the new one does not take office until early January. So you may have to wait until the sites are updated in January!

    • sbranch says:

      I read that they might even do something now, in the lame duck session, because this has become so pressing. Wouldn’t that be wonderful … although for the mental health part, and especially the violent video’s … that will take longer.

  11. Rosanna says:

    Thank you for what you have written here today. I want to say that I am especially thankful that I have found your ‘circle of friends’ and that I admire your abilities – not only as an artist and writer but as a caring, loving, intelligent person. Sometimes I think you are really a counselor in disguise – other people with all those letters after their names can’t quite reach your ability to help calm and sooth – I am glad that I can tap into your world.

    Although I have written to the president, my senator and congressman, I am very glad to see that there are other ways of making my feelings known – and under the category of “like minds think the same” – I was just going to write to Senator Diane Feinstein to show my support for her. She is another woman that I have always admired – and your quote at the beginning of this post immediately made me think of women like her – we need to allow a few more of those sensible women to straighten things out!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m laughing because I’m thinking about what my girlfriend Margot told me over the phone last night . . . she was marveling about the “changes” in her brother …. who she’s always had a great relationship with, but he told her recently that he had come to the conclusion that women should run the world! 🙂 No more war, no more assault rifles, no more global warming! 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        …..my dear GF who is now 81, said about 40 years ago, that if women completely ruled the world, there’d be no wars, violence, etc., etc., etc. I thought she was (& is) a very brilliant lady!

        • sbranch says:

          I can’t help but wish we could at least give it a try. Or at least could we be 50-50? We tried the other thing. I mean, how bad could it get! I know, my girlfriends, around my kitchen table, solve all the world’s problems every time we’re together! 🙂

          • Joan Lesmeister says:

            …yours too? Great minds & all that! Those are the words we’ve always used too, no matter what group of GFs I’ve been with, amazing huh!

          • Rosanna says:

            LOL — I’m more than convinced that your ‘kitchen table cabinet’ has indeed solved many, many world problems far better than all the politicians in this world!
            Let’s hope that what you have posted in terms of sites to visit and ‘sign’, how to contact officials, etc. will spread among all of us followers of SB – and we women will make a difference this time!

          • sbranch says:

            It’s just a little thing, sending an email, but it does matter. xoxo

  12. Sreekala says:

    You are right Susan. I’ve had some very sad news over this weekend and carried the weight of it in my chest for two days. But there is nothing to do but gear up for the grueling days or months ahead and gather all the good things I can find and send up oodles of gratitude for it. I was so amazed to come to your blog and see this message echoing my intent. I take it as the Universe setting its approval stamp on my intention! Thank you! Have reached page 20 of your archives. It’s done a lot to cheer me up – this reading of your wonderful pages filled with art, love and laughter!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so kind to tell me Sreekala. I’m sorry about your sad news, hope it lightens somehow, and soon. Love your “oodles of gratitude!”

    • Holly says:

      Sorry to hear that you are experiencing sadness at this time, Sreekala. I think that gratitude is the most beautiful response that you can show. Thank you for encouraging me this morning!

  13. Sue Rideout from Maine says:

    Thank you!

  14. Rachel Lucas says:

    Thankfully we have very strict gun laws here in the UK…doesn’t stop the odd incident happening, with someone who is really determined, but it DOES stop us having many absolutely heartbreaking & tragic days like Newtown, Columbine…I can’t believe that the ‘right to bear arms’ means that they should be freely available to anyone who wants one, without checks in place? And the mental health issue is a huge & growing problem, here too…so many lost, desperate, end-of-their-tether people who have basically been abandoned to fend for themselves…it can only lead to more tragedy. We have been deeply affected here, particularly as we have been minding our 3 nephew/niece who are exactly in the age bracket that these angels were. And the teachers…those who tried to protect them and were lost in the process. Truly good souls, every one. Just awful. Well done, Sue, for allowing those of us who feel strongly to actually DO something. You are so right…if women ruled the world, I believe that these things would be made a priority and we would live in a safer, kinder place. Love to everyone this Christmas…together we CAN make a change. Believe xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Hi honey!!! Love hearing from you! No, the right to bear arms really doesn’t mean that, but some people have turned it around. Love every word you wrote. Thank you!!! Hello to Esther, Scout and Kip, and the little one who’s name is escaping me — also Lucy, David and darling William, and to your mom and dad. Merry Christmas to my favorite people! xoxo

    • Rosanna says:

      Yes, some people have twisted that amendment to the point that it reinforces ‘their’ view – and no other. I somehow think the founding fathers never meant that you could arm yourself with what is basically enough firepower to take out hundreds of people at the blink of an eye. Those who would ‘contort’ that amendment should be reminded of other important documents from the founding of our nation — one in particular that talks about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Perhaps we need to remind them that those things are what we really need in our country – not death and destruction of unimaginable levels.

  15. Sandy Richmond says:

    This is so important. All of us “ones” can make a difference. Thank you for this.

  16. mary spring says:

    …I love that , Roseanna…I have always thought of Susan as being a ” counselor in disguise”……

  17. Holly says:

    Yes, you are just one person but if more people did their best to love one another unconditionally, we would see change. Our problem is a heart problem. We need to start by loving others more than ourselves. A difficult task, yes, but what a difference it would make! Love is the greatest gift of all. It is eternal and when everything else is gone, love will remain.

    Thank you for the love we see here from you, Susan.

  18. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Good morning. Thank you for the links to make a difference. You are so special! As I was shopping last night and seeing small school age children, I prayed and thanked God for each one I saw and for those lost. Each parent and family will continue to get our prayers. A young girl maybe about 8-10 yrs old was singing Christmas carols out loud oblivious to those around her. It was a precious reminder of the innocence of those years and the happiness of that innocence. Have a blessed day Girlfriend! xoxo

  19. Pom Pom says:

    I agree, Susan. Writing letters. Good idea.
    I’m so bummed about the video games.

  20. Therese McCloskey says:

    I have cried many, many times over the weekend, it so, so sad. I hope that the world’s press will leave Newtown now to let them grieve in peace, I will still be thinking and praying for them all. Galway Kinnell writes so beautifully doesn’t he, I had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked at the Wordsworth Trust in Cumbria, it was just after 9/11 and he spoke so eloquently about the tragedy. Thank you for your words. Therese,x

    • sbranch says:

      I can just imagine how eloquently he must have spoken! I would have loved to be there. Thank you Therese!

  21. jane says:

    I’m up very early here in Seattle reading your post. Susan, you are so dear to me. I thank you for your comments, links, quotes, and on and on. I, too, am wandering and mopping away tears. And I, today, will sign each petition and then try to be happy. I’m going to listen to the new Pink Martini Christmas CD that my dear neighbor gave me, but also stay on my knees for those heartbroken people and for all of those who think it’s ok to strap on a gun and tear the hearts out of the American people. And it IS about mental health care, so much more than is being addressed. Thank you, my darling friend, for being a leader for us in this horrible disease. I love you, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I love you too Jane, doing this made me feel so much better, we can’t change things alone, but together, we can at least know we are doing our best. xoxo

  22. Elaine says:

    What gets me is the states allows automatic guns ! You can practically buy one in a corner store as well as the ammo ! That needs to change ! Canada’s laws on guns are tight and our heath system is much better in mental health help ! I do hope for all , your government wakes up and smartens up and changes it all for the better ! great post . My heart and prayers go out to all !

  23. Darlene says:

    Thank you Susan for the information and links…..I will do my part. Praying for all.

  24. Kathleen Henry says:

    Dear Susan ,
    Thank you so much for your post today….My heart is breaking for all those sweet innocent babies whose lives were tragically and inexplicably cut short…to all those loving and dedicated teachers that helped prevent further carnage by protecting and giving up their own lives so others might be saved….to all of the police, fire and first responders that had to face such devastation….As an ER nurse I know first hand what they must have been going through….But most importantly we MUST take action so something like this can not happen again.
    Gun control and mental health are issues that must be addressed by our country ….THIS CROSSES ALL POLITICAL PARTIES and we must ban together to see that such a tragedy is not repeated !! Again , Susan thank you so much for your calming words …..To all the parents, family and friends of Newtown, know this ….WE WILL NOT FORGET !!! May God Bless all of you and may our newest angels up in heaven give us comfort !!!

  25. Vida Howard says:

    We are all grieving deeply and praying fervently for our children. The Connecticut babies were ours truly. Our future, Our hope.

    But even in this awful heartbreak, we Cannot! believe that the answer to our problems lies with our government. We have to help our neighbor, watch over our brothers and sisters and care for one another. That is where our hope lies. God called us to do just that and I really think he meant it.

    • sbranch says:

      I think we have to turn over every stone. To leave it as it is, is to dishonor the memory of those children that belong to us all. But, helping our neighbor, watching over our brothers and sisters, SO important. Thank you Vida!

  26. Thank you for rallying us to action! The point John Lott made about the strongest gun laws were in place in those communities doesn’t really won’t mean much until the whole country has them since it is easy to move about. At the very least we can make it more difficult for the mentally ill to have access to assault weapons. But it would seem the issue we must address even more urgently in my opinion is the mental health one and it is also the more difficult one and will take time as you say. That’s where each of us has a responsibility to reach out to the people we meet. Sometimes I wonder if that smile given to a stranger or a prayer offered for someone you notice who seems “out of place” might be preventing a tragedy like this recent one. We can contribute our dollars to our local “rescue missions” like we have here in Frederick who house the homeless and put them in addiction counseling, etc. And if we know someone who is mentally ill, why not start contacting other family members or your church for help in an intervention and financial assistance while at the same time helping to get the laws changed that would make it easier to get them the help they need when they won’t or can’t ask for it themselves.

    Thank you Susan for using your high profile to get these messages across. I feel it in my bones, too, that something will finally get done this time. In my devotional reading this morning BOTH books quoted Peace Pilgrim, a little old lady who walked 30,000 miles in her lifetime spreading her message of peace. She said, “Collective problems must be solved by us collectively, and no one finds inner peace who avoids doing his share in the solving of collective problems….”

    • sbranch says:

      Honestly, not to be negative, but the truth is, there is no help for the mentally ill in this country. They closed all the funded hospitals, to reduce taxes, years back — which is one reason we see so many homeless on our streets now. In order to get help for your child, your relative, you have to be very wealthy … there are facilities, but they are hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. What is happening is that mentally ill often end up in jail, where they stay for a month or so, and then put back on the street. Our tax dollars pay for that, but is it enough? The population explosion means there are just more of them than there used to be. But I don’t think that means we give up, I think it means we have to get our leaders to use our tax money for US, for the things that matter to us all. Wouldn’t testing for mental health in high schools be a good thing? I don’t know, it sounds good to me.

      I have a picture of that little old lady (Granny D) in my studio in California!!! Wasn’t she amazing!? What a spirit!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        When you consider how many BILLIONS have been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade or so. And for what really? How much good it could have been put to here instead…

  27. Sue Rideout from Maine says:

    Good News! One of my old students just had a baby girl yesterday! So glad she shared her family’s joy with me!

  28. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~Good Morning~
    I don’t know what the answer is~ all I know is that I have a heavy heart~
    I myself have worked with mentally and physically challenged people, people with traumatic brain injuries and varies forms of mental illness from the late 70’s thru 2006.
    There have been many changes in the services provided to them~for example~ closure of facilities and inclusion back into society without a proper safety net if they should need it.
    Unfortunately, for those who need a safe place for themselves~ as well as society, these facilities are becoming fewer and fewer. Also, the people who work in these facilities as well as the families trying to keep their loved ones safe at home are becoming burned out and frustrated over the high cost of healthcare and low wages.
    ~What do we do? ~
    I also come from a family of hunters and target practice shooters going back several generations. Some of my relatives have assault rifles that they use them responsibly and keep them locked in gun cases with trigger locks as well. I know this will be a topic coming up over the holidays. ~What do I say to that? ~I know they have a right too but I will ask
    “What is the cost in the long run?” We need to have background checks on everyone trying to buy a gun~ No more sales at gun shows , auctions or any other place that is not monitored . ~Limit the number of rounds on a clip~ and ban assault rifles to the general public.
    There is definitely a pattern in these type of tragedies ~ and unless one of the links is removed from the chain they will keep on happening. ~ let’s keep the communication open and listen to all the options~ but please let it not take too long!
    ~Sorry to be so long~ God Bless America!~

    • sbranch says:

      So agree with you Lynn! Enough is enough. xoxo

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Hi Lynn!
      My mom was a nurse in Milwaukee and she said the outpatient thing has been going on since the 50s when they came out with the first drugs for mental patients. Who profits now? Not the pt or the communities. She also told me that many of our “street people” are mental patients.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        ~Hi Margot~
        Such a sad situation~ healthcare in general~
        We will always have people with illness and diseases among us~ we as a country need to nurture them. ~

  29. Sherry Palla says:

    It is truely sad that this had to happen to get the guns under control in America. I appreciate all the investigating and web sites you worked on for us Susan angel. I also wish that teachers could pray with their students…can’t imagine the teachers left at Sandy Hook, not being able to pray with those students who survived this tragedy! To help to comfort them with the true peace of Jesus…especially at CHRISTmas time. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I hope they can at least have quiet meditative moments … it’s hard to do prayer when children come from so many backgrounds; to be respectful, all beliefs need to be honored; if I was a teacher, I would tell my class to close their eyes, take a deep breath, and then I would tell them to think about the birds and kitties and clouds, the first snow, and how beautiful the world is, I would tell them what amazing people they are, trying so hard to be good, and I would leave them in that state for awhile. All God’s creatures, children would feel it.

      • Laura says:

        That is beautiful, Susan. Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…what children should be thinking of and we, as grown-ups, must lead the way thru example. I feel myself being called back to teaching….that is where my true heart lies. Have you seen the book “Welcome Comfort” by Patricia Pollacco? Love it and her….she was not accepted by her peers as a child and turned to art and storytelling as her safe haven. Xoxoxoxo

        • sbranch says:

          We never know what our inspirations will be, it was a surprise to me when I found out guardian angels don’t always wear white.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Yes, so right. Everyone is spiritual and “prays” in different ways – and in different places. Some aloud, some silently, some not at all. Tolerance of all beliefs and forms of worship is one of the primary cornerstones of our country. The America of the 1800s, with one-room schoolhouses full of Christian children only, is our past, not our future…

      • heather williams says:

        Mmmm…such beauty & peace that includes all…I would want my son in your class for sure! Thank you for sharing this blog post today…& this response. ~H♥~

        • sbranch says:

          What a compliment. If I was to start over, I would love to be a teacher. Inspiring little ones, what a wonderful gift to give.

  30. Penny Hoopes says:

    oh the horror of it all! I’m so sick of these guys thinking they can harm anyone, whenever. i will only think good thoughts & know that the good Lord keeps us safe wherever we may be & holds us in His arms. Blessings! penny

  31. Lori says:

    Thank you Susan. I am a teacher and I grieve with all the girlfriends out there. I had to stop watching the news and try to find a “happy” place for a respite. Your suggestions give us empowerment. God bless us all, as we try to heal …

  32. leslie says:

    Yes, I’m on my way to write right now. Thank you!

  33. Mary Eva Ross says:

    Susan, Thank you so much for your thoughts. You have a wonderful way with words. I know when I visit here every day you will have something to brighten my way and make the day just seem better. Thank you again from one of your many faithful readers and I like to think friends.

  34. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    “I’m only one person… what can I do?” We surely all feel this way now. Helpless, powerless, overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. But maybe it will help to remember one [not so] small fact… Down through history, EVERY time anything needed change, no matter how big or how small – It Began With One Person.

    Consider yourselves all bear-hug-squeezed, Sue & Girlfriends! xoxo :>)

  35. carol lee says:

    Susan, Thank you for being you. I am Forever grateful for your blog. These are frightening times. Where I live there are many poor people who depend on hunting for food. The problem lies so much deeper than the object in a killers hand. There has got to be help for the troubled among us. Protect our children’s minds from ugliness. Nurture them, let them be children, surround them with values and heros. Love them with our life.

    • sbranch says:

      My dad is a hunter. I believe people have the right to do that, I’ve done target shooting; I think it’s fun, but no one needs a machine gun for hunting or target practice. Oh yes, protecting innocence for children, and really, for us too … I would like to not know about these terrible acts of violence!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        We too are a hunting family….never, ever needed, or wanted, a machine gun!

        • sbranch says:

          Right, us too, just makes sense.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            One thing that’s important to remember is that it’s the extremists who have twisted the “gun control” argument from sensible gun ownership into “if you let the government take some of your guns, soon they’ll take them all!” That will never happen – and the law-abiding, safety-conscious sportsmen, hunters etc have nothing to worry about. I wish the phrase “gun sense” or “gun safety” as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said this weekend [she lost her husband in the Long Island Railway shooting] would be used in the media instead.

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, it’s really more about public health at this point! Guns in the hands of felons and mentally ill people just isn’t right.

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            my husband hunts, and he would never use a semi-automatic or automatic weapon to hunt with, it makes no sense for anyone to want to own them. if it makes anyone feel good Wal-mart has removed the Bushmaster assualt rifle from their shelves. now lets keep them off those shelves!!!!

          • sbranch says:

            I was shocked to think that gun was sitting on a shelf in Wal-Mart. I guess I’ve never gone to that department before!

        • Karen E says:

          @Susan No felon legally obtains a gun!

  36. Mary-Agnes (Long Island) says:

    Thank you, Susan! That needed to be said and you said it eloquently and beautifully. On the evening of Dec. 7, 1993 I was home putting up Christmas decorations when my younger sister called and asked if my husband had gotten home yet. I said no, and she said, do you have the TV on. No, I had Christmas music on. Then she told me that there had been a shooting on my husband’s regular Long Island Rail Road train at the station just before ours. A convicted felon with a history of mental problems had been able to obtain a gun in another state and used it to kill 6 people and wound 19 others. My husband was okay; he was two cars behind the one where the shooting took place, but after the police let everyone leave the train he passed by the car where the shooting took place and never forgot the sight of the windows covered with blood. One of the people killed was Dennis McCarthy who was sitting with his son, Kevin, who was severely injured. Carolyn McCarthy, Dennis’s wife and Kevin’s mother, who was a nurse and had never before run for office, launched a gun control campaign and in 1996 became the Congresswoman from my district. She is one of the people who stood up and made a difference, and I’ve voted for her every year since. She’s still in office today, and I’m sure this latest tragedy will make her redouble her efforts for stricter gun control.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve seen Carolyn speak, she is so good! That’s what I call a common sense woman! You are lucky to have her.

  37. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Thank you, Susan! And thank you for remembering to mention the violent video games. I feel this is such an important part of some of these tragedies. All of these pieces of the problem can make a real difference if we act. I appreciate you making it easier for us to act by giving us these links. God Bless Us Everyone….

  38. zinnia patch says:

    Thank you Susan for being here! I love you!!!!

  39. Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much for the links, and making us all feel like we can do something, even in a small way.
    Along with a change in our gun laws, and free or low cost access to care for the mentally ill, the media has got to STOP focusing on the killers. I DO NOT want to see their faces on my TV screen. They need to show and memorialize the innocent people who lost their lives much too soon. I think the publicity feeds into the already sick mindset of these serial killers.
    Just my two cents.
    Now, I am off to my Mom’s house to wrap presents and bake cookies. 🙂
    xoxo Debbie

  40. Pam Bengier says:

    Thank you for your courage to publicly say this.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, I did worry, scary because of politics and I don’t want anyone to feel disrespected. I just feel like we have so much more in common than what our divisive politics say we should.

      • KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

        We all need to be able to share what’s in our heart and on our mind without fear of retaliation, ridicule or bullying. So glad you shared. We need peace in this world and a genuine love and concern for one another. I hope we see some answers soon and put an end to this senseless taking of innocent lives. My heart just breaks when I think of those children (and adults) and the ones who survived and must now live with the haunting nightmares! God bless each one and may He intervene in our nation. xo, sweetie….love you.

        • sbranch says:

          That’s it, as you said, “genuine love and concern,” and I think everyone who’ve shared their thoughts here today come from that place … even those who have different thoughts on how we get there.

  41. Nellie says:

    Another wonderful post from you, Susan. Thank you so much this morning! There is helpful information in this one! We must do what we can to make a difference in these laws!

    As a retired elementary teacher, this event seems very close to me. I continue to grieve for the families who have lost their precious little children, and those who have lost their adult family members – daughters, as well. Thankfully we never had to put into practice the measures for which we had drills.

    We will keep on, however, continuing to see the beauty of the world – and the season around us.

    I must add, too, that finally I am making some of those lists of things I think I need to do in the next few days. Your Christmas book is front and center on my desk, and I’m ready to make Turkey Lasagna, Scotch Eggs, and Christmas Coffee Cake – just for starters.:-)

    Bless you, Susan, and thank you for continuing to spread cheer!

    xo Nellie

  42. Anne says:

    I’m not a person to put myself out for online petitions but this is too important not to respond. Susan, if you have researched these sites and recommend them, then I have done my part to add to the collective voices. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to make change!

    • sbranch says:

      I have researched, they are non-political, straight-forward, common-sense, simple clean messages. Thank you Anne.

  43. Brenda from Saskatchewan, Canada says:

    We can hope that this is the impetus for American laws to change. Sadly the news yesterday is that guns sales have jumped dramatically since the tragedy last week. What are people thinking?

  44. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Sitting here with tears, hard to read this way…beautifully said blog dear Susan, & the comments from all the GFs are just amazing, you’re all making a difference. Love & hugs & prayers.

  45. Carol (Daisy) says:

    THANK YOU, SUSAN!! I never, ever thought I’d be emailing my congressman, senator or president about any issue!! I always thought, deep down, they would, after all, do what is right for the people of the good ol’ USA, but maybe not. This needs immediate attention. I guess we have to help our elected officials along to do the right thing.

    • sbranch says:

      I always thought that too Carol! But then I found out that Lobbyists are in Washington putting forward the needs and desires of the people they work for all day long, so that our legislators sometimes forget about us. We have to be our own Lobby. If they hear from us more often, maybe they will pay more attention to us than to them! You are so right, “help them along.” 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        “We have to be our own lobby…” So true – this phrase should be on every bumper in America! Or one of my very favorite A Lincoln quotes: “…to sit in silence makes cowards of men…” :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Did you see that movie yet? I just loved it. Cried my eyes out; what a guy.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Not yet – planning to go next week on Christmas vacation. Can – not – wait! :>) Have heard nothing but wonderful things and of course Spielberg could make a movie about rubber bands that I’d get in line for… :>)

          • sbranch says:

            LOL Janet! Me too . . .

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          I agree with Lincoln!!!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            There was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during WWII that said almost the same thing. It was related more to wartime, and talks about turning one’s head while others are being picked on.
            Sorry to get off the main subject a little.

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            We need to speak up!

  46. Cathy Wegner says:

    I really don’t think gun control is the answer. I think this is a mental health issue and how are you going to make people seek help and stay on their meds. I think if someone wants to do harm, they will find a way to do it. With more and more legislation, I’m afraid one day we will wake up and find we have very few freedoms left. I know this is an emotionally charged issue and there is not only one answer. My heart is so heavy for this town and the loved ones that are left. Merry Christmas to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      But machine guns? Assault rifles? Is that freedom more important than those lives? Because everyone I hear talk about it says we don’t need those kinds of guns to hunt, or protect our homes, or any of the normal things people want to do with guns. I’m perfectly happy to give up that right …. would feel MORE freedom if those guns were gone. I respect your feelings Cathy, because no answer is really perfect.

      • Kim S says:

        I agree that assault rifles should not be available except to someone who is in law enforcment or security. I do know that this man tried to buy a gun weeks before this and was denied by the checks and balances that are in place. His mother, who was a woman by the way, is the person who put this gun in his hands. She paid with her life, but many innocents had to pay also. I do value my freedoms and am tired of every tragedy being used to further a political agenda. This young man was going to kill children whether he had to do it this way or run his car into a school bus. Unfortunately, the federal budget for school security was cut in 2012. I want an armed guard at my granddaughter’s school.
        I do not agree with the statement that women would solve all the world’s violence problem. Susan Smith is a woman and murdered her children by driving them in the car into a lake. I have wonderful sons, my father and grandfather who would stand in front of a train to save me or their daughters. It is wrong to say that only a woman feels love for a child and I tell you if someone threatens my child or grandchild I will not be nonviolent.
        I do not really come to your website for political debates or to be compared unfavorably by the Brits who read your posts.
        You may not post this, it doesn’t matter – I won’t be back for a while

        • sbranch says:

          I just don’t see it as a political agenda. I really don’t. I didn’t say “only women” can feel love for a child, in fact I singled out a man for his courageous views. I love men, my dad is a man and my four brothers are men, and Lord knows, Joe’s a man. 🙂 But I respect your views.

          • Heather says:

            I have to say ,I agree with Kim. Please , I don’t mean this to be an attack but I really felt uncomfortable with “… if women ruled the world “.
            Women are just as likely to make bad decisions as men we. We are fallen sinful human beings. I know that sounds harsh in the light of all that has been shared here, but that is what scripture tells us. It is only by the grace of God that any of us do any good at all. We are all capable of terrible things. Then why is it possible for people who have never or only occasionally darkened the door of a church to be “good”? Again only by the grace of God. That goodness is not a saving goodness. The only way to be saved is to humbly except what Jesus came to do for us on the cross. That is why he was born.
            Evil shows itself in more ways than a mad man with a gun. Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. He can deceive people so that they believe their goodness without humble repentance before God is good enough. Hearts are hardened – – inoculated to the fullness of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. He whispers in ears, “that’s so narrow minded, how about all those other good spiritual people who choose to find God by other means”. Matthew 7:13 Jesus says “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it”. and then Jesus said in John 14:6 ” am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.”
            I do believe that there need to be stricter laws about gun ownership but until Jesus returns there will always be the individual who will find a way to carry out their evil plans.
            I think too, that we need to find a way to help the mentally ill. I have two children on the autism spectrum.
            The original subject: we need both men and women to carry out God’s sovereign plan .
            Thank you Susan for your uplifting blogs.

          • sbranch says:

            I’m not saying we are perfect, I was just thinking we could give it a try. For something different. 🙂

        • Teri Jordan says:

          I agree with everything that Kim S says…..while all of this is very sad and my heart goes out to all the victims…..everyone is forgetting that he did not have an assault weapon….he had handguns and a rifle…..what was his mother thinking….bringing guns into to her house with a mentally ill adult living with her…..he killed those people….not the guns…..people have to take the responsibility for their actions…..I also believe that violent videos are not responsible for murder….we are using those videos as babysitters….the parents are not doing their job…..we need to spend more time together as a family…..also this is the kind of debate we do need to do…..and I will continue to read your blog….thank you so very much for all the wonderful things you do for all of us in blog land…..

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          kim i agree with some of what you had to say, but we have to remember that while his mother brought those guns into her home, i don’t think she intended for him to go out and murder innocent children the way he did. i think what she was trying to do was teach him responsibility. now i cannot agree with the method, but i can see what she was attempting to accomplish. does this mean i excuse that she brought the weapons into the home knowing he was mentally disturbed, no i don’t but i feel the need for people to address the issues this tragic incident brings up, control over assault weapons, and mental health issues that have been too long ignored by the government, as well as funding for better school security. hopefully this incident may enable all of us here and out there in this country to let our representatives know we want changes made to the laws and now for the sake of our children and for future generations. i can only applaud susan here for supplying the links and info to get this ball rolling forward. this isn’t a political agenda, but what every person here in this country should be concerned with…..the safety of our children at school and at hom, with the funding and care for the mentally ill and for putting assault weapons where they belong, in the hands of law enforcement and the military and not in the hands of civilians, and for stricter checks on backgrounds before buying any weapons. its not too much to ask to keep our kids safe is it???

      • Wendi Stoskopf says:

        Just think, he could have run his car through a playground of children and killed just as many innocent people. Should we ban cars???The freedom to bear arms is so the government cannot become a dictatorship with the armed forces. Our founding fathers were brilliant when writing the second amendment. It isn’t about people needing these guns to hunt, it is about keeping America free. I do wonder about parents that have guns accessible to mentally ill kids. Most of the homes in our state have multiple guns…the kids have a great respect for them and treat them carefully. Kids are taught about hunting and gun safety at young ages. I am sad that such a tragedy for these families has become such a political soapbox for those liberal leaning. By the way, Lincoln was a republican and I am sure he was in favor of the second amendment:)

        • sbranch says:

          But no one has done that yet, so it’s not the thing being addressed just now. It’s the hundreds of people dying by gun violence every day. Not hunters shooting, but people shooting. We aren’t talking about taking away freedom to bear arms. Read the comments, we’ve really been in agreement about that. It’s those clips with the hundreds of bullets that turn even a normal rifle into an assault rifle; and the lack of background checks for gun shows we’ve been talking about — plus more help for the mentally ill, and possibly doing something about violent games for children. No one is against the 2nd amendment. It’s not about changing the constitution … I think people use that to make people fearful, and no one is talking about that.

  47. Francine werlinger says:

    Thanks for taking the time to give us all the info on how we can let our wishes be known! I plan to do 20 acts of kindness in memory of the 20 sweet Angels!

  48. Doreen Strain (from Florida) says:

    Good Morning Sue,
    Thank you for this post. My heart has been so heavy with sadness since Friday morning. I was sitting in the hospital lunch room when I heard the news. Everyone in the room stopped eating and there were tears in people eyes. It’s just so sad. We may never have met these poor children but we know them in our hearts. Their teachers are heroes and their families will never be the same. Christmas for those in Newtown will never be the same. May they find comfort in knowing we as a nation feel and share their pain. No one knows what life has in store for each and every one of us, so with that said…I appreciate having all the kindred spirited girlfriends here on this blog as friends. I’ll squeeze my children and grandchildren a little harder and never forget the angels that left this earth to live in eternity with our Heavenly Father last Friday. May we all find comfort in knowing he is near. FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  49. Dearest Susan, I read a few blogs and yours is among my favorites because you consistently present us readers with your joyful, sensible, beautiful, peaceful way of seeing the world. I so appreciate the ways in which you engage with life, and today’s post exemplifies that. Practical, heartfelt action is always appropriate and is much needed, both to get things changed in this world, and to heal our own grieving selves. A few other blogs that I read regularly have not even mentioned the terrible events of last Friday, and I find that so jarring. Perhaps the writers do not wish to add to the widespread media stories, or perhaps they assume that of course we all feel so devastated that we might need the relief that other topics can bring, or worse, perhaps the news and politics does not fit with the themes of the blogs in question. As if life, and feelings, must be divided into tidy little categories, at all times. Whatever the reasons, all that is to say that I am grateful to you for stating clearly how you feel, in your generous and inclusive way, and providing practical suggestions. Much love to you from Maine.

    • sbranch says:

      I do think they get afraid of the political thing. Women are so many things, we aren’t just decorating, or cooking or saving money. But it’s scary, how upset people can be, and no one wants that! There are just times when being quiet feels wrong. Much worse than taking a chance. If your heart is good, I don’t think you would have to worry. I walk the line between the two parties, and really, I’m in my own safe little party of one — no one in my party is ever mad! 🙂

      • I know everyone are speaking from the heart. This a very emotional time. This was a tragedy. We all care for keeping our loved ones safe. I agree about not making this a political debate. I am also in a party of one. The party of Jesus, and I pray that he will put in the hearts of our people in office, to do what is best for this country and it’s people. He is the only one in control. Pray, pray, pray for our country…………..k

  50. Miss Pat in Indiana says:

    One thing you might do is to look up the teachers that were important to your children, contact them, and say “Thank you.” This is a positive thing that will make a difference to these teachers. I definately agree with everything in this post and am reminded of the fact that one woman got prayer stopped in schools. She, would not be a person that I would care to know. Of course, as long as there are teachers and tests, there will be prayer in school. Just not out loud!

  51. Kim says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these links and offering a ray of hope at such a dark time. I will be writing letters and signing petitions and sharing your links with the rest of my family so that they can do the same.
    I feel strongly that the gun laws in our country need to be changed and I am also glad to see the mental health issue being addressed here today. This year I attended the memorial services of two young men who had suffered mental illness and ended up taking their own lives. So many people who spoke at their services had no idea of the struggles they had been facing. Because one of them was my nephew, I had a pretty good idea of the difficult struggle it had been for the whole family. In each case, the parents shared stories of the HIPAA regulations being a huge thorn in their sides as they were unable to be given medical information about their sons due to them being adults.
    The shootings in the Colorado movie theater happened just days before my nephews suicide. I was horrified to think anybody could do such a thing, but I also thought about the parents of the shooter and knew that they may have tried desperately to help their son. Mental illness is a terrible thing!

    • sbranch says:

      You understand. It’s a terrible thing, more prevalent than ever before. When you finally get the message that help doesn’t exist, all anyone can do is let go. It’s not a good answer.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        no its not a good answer and should not not have to be the only answer. there needs to be help out there for parents of mentally disturbed children and there needs to be ways to get help to these people, not just put them in the jail and hope they stay there.

        • sbranch says:

          I have to say, that when an ill family member is in jail, oddly, the family feels nothing but happiness that they are safe, at least for a while.

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            i know, but then when that person is back out, its pure panick. i know. while i hate the thought of insane asylums and mental hospitals, we need a place to place these people when families can no longer deal with them where they are safe and can get help for their illness.

          • sbranch says:

            It would be wonderful!

  52. Natalie says:

    Thank you so much for the links in your blog today. I have signed or contacted everyone of them. You made it so easy to feel like I could make a difference. I am a school nurse and I can tell you that safety and security are always on our minds at school, but no plan of action can protect innocent lives when an assault rifle is being used. I look at my elementary children and just weep for the sweet innocent lives that have left us. We do not honor those lives if we do nothing.

  53. Tina Mandeville says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I am a mother of 4 beautiful children. My heart so aches. There are just no words. I pray their lives are not lost in vain but that we raise up to be a more compassionate world. We unite in our joy…..and now we unite in our sorrow. I always turn to you here for a daily dose of that “special Susan stuff” – and even in these dark days, you have offered comfort and we have been able to find some here. Thanks for being wonderful you! Merry Christmas….and may God’s choicest blessings continue to rest upon you and those you love! xo

    • sbranch says:

      My love to you and yours Tina, scary time to be a mom, but it’s still the most important job in the world. Thank you for being here.

  54. Debbie Anderson says:

    Thank you, thank you thank you for showing people how they can help. As a nation, we must start having a discussion about gun control and helping mentally ill people. And I do think we need gun control over assualt weapons. We have to start somewhere. I’m so saddened by people who don’t want any changes…do we just keep shaking our heads when something horrible happens?

    • sbranch says:

      No that just can’t be anymore. One look into the eyes of these little children they keep showing on the news, and how could we think of not doing something?

  55. Anne says:

    Right on Susan! I think everyone is feeling the need for change after this unthinkable massacre. You need a license to own a dog for goodness sake! Thank you for the links!! 🙂

  56. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Thank you so much Susan! As I said in previous post these letters will be a gift that I give to myself! We must turn our tears and heart ache into action!
    I’m so gratified to hear and read people address the 3 main points – gun control and bans; addressing violence in games and entertainment; and mental health screening, funding and care!
    In addition to referencing this blog, the last line of each letter that I send to Congress will read “I am a woman and I vote!”
    Thanks also to Barb from yesterday’s posting for the address to send cards of condolence to Newtown.
    Messages of Condolence
    P.O. Box 3700
    Newtown, CT 06470

    Let’s also remember the moment of silence on Friday @ 9:30 EDT I’m hoping to hear the church bells ring out here during that time too!
    Thank you so much Susan!

  57. Paulette says:

    Thank you for posting those links. It’s not that I needed them, I’m a hopeless political junky. What is good about having them out on your blog is that folks who don’t consume politics for breakfast and maybe don’t know who their congressperson is (really–ya, they’re out there), can do something right now, when they are feeling powerless. Don’t feel like it’s going down a black hole either, staff keep track of the correspondence. Now, it’s just making sure we have folks elected who will listen, folks should pay attention to how that person they write to responds to the communications…..but that’s an issue for other places.

    I come to your blog to escape my normal craziness, but, at a time like this, everyone, whether political or not, should be mindful of how individuals can make a difference in this country.

  58. Janet in Georgia says:

    Done. Thanks for the links.
    Light and love to all of you.

  59. Treese says:

    This is going to be an unpopular post, but these are my beliefs. Attempting to ban weapons is not going to stop senseless killing.

    First, understand what people are trying to ban: the current “assault weapon” on the market shoots the same thing as a single shot rifle of the same caliber, it is semi automatic, not a full automatic weapon. Some people think they shoot nuclear warheads out of the barrel. They don’t.

    A civilian can’t own a fully automatic “Assault weapon” unless they go through a very lengthy and expensive process. Also it has to be manufactured before 1986, that being said it will cost about $20,000 to own one. The guns sold in stores today are semi automatic versions.

    Banning assault weapons will not stop criminals from getting them. There was a ban in place during the Columbine tragedy. Violence won’t stop because you ban violence. People won’t and don’t stop doing drugs because they are illegal. Some people are going to drive cars drunk. Banning something is hiding the problem instead of fixing it. Gun crime actually went up during the previous assault weapons ban.

    I own many weapons and have never killed anyone or anything I don’t even hunt never have-never will. I don’t have children, but I still keep my guns locked in a safe. A disturbed person is a disturbed person. If we make it harder to get guns a killer is still going to kill with a knife, a bomb or their bare hands.

    I feel that weapons should all be registered with the state. This way they can be tracked and if they fall in the hands of someone that should not have it they can trace the sell.

    The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6 and injured more than 680 people. Then there was 9/11. No assault weapons used.

    I was taught by my grandfather to respect weapons and shoot when I was 5 years old. I own guns starting with a Brown Bess from the Revolutionary War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Viet Nam War, 2-AK-47’s, AR-15’s, hand guns, shot guns and rifles. I shot on the Varsity Trap and Skeet teams for 4 years during my University years. I love to target practice and shoot Trap at the range.

    Do these tragic events make me sad-of course they do. I thought my heart would never heal from the killing of the little Amish girls. I can’t imagine the suffering and grief the families of Newton must endure and I pray for them every day. I don’t have the answers, but I do know a weapon itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s OK Treese, you get to say what you think, you’re a thoughtful person, and that’s why we’re here. It’s those guns capable of firing hundreds of bullets in a row without stopping to reload that I think we could do without — there used to be a ban on them, I didn’t miss them, people could still hunt and target shoot. On the same day the teachers and children were killed in Connecticut; there was an attack on a school room in China … something like 23 children were injured, but because this sick person had a knife, none of them died. Not that any kind of violence is “better.” But combine that with more emphasis on mental health care, and perhaps these deaths could be lessened further. That man with the assault rifle picking people off in the movie theater! I do sort of consider flying an airplane into a building, a weapon of mass destruction, and an assault weapon. And in this country if one of those terrorists went to a gun show, he could legally buy an assault weapon with no background check. That just can’t be right.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        like my father used to say ” guns don’t kill, its the people who use those guns that kill.” unfortunately its just too easy for anyone to get a gun anywhere. we need stricter background checks, and laws to keep assault weapons out of the hands of civilians.

        • sbranch says:

          Especially terrorist civilians, criminal civilians, mentally ill civilians … I would say that’s just a basic.

          • pat addison(cave junction,OR) says:

            i agree, for i cannot imagine the need to own an assault weapon for any reason. why would anyone want to own one??? it staggers the mind.

          • sbranch says:

            I think that’s the part I’m missing. I’m reading these women who feel strongly that we should keep them, and I don’t quite get yet why. I’m trying to find out.

        • And, it’s easier for the gangs and criminals on the street to get assault weapons and other guns than it is for the honest citizens who are just trying to protect themselves. Unfortunately they will always find a way.

          • sbranch says:

            That is too easy of a reason to try nothing and give up. Can’t go there. We have to try. It’s our responsibility as the grown ups.

      • Treese says:

        The sad truth is we live in a society where the citizens feel they need guns to protect themselves from each other. It is disconcerting that the mad hatter in Aurora and the one in Newtown used legally obtained guns.

        There are 33 states in the US that anyone can purchase an assault type of a weapon with no background check. Colorado and Connecticut have strict gun laws, background checks, but also mass shootings.

        It is obvious the mother of the disturbed man in Newtown was aware her son had mental problems and chose to do nothing about it until she and others paid the price.

        I fully agree no one should be able to walk in a gun shop or gun show and buy ANY gun without a strict background check, but the Aurora shooter came out clean with a single traffic violation.

        It seems almost everyone in Colorado owns a gun. We are all festooned with guns, but our murder rate is one of the lowest in the country. We are number 35 out of the 50 states.

        I don’t think the Delegates that drafted The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that was adopted on December 15, 1791 had any idea of how sophisticated weaponry would become in two centuries.

        We live in a gun cultured society. Unfortunately, these tragedies are a result of our freedoms-the right to keep and bear arms. But, I feel the Second Amendment should stand as drafted. I think individual states should invoke their own laws to protect their citizens.

        A good friend who worked in Mental Health as a psychiatrist is now in private practice secondary to the eradication of the Mental Health system in the US. A strong support system that identifies people that may be a threat to themselves or others is step one.

        Sadly, there is not going to be an easy correction to this problem.

        • sbranch says:

          There is nothing people can do if they have a family member with mental illness. There are no facilities. It’s true Treese, I know from a first hand search of my own. No one is talking about changing the Second Amendment, you know that right? Assault weapons can be made unavailable without changing the Constitution … so can those huge magazines. Background checks can be required; it can be illegal to sell guns to a felon, for example, which it isn’t now at gun shows or in 31 states — which do already have their own laws, without changing the Constitution. No, nothing is easy — but something that gives me hope: 74% of NRA members support requiring background checks. It’s just that there are certain factions that insist people are trying to “take away their guns” — and that scares people, but it’s not true for most Americans. It’s not an attack on the 2nd Amendment. Just crazy assault weapons.

  60. Peggy Cooper says:

    Thank you Susan. I think you are right about there being hope because on the early morning news shows there were several politicians who had been very pro NRA who are now calling for more control. It is mental illness that really needs to be addressed now.

    I will be meeting very good long time friends for our annual holiday lunch today. We no longer live close, so it’s important that we make this effort to get together. We’ve done our crying, and now it’s time to bring back some normalcy to our lives. I have a purring kitty sitting on my lap as I type this. A help to get over the mourning for sure.

    I’m looking forward to your post of joy and love tomorrow. That will be such a wonderful gift for me and all the girlfriends. Bless you Susan for all you do.

  61. Carlie (Mission Viejo, CA) says:

    I will honor the lives that were lost by being more compassionate and loving to everyone I come in contact each day. They paid a very high price for me to finally get this lesson and I will not let it go unrecognized.

    In the words of a favorite song. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

  62. Pam says:

    We’re thinking of you over here in England. An absolute tragedy. I really don’t know how the families can cope with something like this.

  63. Deborah says:

    Grief of this kind…knows no bounds. Thank you Susan for helping us- all of us, mommy’s, gram’s, aunts, and the nurturers of the world, to share our feelings, thoughts, and give us an avenue to speak. Perhaps our ‘normal’ is altered beyond repair, but we can still put one foot in front of the other with as much love, healing, and hearts filled with concern as possible.

  64. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Thank You Susan for all the information you posted today. I used every bit of it. I was able to talk to someone at the White House on the comment line and they said it would be passed on to the President. I makes me feel good that I have a voice in this matter.

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me feel good too Betty Marie.

    • Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

      type”O” It sould read “It makes me”….. I never saw it till I posted, but then again in this matter, my fingers were typing so fast trying to get it posted before I had to get on with the rest of my day.

  65. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Thank you Susan for the link to sign these meaningful petitions. It made me feel like I was finally able to do a little something to help, by creating an account and pushing the button “SIGN THIS PETITION”. I hope you know how much you’ve helped all of us move forward and to know how important it is to celebrate life. Wishing everyone a beautifully wonderful day! With love and peace from my heart. ♥

  66. Cheryl says:

    Thank you so much for putting in to words what I haven’t been able to…and also for giving us an avenue for some action. I have just been at a loss since Friday as to what to say, and you so beautifully did that. Thanks in heaps!

  67. Sandy from New Vineyard says:

    If nothing more, it should make us all choose an attitude of gratitude before our feet hit the floor every morning!

  68. Janie Phillips says:

    I feel that underlying sadness too, Sue, and I appreciate what you’re doing to give voice and empowerment to it. The thing I keep coming back to is, What is happening to the brains of our young people, especially our young men? They’re a segment of our population who seem to be at risk and we need to find out why. It’s not just the ones who go ballistic and gun down innocent people. There seem to be so many boys and young men who are coping with various degrees of mental problems, learning disabilities, depression, etc. (I’m not disregarding the girls, but I’m particularly concerned with the young men since they’re the ones picking up the guns.). I can think of so many things that could be disrupting their developing brains. Our bodies are being exposed to things in the environment they never were before, our diets have changed drastically — GMO’s, trans-fats, artificial this and that, — what does this stuff do to our brains? The shooters are the red flags waving on a mountain of ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, and so on. This is a complicated problem and it will take a many-pronged approach, but something’s going very wrong and I’m afraid it’s going to continue until we address the root causes.

    In the meantime, everything we do to keep the conversation going will increase our chances of creating change, so thank you for this post! xoxo

  69. Jeannette says:

    Thanks Susan, for posting those petition websites. Just wanted to let you know I’ve signed on, and shared it thru Facebook as well. We need all the help we can get in order to make a difference here.

  70. Nan says:

    And I was stopped in my tracks this morning to hear on the radio that gun sales in my state are way up since the horrors in Connecticut.
    And I’m shocked again to read your words about gun shows and Walmart. I didn’t know either one.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, I didn’t realize either … we just go along thinking all good things, not realizing what is happening in the background.

  71. Jennifer Sain says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am a long time reader of your blog (and books), but have been comment-shy up until now. I first received your books as a gift at my bridal shower 8 years ago. I was 24 and cooking dinner equaled making a grilled cheese sandwich. Since then, while I still find a grilled cheese a perfectly acceptable dinner, your books and blog posts have encouraged my love of cooking, baking, travel and homemaking. Your quotes, stories, drawings, recipes and musings have been a source of inspiration, delight and comfort.

    I just needed to tell you how much your last two posts resonated with me. I, too, reached a point where I needed to step away from the coverage, and your words, of all those that I read trying to make sense of such a thing, touched my heart (which felt like it was breaking) and again provided comfort. And thank you for the links and call to action. They have inspired to be, as they say, “the change I wish to see in the world.”

    I hope you do have a very merry Christmas, as I plan to in celebration of all that is good in life and of the ones I hold so very dear.

    May 2013 bring peace and comfort for us all.


  72. jan says:

    thank you, Susan!

  73. Wendy Louise says:

    Dear Susan, How much I love you. And thank you for this wonderful place to come to. I haven’t been able to sleep much and I find myself reading your blog and all the girlfriends comments. I too have such a heavy heart and so desperately want to help. I was so happy to do my part this morning, I feel so much better. I used to live in Newtown CT., while I was in college and it is such the quintessential small town USA. They will pull together,Love one another, and find light in this darkness. I think we all have a job to do and not stop until we have done it! You, my Sweet Sue, are a gentle voice for so many. I too walk a line between the two political parties and I am so happy doing so ! 🙂 OXOX

  74. Carol Hesch says:

    GREAT post—thank you for putting all the information & links in one spot. AMERICA has got to change. Simply—-I am so tired of the pro-gun folks —-I agree with you that it’s the rapid fire assault weapons that HAVE TO GO. There is NO NEED for them. I am a special education teacher and was sitting in a First Grade class today–just looking at and enjoying the innocence of these precious little ones—and I can’t wrap my head around how awful this was/is. As an educator, people need to know that we value, love and care for the children. WE will do anything to protect them–that’s why the principal, school psychologist and teachers were killed. I just have a heavy heart right now. Thank you for your thoughtful posts……..your kindness and joyful heart will help heal us.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Carol for the work you do; the children are so lucky to have you, and all the wonderful teachers who care so much.

  75. Holly says:

    Speaking of writing letters, the USPS in Newtown, CT has dedicated a post office box where we can send cards and letters. I’m sure they will be swamped in the next few weeks but wouldn’t it be thoughtful if cards could be sent in the months ahead, so they will know we have not forgotten? The address is PO Box 3700, Newtown CT 06470.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Holly, great idea!

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      Holly – what a great idea! I mailed the first card from me this morning! Will continue to send more every couple weeks! 😉

      • Holly says:

        That’s wonderful, Kerry. I know that in the days immediately following something such as this, there is an outpouring of public support. Sadly, it dissipates quickly and is no longer there in the months ahead, when the support is most needed.

  76. Barb says:

    Thank you, Susan, for posting all of these links.

    The big, silent majority in this country needs to speak up! Every single person, together, can make a huge, incredible, amazing difference.

  77. sandy says:

    thank you, Susan, for your caring and sensitivity, and using this platform to influence so many. I believe that since man has asked God to get out of our schools and so many other places, He has done so, and so man is left to himself, and as we can see, it’s not working. Let’s invite God back into our everyday lives. He is a good God and He does love us all so much. There is evil in this world, and there will always be a conflict between the two. bless you all.

    • sbranch says:

      During this tragedy I’ve noticed on the news that churches seem to be where people are gathering to pray and mourn. I take a lot of comfort knowing God is alive and well in the hearts of so very many people. Especially now and during the holidays, and for most, everyday. Thank you Sandy for your caring words.

  78. Lisa says:

    I’m sorry Susan, but I’m probably the only person who reads your blog that’s disappointed in today’s post. I’ve always looked forward to reading your blog because it focused on a part of life that allowed me relief from the ugly parts of daily life. From being bombarded by the news media about the ugly truth of human nature. There are good and bad people in the world, but no matter what is done, the bad will continue to prey upon the good. I’m disappointed to be reminded of that here too.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Lisa. I just felt so lost about what happened, I couldn’t ignore it … I don’t consider it political, just care of children, which is definitely something I think we all have in common. And I wanted something practical I could do — to stand up for those lost souls. I thought if I felt this way, others probably did, and wanted to help with that too. My blog will go back to what it was before this hideous thing happened, but I do feel a part of the world, and could not ignore it.

      • sandy says:

        I think, Susan, you have become a big part of all our lives, and we so appreciate your sunny side to most everything, and it just blesses us all so much. In a way, you create an ideal world I think we all would love to live in, and do in a way by sharing with you. But, since you are a real person living in this real world, I think it was right for you to have your say today, and I appreciate your response to Lisa. And Lisa, come back. Susan will not disappoint! xox

        • sbranch says:

          Ohhh Sandy, you are so sweet, thank you for saying that. xoxo

          • Tawni urrutia says:

            Sandy, I so totally agree with you! Susan if you just glossed over this tragic mountain of loss with a recipe for cranberry jello salad you’d seem like Mrs. Claus! Like a made up, really sweet but totally unreal person. This cements it that you are a fabulous, real woman who lives in the same world we all do, AND creates magic and celebrates love and beauty. That’s how we KNOW if you do it, we can too!

          • sbranch says:

            It’s scary, because I want to be the jello maker Mrs. Claus and not this person who is so upset about these children. I’m not doing this after tomorrow. But I do believe in it and believe in us.

        • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

          Susan, thank you so much for being a REAL voice within our special circle of friends!! We have all felt the need to talk and you have guided our discussions in a most tender, thoughtful way. Thank you for the chance to share our sadness, worries, questions, hopes, and positive ideas! I’ve learned so much from you over the years about how important the “little things” are in our daily lives. Yet, this has been a time to also talk about the BIG things! Heartfelt thanks for helping us all… and for taking this really BIG step when we needed it most. I’m so proud of you!! Just one more reason why we love and respect you, Susan!
          Much gratitude & love,

      • I’m one who supports your addressing these issues on your blog (after all, it is YOUR blog). There are people who are sunny all the time and it’s just a facade. You’re obviously not one of those. It’s heartening to know you are real and when you are upbeat and cheery, especially after expressing your sorrow and anger, you set a wonderful example of how to be in this very real world with all it’s real heartache and atrocities that are going on somewhere at this very moment no doubt. If we can do even one little thing to make a difference on the side of good in the face of pain we are taking a stand for what’s good in human nature and speaks of LOVE…..and where there is LOVE there is HOPE.

        • sbranch says:

          Where there is love, there is hope. I believe that too Cathy, thank you. xoxo

          • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

            I think it is necessary to gather together and hurt when others are hurting–we have done that before on your blog. It’s like we all have gathered in your living room, Susan, (please pass Jack to my lap please!) for our own mental health–talking about it–trying to make sense of everything–a very healthy thing to do!

            What I appreciate the MOST is that everyone has shared in a way that is respectful of others. How loving and considerate we all are as we passionately have been articulating our viewpoints. WE ALL want what is best for our country and for those we love. We have not been afraid to speak up!

            And, thank you, Susan, for your caring comments, affirming each person for their right to speak up.

            I love all you Girlfriends–each one–for your comments that have made me think. I am a better person because of ALL OF YOU!

          • sbranch says:

            (laughing “please pass Jack to my lap!”) I feel exactly the same way, I learned something today!

  79. Cynthia says:

    Thank you, Susan, for the links. Instead of the paralysis that I feel, I will put my words to work for peace and solutions to this complex issue.

  80. Julia says:

    It is a sad time for all the world. As the mother of teachers I can only say
    how proud I am of the young women who did everything in their power to
    protect these precious children. Teachers are bashed in the media and it
    is rarely mentioned that parents play the biggest role in their children’s
    lives. Most teachers are dedicated and give extra time, resources and love
    to their students and most of us wouldn’t want their job. Blessings to
    all of the teachers out there and bless the little children.

  81. Pamela Jewett says:

    We all have a voice…so lets use it.
    Love you Susan!

    xoxo Pam

  82. Wanda in Louisiana says:

    Susan, thank you for the links. We must not be silent by-standers – it’s so important to speak out and try to do something! As an art teacher for K & 1st graders, I can only thank God every day for safety and pray for protection of these innocent little ones. They are the future. We must show love everyday – there’s not enough kindness, and their little lives are so challenged in many ways. Well, I NEED a cute pic of that darling, furry cat of yours : ) I thank God for you. Have a sweet day.

  83. Fran Bianchi~Palmdale Ca says:

    Thank you Susan. I have signed the petition and sent the links to the contacts in my address book. Politics aside, I think it’s time to make a change for the better.
    My heart breaks for the families that lost their precious children and loved one’s.
    This is not just a tragedy in Newtown, but all of America and the world.

  84. Tawni urrutia says:

    Susan, you are such a blessing! Thanks a million for all of the links. Action feels so much more soothing and impowering than the sinking feeling of insignificance that has followed me for the past few days. We collectively must work toward resolve, on both fronts, mental illness and gun control. As a woman from Northern California, I’ve always been proud of Diane Feinstein. I wonder if any one could sit down facing those shattered parents and say, my right to bear arms supercedes the right for your children to be alive at the end of a school day. I just believe in my heart we as citizens of this beautiful, bountiful country are going to rise to the occasion and do what is hard, because it is just. Thank you for letting have this discussion. And thank you for filling our depleted tanks with love and light and kindness.
    Love to you,
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      Love what you said, “I wonder if any one could sit down facing those shattered parents and say, my right to bear arms supersedes the right for your children to be alive…” That is a perfect way to phrase it. Thank you Tawni!

  85. ReNae says:

    Thank you Susan for all the info. I live in Utah in the town little Emilie will be flown home to today. Her parents moved to Conn from Ut 8 months ago. Many of you may have seen her parents on Katie Couric show yesterday. Something really special happened overnight…We woke up to pink ribbons on all the trees up and down the street. Even mailboxes and speed limit signs have ribbons. I have heard hundreds of ribbons on a fence around a school near the church where her services will be held on Sat. I did not see or hear anyone outside tying ribbons on my trees. They just appeared. It is so amazing to see how people really care. You watch the news and it is horrific then when you find out it is someone from your neighborhood it becomes more real. Not that it wasn’t before…does this make sense? I hope to save one of the ribbons for my scrapbook. I just had to share. Thank you for giving me a place to do that. Blessings to everyone today.

    • sbranch says:

      How amazing and wonderful and perfect. Thank you for telling us! I had heard about that little girl that had just moved to town, so heartbreaking.

      • ReNae says:

        I just went outside and took pictures of the ribbons on my trees. What is so amazing is that I never heard anyone..it was as if they appeared overnight. It really touches the heart. People really do care and love one another…I am going to focus on that…

        • sbranch says:

          There must be a huge feeling of hope in such a demonstration of love! xoxo

          • ReNae says:

            My husband and I got and drove around town to see all the pink ribbons in honor of Emilie Parker. Hundreds and hundreds everywhere…Even on the high school fence across from the chapel where her funeral will be this weekend..the fence is covered and her name spelled in pink ribbons…just amazing to see so much pink…to see so much love for one family and their 6 yr old daughter…to let them know they matter to this community…On a stormy cold night people put up all these ribbons. …Love for others is still at the heart of this country…Horrible we have to see the terror to see the love….

          • sbranch says:

            We come together in times of trouble. Thank goodness.

  86. auntie m says:

    This is not the America I want to live in. We MUST change. I donated to The Brady Campaign this morning after seeing how much money the NRA has in comparison.
    On the news I see buyers (lots of 50-60 year old men) flocking to the gun stores. A thought occurred to me…more guns in the homes of aging baby boomers with alarmingly high rates of Alzheimers in our futures. Guns and dementia. Lord help us all.

  87. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    Thanks for this post, Susan. All we are hearing about right now here is “We need to have discussion about gun control.” DISCUSSION??? Discussion–about WHAT??? Whatever is there to discuss??? And re Walmart selling assault guns–our local Fleet Farm had a 2-page ad a week or two ago showing various handguns for sale. I just don’t get it…

    • sbranch says:

      We should put you in charge Pat! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Ha! If I were in charge, there would be a different place for peaceful loving people to live. The crazy people who think we all have a right and need to carry guns could all live elsewhere. Here in Mpls. a week or so ago a 4 year old shot and killed his 2 year old brother with a loaded gun he found under a parent’s pillow! It about drives me CRAZY!!! This is NOT the wild West we live in any more. I think we, as a society, see way too much violence on television and in movies and have become immune to it. Gosh–doesn’t it strike you as strange to know that there is a high percentage of people carrying loaded weapons when you go to the shopping mall, etc.? Do they really think they will draw and shoot someone before they get shot? And imagine the rest of us standing around dodging the flying bullets! I think we all saw too many Westerns as children and then went right into the cops and robber shows as we got older. How can people think their right to “bear arms” is so important?

        • sbranch says:

          That’s what I mean, yes it just goes too far. You can blame the parents til the cows come home, but those kids are gone.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      What ever happened to just deer hunting season and hide cleaning at Fleet Farm??? My Army son was shocked when he visited Grandma last summer and they announce over the intercom the ammunition sale. I know Susan doesn’t seem to like gamey meat, but some folks do live off the land and feed their family this way. With gardens too!

  88. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Thank-you for such a comprehensive list of where to go to support getting something positive done. While reading your blog, I remember that it was a woman who lost a child to a drunk driver that started the national M.A.D.D. and that President Reagan signed legislation for. Girl power took the reins for this effort, and I believe we can push this national conversation and action forward about guns. All of us Girlfriends can be a powerful voice together! We can make a difference in numbers and by supporting loud and clear what is in our hearts. Just like lax laws for drunk drivers, lax laws on guns must change. WHo better than us to git er done!!

  89. beebarbs says:

    Thank you, Susan — I needed that. Onward and Upward!

  90. Jeri Landers says:

    Susan, Shredding the 2nd amendment is not the answer to this problem of gun violence. I do blame video games, and a culture which makes criminals into heroes via Hollywood movies. Anyone who has committed these heinous acts, has been mentally unstable to the max. (The boy’s mother knew of his mental illness from the time he was a child and warned the babysitter to NEVER turn his back on the child.) Most gun-owners are responsible people who simply wish to protect themselves, their property and loved ones., ( myself included) I wish there had been an armed “good guy” at this school, and then, perhaps, the majority of horror could have been avoided. I don’t think a national tragedy such as this, should be used as a political tool to disarm responsible Americans.

    • sbranch says:

      I believe in the 2nd amendment. I want no shredding, only no more assault rifles. I come from a hunting family; I don’t think that’s the problem, it’s those magazines that shoot hundreds of bullets in the blink of an eye. I would never want to disarm responsible Americans, we agree on that!

      • jeri landers says:

        “The rifle that Lanza used, a .223-caliber Bushmaster M4 carbine, is legal under Connecticut’s ‘assault weapon’ ban, and the federal law used the same criteria. … Any gun that can be used for self-defense or other legitimate purposes also can be used to murder people. Guns like Lanza’s, modeled after the Colt AR-15, are among the most popular rifles in America, with an estimated 3.5 million sold since 1986. Only a tiny fraction of them are ever used in crimes. … FBI numbers indicate that rifles of any kind (not just ‘assault weapons’) are used in less than 3 percent of murders. Even killers with multiple victims are much more likely to use ordinary handguns than ‘assault weapons.’ I use those scare quotes because the very term ‘assault weapon’ was invented by the anti-gun lobby as a way of blurring the distinction between semi-automatic firearms, which fire once per trigger pull, and machine guns such as the selective-fire assault rifles carried by soldiers.” –columnist Jacob Sullum

  91. Susan you have done such a good act here, providing links and outlets and a way to add our names to the ban on assault weapons. I have done so, and now feel hopeful and proud after reading your amazing reader’s comments.
    I remember when mental health facilities were closed, and under whose leadership. Now the best one can do is enforce a 72 hr. lockdown, but after that the unwell person cannot be treated and must be let go. Mostly they are released without a full diagnosis and not even a prescription to help. I do pray for light , and we must be part of that light. I know you are!

    • sbranch says:

      I remember it too Julie, so vividly. Because I moved here to the island in 1982, and there were no homeless people then. Sometimes, there were what we then called “bums” down by the rail road tracks . . . but there were no people sleeping on the street, in doorways, like they do now. In 1983, one year later, I went back to CA for a visit, and was shocked to see people living in the streets, it seemed like hundreds in Santa Barbara — before the freeway was put through there, you were on a regular road, and there they were. And so many of them were Viet Nam Vets. It was heartbreaking and shocking.

  92. Janice says:

    You’re so right, Susan. There’s a lot one person can do. Thanks for the links.

  93. Just the other day my husband and I were in a fast food restaurant and we just needed a place away from the television and all the sadness. While there I said to my husband” just listen, “and we could hear all the little voices in the restaurant and it was so sweet! They were so special and it was just what we needed in this time of such sadness. The sound of life and happiness all rolled up in those little voices! What a treasure in a time of need. We were able to smile, and agree how sweet the sound! Before that moment,I wondered when we would be able to smile again and it was the gift of life that we must never forget that made us both smile!

  94. pat addison(cave junction,OR) says:

    hello, good morning susan and everyone!!! well i am happy to see that e-mailing and writing our congressional leaders and senators is going to be a priority these days. time we told those folks up in Washington,D.C. what we want done and now. thank you susan for links, i have been busy all morning writing letters and e-mailing my reps about banning assault weapons and the mental health issues, and solved the problem with young mother next door. we worked out a deal where if she can’t pick up her kids from school i will go get them and keep them with me, if she needs someone to watch them, they come to me. i told her that she should not be leaving her kids alone like that, and if she needed help all she had to do was ask, i would have been more than happy to lend a hand. so the problem is solved and i think she feels better about it. seems her parents threw her out when she was pregnant and she has been on her own since. now she can feel good about leaving the kids with someone and getting a breather from them, i know how rough it can be for parents especially young ones and single ones. she came over yesterday to collect the kids and was amazed at how busy they had been with baking cookies and decorating them. we got 3 whole plates of cookies done…..one for them to take home and enjoy. today is a snowday, its snowing here so the kids are here as school is closed and they are having a ball watching the snow come down and seeing old christmas cartoons. and yes i monitor what they are watching… i am very careful about that. who says women can’t solve the world’s problems at a kitchen table…oh yes we can!!! isn’t it marvelous??? have a wonderful day today everyone, lets change the world!!! hugs……. 🙂

  95. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    Thank you for the information and for helping us know we can make a difference. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Our 5-year-old granddaughter arrives today and we will hold her close and say a special prayer in our hearts for her, and for the little ones who were so tragically lost. I am in your camp re the Second Amendment, and agree that assault weapons must go.

  96. Thank you for this post…. you have just helped to make the world a better place!

  97. Nancy says:

    I don’t think it’s guns so much, although a ban on the terrible assault weapons would be great. I think we need more funding for mental health problems. Where do the parents go when their children show severe problems? Police should be able to commit people who show signs of schizophrenia with violent tendencies. This is just my opinion and I understand if you don’t want to print it.

  98. Sheryl from Chico CA says:

    Dear Friend, Susan,
    You are a light in our lives. You help us see a bright future. Be proud that you help us all cope with the horrible realities, but all the time gathering similar minds together to make a difference with more strength than just one voice.
    Your faithful fan,

  99. Marion Powell says:

    Thank you for this very pertinent information! I will do my part by supporting this stance. There is no possible reason for assault weapons in our communities and on our streets, and everyone needs to have a check run on them before purchasing any weapons. The selling of guns at Gun Shows needs to be eliminated. Also, our check lists need to be kept up to date! I will contact our congressmen and anyone else I can. It’s absolutely time for action!

  100. Rebecca Duffy says:

    Susan: I love your blogs and your books and your art. However, you can’t use terms such as ‘twelve people died, fifty-eight people were wounded by a complete nut-case with an assault weapon. ‘ Nut-case’…It is an inappropriate way to describe someone who struggles with mental illness. My daughter is Bipolar and deals with it very bravely – She has been called a ‘nut-case’ by friends and people over the years (She is a beautiful, 31 yr old woman with a 4 yr old)…It is hard enough to deal with …so, please, no name calling. Mentally Ill, struggles with Mental Illness, etc. are acceptable –

    • sbranch says:

      I am so sorry Rebecca, you are 100% correct and I should not have used this pejorative. Please forgive me. I’ll go change it right now.

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