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As many of you know I’m not very political or religious. Yes I have views on both topics but being both a writer and a military spouse I try not to rock the boat too much. Which is why it takes something big to pull me into the craziness. With that said I want to send my thoughts out to the families of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. This tragic however is fueling a political fire. The fact that political figures are using this tragedy for their own purpose is appalling to me. Why can’t we just mourn those who lost their lives to a madman.

Yet after this tragic event politicians want to discuss gun control and racism by way of a flag, movies and toys. Have we really falling so far from grace that we can blame an object for a madman’s actions or better yet a symbol of history, or symbols as the case maybe. As I’ve stated before I have a gramma whose 96 years old. As such she lived through many milestones in US history one being equality for African Americans. However all of my life she’s used the n word, why because in her formative years that was the norm even growing up in Kentucky & Ohio. For the longest time unless it was a sport, football or baseball, we didn’t see many black shows in her house. Her favorite movie is Gone with the Wind why because she enjoyed Rhett & Scarlett. It had nothing do go with the civil war or the treatment of slaves. Does that make her a bad person? No. Does the fact that she’s a devout Roman Catholic make it better or worse?

This is where history really should repeat itself. When our four father’s wrote the Declaration and the Bill of Rights, religion was supposed to be separate for the state. Yet today we don’t know how to separate church and state. Today we want to ban everything that makes us who we are as a young nation. When we take away all the trials we have fought to become the great nation we once were. I say once because look at what we have become. A nation that blames movies, video games, guns, books and flags for what people do. Take the Swastika until Nazi Germany turned the symbol into something vile it was a cross, not meant as something evil. Yet today it is seen as such. And now look what politicians are doing to a flag, their turning into the symbol of racism. It’s an object nothing more.

This is something my Conlaw professor explained, people make symbols into more than they are. Take the American flag, the bald Eagle and our national anthem these are all symbols of what we fought for, Freedom. Yet these symbols didn’t give us our freedom we the people gave ourselves freedom. Our blood, sweat and tears.

So why do politicians let the actions of madman dictate our freedoms. Why do the actions of madman change the way we look at our past, our struggles for freedom, our history? Why can’t we do as we’ve always done and make madman or even everyday man take responsibility for their actions. Instead we blame others, whether it be other people, objects, movies, etc on the fact that our country won’t take responsibility for how we’re changed the way we teach our youth.

I was born in 1978, I grew up with the Duke’s of Hazzard, video games, spankings, racism, Gone with the Wind, Mark Twain, a broken home, and going to school in the South. And on top of all that I was molested as a child and raped in high school. None of those things own me. I still went on and when to college I have two undergraduate degrees, a paralegal certificate and a master degree. I married a military man and I own guns. I know right from wrong, and I know the law.

I can’t have kids because of my genetics but I would never take that out on my mother for father (if he was still living). I have forgiven the boy that molested me, one because he was molested his self and because he is family. However the molestation stopped with me, I didn’t let the cycle repeat itself. I didn’t let any of it hold me down nor did I let it break me. I didn’t go out and beat, gun down, knife or anything else to the people that hurt me. I took what they did and made my life into what I wanted it to be. Everything in my past has molded me into a better person, just as everything in the US’s past has molded it.

I say to those who keep pushing responsibility of the individuals on to the many you are holding our country back. You are doing a disservice to everything our four fathers fought for. We are young but we were strong, and now you are making us weak. Stop trying to change the things you think don’t work right and change the things that don’t actually work. Lay blame to the actions of the few at their feet. Don’t use tragedy to your benefit. After living and working in Charleston, I know the city and it’s history. It the families and city mourn and get off the soapboxes. Charleston and its people were part of the history you’re trying to gloss over. South Carolina was one of the states that fought to bare arms, it fought for slavery. Don’t do it a disservice by saying we need tighter gun control when a madman does something crazy. Don’t do it a disservice by saying we need to ban Gone with the Wind when one of its plantations was part of the movie. Don’t do it a disservice by saying racism is about a flag. Do it service by mourning with the families and city. Do it service by up holding the freedoms it holds so dear and the blood, sweat and tears it has given our country. Do it service by holding the responsible parties to the laws and not blaming others for individuals actions.