Do We Have to Be a Society Riddled With Gun Violence?

AR-15 and american flag
The Columbine Massacre, which claimed 15 lives occurred 21 years ago, on April 20, 1999. I was 28 years old. Weapons of choice: Intratec TEC-9 Mini; Hi-Point 995 Carbine; Savage 67H pump-action shotgun; Stevens 311D double barreled sawed-off shotgun; 99 explosives.
April 16, 2007, 13 years ago, The Virginia Tech Massacre occurred, claiming 33 lives. I was 36 years old. Weapons of choice: Glock 19 pistol and Walther P22 pistol.
The Sandy Hook Massacre, which claimed 28 lives occurred on December 14, 2012. I was 41 years old. Weapons of choice: Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle and Glock 20SF handgun.
June 12, 2016, almost four years ago, 50 lives were claimed in Orlando, Florida, at The Pulse Nightclub Massacre. I was 45 years old. Weapons of choice: Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle; Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.
The Las Vegas Nevada Massacre, which claimed 59 lives, occurred on October 1, 2017. I was 46 years old. Weapons of Choice: 14 .223-caliber AR-15 type rifles, 8 .308-caliber AR-10 type rifles, .308-caliber Ruger American bolt-action rifle, .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Model 342 AirLite TI revolver.
February 14, 2018, 2 years ago, 17 lives were claimed in Parkland, Florida, as a result of The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre. I was 47 years old. Weapons of Choice: AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle (Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II).
The El Paso Texas Massacre, which claimed 23 lives occurred on August 3, 2019. I was 48 years old. Weapon of Choice: WASR-10 AK-47 style rifle.

The seven mass shootings that I have identified here are only a handful of the countless number of mass shootings that have occurred in America over the past 21 years.

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What is America’s response to the countless deaths that have occurred as a result of mass shootings and gun violence?

  • H.R. 8

On February 27, 2019, almost 20 years after Columbine, the House voted in favor of H.R. 8 -Bi Partisan Background Checks Act of 2019. H.R. 8 mandates federal criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions. THE SENATE HAS NOT ADDRESSED THE LEGISLATION AS OF TODAY! THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES COULD VETO THE BILL ALTOGETHER IF THE SENATE PASSES THE BILL.

What does this mean? H.R. 8 is not law therefore it does not afford us any further protections.

  • Extreme Risk Laws

Extreme Risk Laws allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from individuals demonstrating behavioral risk factors for dangerousness. Extreme Risk Laws also prevent these individuals from purchasing additional guns.

As of July 2019, nineteen states and the District of Columbia have Extreme Risk-Style Laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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What is going on in America? How did we get here? Have we always been here? Is there truly any regard for human life? Why are our lawmakers reluctant to take any meaningful steps toward gun control? Do you believe more restrictive gun control is necessary? Why are people fighting so hard to own weapons of mass destruction?

Empowerment is not about forcing my views down your throat. Empowerment includes providing information that triggers thought and sparks conversation. So, let’s talk about it.

More convo about gun control to come.

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

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