Prayers For Oklahoma.

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Twitter never sleeps and is always the social media that has the breaking news on the hour in the hour. Anderson Coopers tweets got me to turn of the telly at midnight South African time. A tornado had passed through Oklahoma moments before and no news of fatalities had yet to be reported. I had such a heavy heart when watching the CNN footage of the elementary school. Where is the school?, what is left of it?. Please tell me there were no children inside – were my thoughts. Please God, send your angels, they are needed there.

Being late here, having fallen asleep a few times on the couch, I eventually went off to bed. Prayers for Oklahoma. I woke this morning and flipped the channel between BBC and CNN. 91 souls lost to count. 20 of which – children. Mother Nature showing her cruel side and just how fragile life is. 

Prayers for all in Oklahoma, RIP to all the souls lost. My sincere condolences to their families and friends at this devastating time.

 

Is The NRA Entirely To Blame.

It was mid evening here in South Africa when I picked up my cellphone and began reading the status updates on facebook. My condolences go out to the parents in Connecticut – read one. What did this person mean by my condolences. I switched over to twitter – the world that never sleeps and type in a word search for #connecticut.  OMG – my heart began pounding as I read more and more. My hubby came through to the living room having just put our baby to bed. Turn on CNN quick, something really terrible has happened at an elementary school in America.

We both sat glued to the telly. Utter disbelief. This is just surreal. Say it isn’t so. I just broke down in tears. We have a 6-year-old. 2006 babies, like our son. As the reports came in, you watched the parents arriving knowing not all were going to leave with their children.  The death toll rising, hero teachers and so the reports trickled in. My hubby sat on his twitter while in front of the telly. Twitter if far more informative and accurate compared to the news broadcasters in my opinion.

I couldn’t sleep. It was late at this stage in South Africa. President Obama came on to address the media and I cried even more as he spoke or tried to. I had so many thoughts running through my head – the talk turned to the NRA and their silence. Focus not only on Sandy Hook but previous school shootings, malls, cinemas and the list continues. I thought quietly to myself, Americans are  not only targets outside of America (Benghazi and more) but they are also targets among themselves. I don’t know much about the gun laws there but I can say this much: It is a mind-blow at how easy it is to walk into a store and purchase a glock, semi-automatic weapon and much more. The reports of gun sales increased after the Sandy Hook tragedy Shocking !!! The mentality to go out and purchase a weapon for ‘protection’. The comments good guns can stop bad guns. I still ask myself why the heck did a school teacher feel the need to house so many weapons to begin with (the gun mans mother). The NRA’s lack to scrutinise the characteristics and competency of a potential gun owner.

Part of me thinks – YOU, the American public empower the NRA by giving them the sales. What process, if any, is followed when purchasing such weapons. In my so called ‘third world’ country – obtaining a legal weapon of such calibre is not an easy task. Psychological tests, competency tests, written test and more are required before you are even considered for such a purchase – and a very strong record kept as to what weapon you own.

We have never experienced such shootings as America within schools, cinemas etc. I’m not saying gun violence doesn’t exist here – I’m saying, not by most registered gun owners and never in such a manner to my knowledge. I count my blessings – for now. I was dumbfounded by the NRA’s comment to put armed officers outside of every school in America. I mean – would that apply to every cinema, corporate, public or tourist building throughout the US too? I don’t understand that logic! They say in South Africa – you are more lightly to be hurt or murdered with your own gun, if you have one – than not.

My brother has a few guns. Having grown up in Zimbabwe during a civil war – learning to respect and be responsible with a glock or shotgun came standard under the circumstances. Personally I fear guns. I have been to the shooting range with my brother. I have pulled the trigger a few times on a 9mm and a shot gun and know all too well just how powerful such weapons are. Imagine a semi- automatic weapon or fully automatic weapon. It doesn’t take a genius to know to remove the pin on such guns. I have never returned to the shooting range, I just didn’t like it. I left with a better understanding and respect for guns though.  The movies make pulling a trigger look all ‘cool’ , easy and quiet frankly – glamorous. Well it’s not. Ten days later I read on twitter how firemen in a town close to New York were lured to a house on fire as a trap where they were met by a gunman killing two of them. Sad. I know the gun sales make huge revenue and changing things like laws, mentality and perceptions won’t be easy. But something needs to be changed for a safer america.

Words fail me as I think so often of the lives lost at Sandy Hook. The grief and pain of those parents is inconceivable. No words can comfort them so I pray daily.  The beautiful teachers left an imprint on my heart, they loved those little ones and their self-sacrificing actions spoke volumes.  Rest in peace beautiful souls. I will remember you. This is my song for all americans who feel strongly about gun law change. . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbkOZTSvrHs – You are the voice.

May God Bless America.

Black Friday.

Yesterday while watching CNN and all the depressing news around the world, they ran a snippet on Black Friday.

I was blow away at how psycho people went for a $5 item on sale. To the point CNN reported of previous years where there had been shootings, pepper spray, violence and stampedes. Queues of people camping outside stores the night before for that bargain shopping craze.

My thoughts were: Would you actually sacrifice precious, valuable time with you family on a night such as Thanksgiving to go camp out in queues ?!? Apparently so.

I live in Africa and never in my life have I witnessed such a thing happen in my country. Even when Nelson Mandela was released and we had our first Democratic elections – the talk was of our country going into a civil war. The tin foods were flying off the shelves and immigration offices jam packed with applications.  Nope – still even so, I can’t say I saw the behaviour of  those on Black Friday.

I think the people on telly going absolutely crazy need to see themselves on that box. Maybe, just maybe they will feel a little shameful or embarrasses or disgusted at their lack of civil behaviour. Don’t get me wrong here – there were some shop owners who had set out plans as to how they were to handle the masses. Kudos to those who plan extra cautiously. Letting in small amounts of people at a time.

I packed up laughing at the women who noticed they were being filmed and quickly hid their faces shamefully. Who knows – the media shows what they want you to see and try sway your perception of things. Maybe Black Friday isn’t as hectic as they made out and the bits of footage were of random bad incidences over the years.

Either way, I mention this to a close friend in Prague. She tells me she went to a store last year on Christmas Eve and bought 4 of the remaining 5 trifle puddings knowing full well there were people wanting some too. We got into a debate about it cause I’m the kind of person who would take one under the circumstances. She laughed and voiced her point being – well I needed 4 and I got there first – lucky me. My dear friend emphasised how she would not hesitate to use her inner ninja warrior skills if need be to obtain her goods. Now as a joke on Black Friday I tell her to wear a board warning other shoppers of her black belt & to rather back off.

Hope Black Friday went off smoothly yesterday for all in America and plenty bargains were had.

 

 

Obama For President, Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

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Sign, sealed, delivered. I will always think of Pres. Obama when I hear that song now.

 

What I love most about this man, US President Barack Obama – is the way he loves his wife, Michelle,  followed by his daughters. They say behind every great man, is an even greater woman. A picture speaks a thousand words and you can just see the love between these two. Role models for so many beyond American boarders. I like how ‘human’ he is, rolls up his sleeves and gets with the people. A peoples president.

I watched the elections through-out the night, as did so many across the globe. To the point I passed out on the couch. Woke up somehow in my bed and hubby gone. He felt I was ‘snoring’ so nicely, he just couldn’t wake me ;). Apparently a kiss on the forehead and a whisper good-bye. First thing I did was grab my mobile and hone onto twitter – Has America called it yet ??? Who has won.

It hadn’t been called but as I read the tweets I was convinced Mitt Romney had won. Every tweet was Romney has taken this state and that and that too. About 10 minutes after, it was called. Barack Obama has won the US Presidential election for a second term. Euphoria – our entire country seemed to be rooting for President Obama. Our radios stations were going, twitter, facebook and my telly on CNN was detailing the statistics. It was a close election indeed. 

I stayed glued waiting for the Presidents speech, I mean – who the heck wasn’t. And a powerful speech it was indeed. Especially the last part. Give the man his dues, he can sure deliver a speech to fire up hopes, dreams and more. I felt sad not to be an American, sort of – left out. I sent a congrats to the Presidents twitter address as well as the first lady – and to all my American friends too. The US embassy here kept us up to date with the on goings too. To a certain extent you would think the world felt it was their election too. And maybe it is. As a world super power, you carry a lot of clout. World peace in itself is a huge responsibility – try elaborating that to those ‘stupid’ beauty queens. 

The state of Colorado to legalise marijuana and others, medical marijuana !! I bet the parents from the 60/70’s are thinking – Lets do Woodstock reunion there, won’t know who your daddy is but heck we have DNA testing now. 

Politics is politics and always will be a sure thing. So with that I say, CONGRATULATIONS to all Americans, especially the democrats. May the next four years see the promises made – kept. And the bumpy ride of moving forward, endured. 

If life is that hard and you feel robbed or worse – come to Africa. You’ll soon realised what a blessed democratic country you have with a peoples president, where like Barack said – people die just for the right to vote. 

God Bless America.