Be Careful What You Tweet

roseanne barr

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MARCH 23: Roseanne Barr at the “Roseanne” Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Warning: This is a commentary, not a piece of fiction. If you came here for the fiction, this brief essay may not be for you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Roseanne Barr major twitter gaffe that got her show cancelled, the whole Colin Kaepernick “taking the knee” protests, and how ABC and the NFL have respectively responded to them, all in terms of Free Speech Rights.

First let’s get something out of the way. What’s the short definition of Free Speech Rights? According to Wikipedia, it is:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s actually a lot more complicated and nuanced than that, but let’s roll with what I’ve just quoted.

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Vigil

love prompt

© 2016 – Elaine Farrington Johnson

Several vigils were held Monday night to honor the victims of the shooting. Communities came out in Reno, Las Vegas and at the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Sandra Casey, a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, California, was killed, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said. “We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students,” school board President Jennifer Cochran said.

Sonny Melton also was identified as among the dead. His employer, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, said Melton was a registered nurse. His wife survived the shooting.

Police had no prior knowledge of the gunman before the attack, (Clark County Sheriff Joseph) Lombardo said. “I don’t know how it could have been prevented,” he said.

-from an October 2, 2017 report by CNN

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” -Hayley on Facebook

Yeah…I was thinking that since this directly hits the country-music population…maybe they will actually do something now. But after Sandy Hook, Republicans reacted by wanting to arm teachers. So lets see what today’s… -Erin replying on Facebook

It was night but she wore a large hat and sunglasses that covered most of her face. She didn’t want to take the chance of being recognized, but after what she’d said, she realized she couldn’t stay away, either.

She had been so focused on her anger at the people she thought were at fault, at all of those who she believed didn’t care about those twenty innocent lives who had been callously extinguished by a man and a rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She had forgotten that the 59 people who died just yesterday and the hundreds whose lives still hung in the balance were people, too.

At first, all she thought of was that if a large group of conservatives were the victims of gun violence, conservatives would be forced to respond by enacting better measures of gun control. Obama hadn’t accomplished what she’d hoped for in his eight years in office and no one could count on Trump and a GOP led Senate to do what was right. But after she thoughtlessly made her own hateful comments in social media, she realized she wasn’t any better. She had chosen to devalue human lives just as she accused others of doing.

“It will never end…” she muttered to herself, hardly able to restrain her tears, “…until all of us value each other’s lives, not just lives like our own.”

Although I didn’t post this to today’s Linkup (since only one submission is allowed), consider it a “part two” of my response to Priceless Joy’s writing challenge. There are just too many ways to respond to such senseless violence, and I chose to leverage my previous commentary on the words of Hayley Geftman-Gold which drew a great deal of national ire less than a day ago.

I read that she has since apologized for her comments, and while I don’t believe she’d risk exposing herself any further by actually attending a vigil in Las Vegas, I sincerely hope in her heart she understands that the 59 dead were also the sons, daughters, parents, and siblings of people who loved and were loved, just like the rest of us.

Who Celebrates Murder?

geftman-gold

Hayley Geftman-Gold and CBS logo – image found at Fox News

Just as I did previously when registering moral outrage last week, I was tempted to write a short story fictionalizing the horrible events that occurred in Las Vegas less than 24 hours ago (as I write this), but I just couldn’t. Maybe in days to come I will, but it’s too soon for me emotionally.

I grew up in Las Vegas, but it’s hardly the town I remember from my childhood into becoming a young adult. I haven’t been back in decades and there’s no real reason for me to return.

But this could have happened anywhere.

I’m sure we’ll hear all about the investigation in social and news media in the days and weeks to come but the fact that 58 people lost their lives and hundreds were wounded somehow isn’t the worse of it. The worst of it is someone out there is celebrating their injuries and deaths.

I’m not talking about ISIS claiming responsibility which may or may not be true. I’m talking about an American citizen and attorney. Her name is Hayley Geftman-Gold and among other outlets, Variety reported on this person’s reaction to the Las Vegas shootings.

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