What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Letter #168... Dear Mr. President... It's Time to Fight for Our Kids

Dear Mr. President,

On Tuesday you said you plan to, “make the best case that I can,” for a military strike on Syria, and that “there are times where we have to make hard choices if we’re going to stand up for the things that we care about, and I believe that this is one of those times.”

Didn’t you make the best case you could for Congress to pass some common sense gun control laws? Or, was that just lip service for the parents, friends, family, and the country, just after the slaughter of ‘innocent children’ at Sandy Hook? How can you make a case to the world or even this Congress regarding military action in Syria when you can’t make a case for saving the lives of ‘innocent children’ slaughtered by weapons of mass destruction in this country?

We’re wringing our hands over 400 ‘innocent children’ killed by their own government in Syria, but we are doing absolutely nothing about the 2,848 children that are killed in America every year because of gun violence… that’s 8 ‘innocent children’ every single day, day in and day out.
Stop the bombing...It's time to protect our children

I find it offensively hypocritical of the U.S. to be ‘up in arms’ over the use of chemical weapons when you consider our history… the horrors of WWI led to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which banned the use of chemical weapons. The U.S. didn’t sign until 1975, long after dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam and Cambodia, with the ‘unintended consequence’ being the loss of thousands of lives, including our own U.S. Servicemen. It wasn’t until a 1997 that an international treaty banned the production, stockpiling and use of these weapons. Angola, North Korea, Egypt, South Sudan and Syria are still not signatories to the pact.

You condemn Assad’s “brazen use” of chemical weapons and the deaths of hundreds of children as a violation of international norms and said that failure to act would empower other “rogue nations, authoritarian regimes and terrorist organizations” to develop and use weapons of mass destruction. Don’t you think that the U.S. is outside the “norm” when it comes to our obsessive use of ‘personal weapons’? Don’t you think that our failure to pass comprehensive background checks, limiting magazine capacities, and limits on the amount of ammunition one person can purchase, is outside the ‘norm’ and could embolden “stand your ground’ crackpots and right-wing gun enthusiasts, not to mention how it's already emboldened the NRA?

If we worked half as hard at passing laws that keep our streets safe, and our kids alive, as we do in trying to ‘police’ the world and trying to protect Syria's children, then we wouldn’t have 8 children a day and 2,848 children a year, slaughtered in this country.

Yes, these are hard times and you have hard choices to make, it’s time to stand with Americans who want an END to bombing, an END to boots on the ground, an END to more military interventions, and an END to any and all wars of any kind… It’s time to make our children what you care about most. It's time to end the violence against our children with weapons of mass destruction... ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny