Response to Arkansas state senator Nate Bell’s ridiculous tweet

In the wee hours of Friday morning, while Boston, a city still struggling with the awful occurrences at Monday’s Boston Marathon, was just beginning to deal with the new tragedies of the killing of an MIT cop, the shooting of an MBTA officer, a chase and shoot-out that ended with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects killed, and suspect #2, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, wounded, but escaping and on the loose, Arkansas state senator Nate Bell (@NateBell4Ar) thought it appropriate to send the following tweet:  “I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?”

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First, even if the incident hadn’t occurred at Monday’s Boston Marathon, Nate Bell’s tweet would be totally out of line given those killed in Newtown and Aurora, and countless other shooting tragedies in recent memories.  I mean, who says this?  What public official encourages the clinging-to of not just guns, but weapons with “hi-capacity magazine”s?  Well, this morning, when I read this, I stunned that this is something an elected official in the United States of America would say.  I needed to write my response.  Here it is:

In case you don’t know, I’m a Southerner now living in Boston. Growing up in Kentucky and then living in Mississippi and Tennessee, I have many responsible friends and family members who are gun owners. I don’t have a problem with guns in the right hands. My family hunts and, in the past, I too have hunted. Also, I have gone trap shooting and shot at targets for fun on my family’s land. So, in this instance, my issue isn’t with guns themselves, but rather the context Sen. Bell is speaking of them. My issue is with this elected official’s suggestion that I would have slept better in the nights following the Boston marathon bombing if I had had a gun in my house. I was, and continue to be, beyond upset by the act of violence that occurred at an event I love, celebrating a sport I treasure, in a city that I have been fortunate to call home for over two years. I was, of course, more upset because I was relatively near the explosions – I heard them and felt them and witnessed people rushing away, unknowing if more explosions would follow. In the moments that followed, I maintained composure, but was silently terrified. In those moments, did I want for a weapon to provide me comfort? Hell no! The last thing I considered wanting was a weapon. In fact, I believe if a citizen had brandished a weapon as I was rushing over a bridge from Boston into Cambridge just minutes after two bombings, I would have lost it and can imagine I would have been more terrified. Luckily, I didn’t have that experience, and instead, I was comforted by the presence of officers going above and beyond to protect and serve in those moments and the long days that followed. The bit of quality sleep I did get the past week was due to the fact I knew there were many brave officers working diligently to protect me and those I love, and to catch the f*@kers who perpetuated terror on the city and people I love. I put my faith in our law enforcement officers and the government officials of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and am proud that I did so. Boston is one. Whether born and raised here, or here for only a few short years, like myself, we all love this city and we are tough. We speak our minds and defend our own, not just on Twitter or with t-shirts, but in the voting booth each election day. That’s why we have officials representing us who we trust and who are aligned with our beliefs and convictions. That’s why a city went silent yesterday and that’s why today we are beginning to heal, instead of crouching in a corner clinging to the false security of a loaded weapon. I try not to speak poorly of people, but Nate Bell is an idiot.  And, given the fact that this tweet has been deleted, and an apology has been made on his Nate Bell for Arkansas Representative Facebook Page, it seems his consultants informed him of his idiocy and attempted to control the damage.

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Well, it’s too late.  The moment Mr. Bell hit “Tweet”, he told the world how insensitive and cold he is.  He told us all how he doesn’t see the big picture and doesn’t understand the difference between a hunting rifle or a small pistol for self protection and a weapon that has the ability to kill hundreds of people in minutes.  When he said “hi-capacity magazine” he might as well have said, “I’m an idiot who doesn’t undertand the historical context in which the United States Constitution was written, but that’s okay cause I got my machine gun to keep me warm at night.” 

In the words of, Ed Bogle (@MarlboroDad), “@NateBell4ARI invite you to Boston. So you can witness true toughness, compassion and humanity. Toughest city on earth. No guns required.”

To read more responses to Nate Bell’s tweet, check out Boston.com’s piece on folk’s responses on Twitter.

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Long Time, No Talk: Part One

It's been awhile and we definitely need to catch up.

Hey there, folks.  It has been wayyyyy too long since I posted.  I guess I got distracted by starting my own business, an ever increasing workload (which is great!) , Ken’s return from Afghanistan, our Tour de South, our trip to Kenya, move to Cambridge from Arlington, and enjoying day-to-day life as KeJen.  But, enough with the excuses, I should have written months ago. But, since I didn’t, this post will be all about catching up.

APRIL – I launched Ginger Social – a boutique (fancy way of saying super small and run all by myself) social media management firm, focused on helping small businesses reach their customers and strengthen relationships.   I began with one fantastic client, Solid Body Fitness, and now, have six – including a Hahvad (that’s Harvard for those who don’t read Bostonian) based education journal.  It’s been a slow process but, I have met some excellent folks, learn more and more each day, and really like what I do.

The first day of Spring happens each April, as you probably know.  With Spring, generally come the rain showers that bring May flowers.  Not in Boston.  Nope, the first day of Spring instead brought a couple of inches of snow.  I halfway convinced myself that it must just snow year ’round here.

MAY – Things began warming up a bit.  I scored a great client in the Plough & Stars in May and had a great time counting down the days to Ken’s arrival home by watching lotsa live music there.

JUNE/JULY – Ahhh, June.  With 6 long months of waiting coming to an end, I prepped for Ken’s arrival home. Then, it happened.  It was remarkably good to see him!  I was nervous and excited and happy and I fell in love with him even more.

The night of Ken's arrival we went to Hooters for a televised MMA fight and because Ken loves owls. ; )

In the days after Ken’s arrival home, we packed up a house, putting everything in storage, and found an apartment.  We then flew to Atlanta for our Tour De South.  We visiting my family in Mississippi, our friends in Memphis, and my family in Kentucky before heading back to Atlanta to spend some time with his family and friends.

Our pal Greg welcomed us back to Memphis with this nice note on the chalkboard at Bardog.

Me, Memaw & Pops in West Point, MS (not the best pic, but thankful Ken took it).

Following over two weeks of driving through the South and visiting family and friends, plus camping with friends a couple of nights outside of Atlanta, we headed back to Boston.  I had to knock out a couple of meetings before we went on our big adventure.  KeJen Went To Kenya.  Yep, we spent 10 days in Kenya.  And it was   a  m  a  z  i  n  g!!!!  Many of you have heard the stories of our trip, but if you haven’t call, email or comment here and we will tell you all about it.

We got to spend about 8 hours exploring London on the way to Kenya.  We landed in Nairobi and caught a flight to Mombasa, on Kenya’s East coast where we met up with a couple of Ken’s friends who live there and stayed at a great resort called The Voyager.   We hungout by the pool, went running on the beach, went into Mombasa with our local friends and went snorkeling (me) and scuba diving (Ken) one day, too.  It was beautiful and I didn’t want to leave.  Except, we had another adventure to go on when we left Mombasa – we climbed Mt. Kenya.    I’ll write soon and share more about our trip, tell you where you can find all the pics from London and Kenya,  let you know how we are liking Boston, what we have been up to and lots more info you didn’t know you couldn’t live without.

Kwa heri (that’s goodbye in Swahili).

While in Mombasa, we did a lot of this...

Whirlwind tour of London was literally windy (check out my hair).