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Jim Fiorelli: There will be another Uvalde next week; fix it

Before 2011, Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s hostility toward gay rights led to hundreds of students at the University of Michigan objecting to the senator’s commencement speech. In 1996, as a member of the U.S. House, Portman had co-sponsored Defense of Marriage Act, the federal ban on same-sex marriage. And in 1999, Portman voted to prohibit same-sex couples in the state of Washington from adopting children.

Then his son, Will, came out to the senator and his wife in February, 2011 and Portman reversed his stance.

Later, in an interview with Ohio reporters, Portman said that his son, “…allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years.”

Jim Fiorelli

What it took for Portman’s reversal was that the issue had literally hit home. To be or not to be gay was something he could no longer consider at arms-length, could no longer deal with impersonally.

I am among the many that are sick and tired of hearing our state and federal leaders offer their “thoughts and prayers” when a mass shooting of the innocent takes place. I’m deaf to them being “horrified” and “heartbroken.” Their words make me sick, weary. They are without substance, impotent, meaningless, empty words.

The list of school massacres is staggering…Columbine High, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The 2018 school shooting in Benton, Kentucky that took the lives of two, vibrant, beautiful 15-year-olds was the nation’s 11th of year. It took place on January 23rd. Now, Uvalde, Texas.

I believe that for our legislators to come to grips with the killing of children in places where they are concentrated and exposed, death has to hit them personally. It must be their child or grandchild who attends a school visited by a madman. It must be their child or grandchild who throws on their morning backpack, kisses mom and dad goodbye and heads out to the bus stop for the last time.

It has to hit them where they live and breathe.

Thoughts and prayers are vacuous and ultimately, no child is safe.

So, enough, I say.

Fix it. The problem is more than demonic. Fix it.

Because sooner or later, the grief that so many have already felt will come knocking on your door, Mr. Lawmaker. And you’ll find it hard to live with yourself since you could have done something to prevent it, but chose not to.

Jim Fiorelli is retired and has either worked or lived in Northern Kentucky for the pat 35 years. He has been a Hebron resident for the last two decades and is active in local politics.

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One Comment

  1. Frank says:

    Public Citizen
    Senators bankrolled by the NRA:

    Mitt Romney: $13,648,000

    Richard Burr: $6,987,000

    Roy Blunt: $4,556,000

    Thom Tillis: $4,421,000

    Marco Rubio: $3,303,000

    Joni Ernst: $3,125,000

    Josh Hawley: $1,392,000

    Mitch McConnell: $1,267,000

    Ted Cruz: $176,000

    An absolute disgrace.
    11:03 AM · May 25, 2022

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