Fear and Loathing in Denver

I had to go downtown yesterday. First time I’d been there in several months. It looked like it had been cleared out to shoot a movie about a city deserted because people were hiding from zombies. I immediately felt a sense of anger. This is what fear looks like and fear repulses me.

Fear that is caused by bullying, I should say. Bullying causes false fear because bullies are fake themselves. They mask themselves as something they are not. You know, like this Coronavirus. It too, is a bully. It too causes false fear. Yes, I know; people have allegedly died from it. But this virus has been concocted by someone. It did not “naturally just come about”. That’s what ticks me off. This virus was man-made to cause fear and death and misery; ie, bullying.

Let’s shut down our city they say. Lets shut down our once thriving businesses hard-working people literally worked their tails off to start and literally gave all the money they had saved to begin their dreams. Lets do this because our cowardly state government leaders have no backbone and would rather destroy our city by introducing laws that legalize marijuana; a plant that is indeed the gateway plant and a plant that has brought in thousands of homeless people who refuse to work and would instead rather clutter the once beautiful streets and parks of Denver because they don’t want to work. They just want to get high all day.  Or the drivers who are so high they are causing the most bizarre accidents, literally flipping their cars upside down in 30 and 35 mile per hour zones or rear-ending people such as me who are not high, legally stopped at red light intersections, causing severe concussions that have now lasted over 10 months. (And for the record, I’m not talking about people who are now homeless because their livelihoods are now shut down and they’ve lost everything). Great leaders we have here. Not.  I know it is also you who are responsible for the barbaric, senseless slaughter of all the beautiful Canadian geese to feed the pot & heroin-induced homeless people who now litter our streets. Why don’t you talk to other city leaders instead and see how they feed their homeless? They don’t murder precious wildlife. They use their brains and come up with solutions that actually make sense.

Yesterday I saw the 16th Street Mall, once thriving with thousands of people going in and out of great, fun businesses now literally boarded up. It reminded me of states preparing for hurricanes. Denver, we don’t get hurricanes here. Don’t live your lives in fear. Fight the cowards who are not leading our city. Fight back. Don’t believe their lies. Educate yourselves about the #coronavirus. Get outside and start taking back your freedom. There are more of us than them. Remember that.

I took on an active shooter firing an AR-15 straight at me. He had already shot and killed several people. Guess what? I wasn’t afraid of him and I’m not afraid of anything else either. I killed him in less than 2-3 minutes from the time he entered the building. I knew he had more firepower than me, but I also knew I was going to have to be the one to stop his killing spree; his murdering of innocent people. Someone has to stop the bullying, people. I choose to be one, but I need some backup this time. Be my backup. Don’t be a coward, hiding  behind now boarded up walls that are only robbing you of your right to freedom and your well-deserved income.

I choose to use the brain God gave me and educate myself. I am not some robot that simply follows the crowds because “everyone else is doing it”. Wake up, people and take off those ridiculous face masks already.

Watch that excellent, well-done, well-informed documentary on the C-19 virus. Educate yourselves and set yourselves free. We only get one life. We only get one chance to live it freely. No one is going to tell me how to live mine and no one should tell you how to live yours. Especially not a couple of spineless state leaders.

Why Do People Bully Reality TV Stars?

I enjoy writing very much. Always have. I wrote a book after a major incident I was involved in as an off-duty police officer. An active shooter entered the mega-church where I was a volunteer on the church’s security team. He had already shot 4 people, killing 2 at a separate location, escaped, and had now driven to where I was providing security. He shot 5 more people in the parking lot, killing 2 sisters with an AR-15 rifle before coming inside the church where several thousand men, women and children were still present. I had no choice but to engage and kill him. Having to end another human life in such a violent way was a difficult thing to do, but he gave me no choice and I am at peace with my actions. I had people breathing down my neck when I wrote and self-published my book about this incident. I printed about 1,000 copies then took it off the market and off Kindle. Next time I write a book, I will do it with no outside pressure or influence.

I share this with you before I continue writing because I know full well what it’s like to be lied about and even hated by people who have never met me simply based on the misconstrued opinions and blatant lies of others who have also never met me. It’s best not to listen to or read the gossip sites where people Monday-morning quarterback you, judge your actions, your looks, etc. I don’t read that garbage now but I wish I never had to begin with. Some people are incredibly kind and compassionate. Others are taking every ounce of hurt and anger they have personally experienced in their lives out on you. In other words, if you’re ever made a public figure, whether by choice or by circumstance, be prepared to have the hell beat out of you by the walking wounded who hide behind their home computers; their faces hidden, yours not.

I love the #BRAVO channel in particular because of all the interesting reality shows it features.  I find it very interesting watching how other people and other cultures live. I know it’s often staged, but when they interview the featured characters, these people are speaking on their own for the most part. While some of you tweet about politics, I like to tweet with others about the people we all watch together on reality shows. This is nothing to be embarrassed of. It’s just our choice of escape. Whoever started the reality TV concept is a genius. And believe it or not, there is far more hatred and venom-spewing in politics than towards the people on reality shows. I want no part of that degree of hatred.

For some shows like #VanderpumpRules or #BelowDeck or the #ShahsofSunset that have been on for several seasons, we grow attached to these people. We care about them. I do anyway. But there are many people who hurl such incredibly angry, vicious insults and criticisms at these people they have never even met. Why? 

I’ve been interviewed on TV many times. Trust me, that’s not bragging. It’s not  glamorous and you don’t get paid when they ask for interviews. I like to give them when asked, though, because I genuinely care about the safety of others and I am one of the few who have experienced what so many others in law enforcement never have and never will. I have seen first hand how some of the statements I’ve made have been cut, edited, put in a different order than I stated them and I’ve even had some editors completely change what I actually said. Not cool. I’ve also had my incident and my actions completely re-written and fabricated to somehow comfort or soothe the most frail egos. And this was not even done by those in the media. It is and has been done by those who run their little gossip sites with causes they can be sometimes be pretty radical about. I have never once backed down from what actually happened during my incident and I am unafraid of backlash from some of the cowards who choose to do that to me.

So know this; when you go on camera, you are placing yourself in the hands of someone who may or may not like you or someone who simply doesn’t want you to say what YOU want to say. They want you to say what THEY want you to say. Truth is powerful and freeing. Lies and twisting words is not only unethical, it’s less impactful if you ask me. The truth is a brick house. Lies are a rickety, old shack that will eventually crumble.

So why do reality TV stars get criticized so much? We don’t know them. We’ve never met them. We also have no idea what they have been through in their lives that have shaped them into the people we all watch on TV. I’m just asking you to please have mercy on these people. All we see is what has been cut, edited, and re-arranged. If the producers don’t like a particular person featured, it is blatantly obvious to me. It seems like it’s always the nicest people who get brutalized the most. Many of them also have PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and childhood traumas-just like you and me. Think of that before you cut them to shreds. 

So these people who get brutalized and portrayed as “annoying” are of course the ones getting bullied and the ones I always stand up for. I have been a defender of the innocent since I was at least in 3rd grade. I cannot stand bullying and yes, clearly bullying happens to children as well as adults.  

Finally, please remember this; many of these reality stars have never been on TV before. They have no idea what they look or sound like until we, the world, quickly and brutally let them know. Be a little more gentle, will you? And when you see certain reality stars bullying a fellow reality star on TV, stand up for the one being bullied. It feels much better to stand up for the one being bullied than to bully. Next time you start writing something nasty and harsh about a reality star stop and think “Do I want to encourage someone who’s probably acting this way because they’re hurting on the inside or do I want to hurt them further?”

It’s easy to be an ass. Much cooler to be kind. 


Can You Find Love During Times Like These?

I don’t mean the kind of love you find online. I mean during this time of chaos and turmoil that literally the entire world is going through.

I think now is the time we should find love in our hearts more than we ever have. Love is healing. Love is comforting. Love is reassuring.

I just finished walking the bike path by my place. It’s a gorgeous day today, but tomorrow, Easter Sunday, it’s supposed to be cold and rainy. The birds are singing and no, I’m not making that up. That’s because the birds know they are still cared for, as will all of us be who believe in a loving God. What was meant for evil, God uses for good. We can see this virus as a scary, massive “inconvenience” or we can obey the rules of social isolation and take this time to enjoy our families, the homes you’ve worked so hard to afford, your pets, and/or your cat and 65″ Samsung Curve TV, as in my case. See the good in this or focus on the negative. The choice is yours. Just know this will not go on forever.

I confess, at times I have been angry and anxious. I have lots going on that have contributed to those feelings, but it’s like I wish that stuff could have waited until this freaking coronavirus is over. Go away already, will you? It’s a harassing virus that is new for many of us in the world. It’s a bit surreal to see people everywhere; in grocery stores, PetSmart-even on the bike path-wearing protective mouth coverings.

I want to work out in the gym again. Working out is my Xanax. Working out hard is my oxygen. Or it was. Now our “oxygen” should be God. Whether you believe in God or not, God is the only one we can count on to survive extreme trials like the one we are in now. Not your money or your influence.

I know I swear too much. Swearing for me is my way of expressing depression or maybe even fear of the unknown. I am literally unafraid of bad guys out there with guns. I know some of you may roll your eyes, but roll away. I’m telling you the truth. I know I have God with me and I know I am courageous as hell. What I don’t know is what my future holds. So I was letting all of this chaos get to me (including the added stuff I don’t need to mention).

So I realize now when I see extremely angry tweets on #Twitter or bursts of outrage on #Facebook what is really happening; we are all going through our own, individual trials and now to add to all that, we now have to endure this unknown virus that just seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Finger-pointing and the blame-game don’t do any good, so stop already. Do you understand that? We are already in the midst of it. We need to look ahead to how we can do things better. And by “things” I mean everything. This will not be the last time something like this happens so let’s use this as a training tool to be much better prepared for the next “thing”.

Back to the walk I was on just a bit ago. There were hundreds of people either walking, running or riding their bikes. Most had masks on and wouldn’t even make eye contact. Good grief, people, we don’t have to act like everyone is a virus-ridden enemy. We can still smile 6 feet away. I can see you and I promise I won’t grab you and slime you. You have my word. The entire hour I walked, one woman and one man smiled at me. They weren’t wearing masks and they actually looked my way. I can’t tell you how good those 2 smiles made me feel. That’s what I mean by the title of this blog. Yes, we can-and should still find love even during times like this.

Tomorrow is #Easter. Christ has already risen. A long time ago. He doesn’t re-rise every Easter Sunday. God is continually watching over us and promises to protect and keep his children safe. But satan is also watching and trying to cause as much chaos and fear in our lives as possible.

I apologize for my angry tweets (that I already deleted, embarrassed and ashamed of). They were aimed at some of the bullies I see on these reality TV shows I somehow got addicted to.  We don’t need any more angry tweets. We need more happy and encouraging tweets, people. That’s what I’m trying to do here. I hope you will forgive me for my lapse in trusting a loving, powerful God and letting fear of the unknown get to me. I promise to do better by both you and God starting now.

Hang in there. We will get through this, but love must be part of the equation.

And remember; it’s okay to smile whether 6 feet apart or right now, wherever you are 🙂

The Coronavirus; You Will Be Okay

In high school, my English teacher had us read the book, #TheGrapesofWrath about the #GreatDepression in the 1930s. There was a scene in the book where a group of strangers had gathered in a barn. They were all hungry and each had some food items that would work to make a decent soup for all to share. Not one of the people had enough ingredients to make the soup on his own. This forced total strangers to come together during a time of desperation, contribute what they had, and in doing so were able to make something out of nothing.
It feels like this #coronavirus is some sort of test to see how our world will do when we face a real crisis like the Great Depression. This virus is deadly and I’m not downplaying the severity of it, but we still have food and water. We still have electricity. The food that’s left on the shelves in grocery stores may not be what we like, but we actually still have food. I thank God for that. I confess, I was at the store yesterday with a friend getting some of the few remaining food items available. I was thinking to myself and complaining silently of the lack of choices I had.  As I was looking at the few things to choose from, my friend I was with said aloud, “I’m just glad we have food still available to us”. I was immediately ashamed of my attitude and I decided to change it. Immediately.
How are we treating each other? Are we being considerate, rationing the items we purchase so everyone can get some water, bread, bathroom tissue and other necessary things? Now is not the time to be greedy. Of course no time ever is, but especially not now.  This is the perfect opportunity to show our true colors, to learn and be much better prepared for the next “hit” our city, state, region, or world takes.
This virus should not paralyze us with fear. We should instead see it as an opportunity to put all differences aside, come together, and get a solid plan in place so that when the next disaster strikes, we are prepared. That’s just common sense, but people can be lazy and/or definitely naive and being proactive never seems to be at the top of anyone’s list. It’s at the very top of mine, but I need help. I can’t make the soup alone. That’s why major disasters always force people to come together. But wouldn’t it be great to come together before the disaster strikes? This is not affecting just one region where fires or hurricanes happen and we read about it in the paper. This virus is affecting the world, but that shouldn’t scare us. It should make us want to use this situation as an opportunity to re-configure how we, society, work together as a whole. Right now, we are doing anything but. The blame game is for children and we don’t have any more time to waste.
How is everyone doing mentally? Physically? Does everyone have enough food for themselves? What about their pets? What about independent contractors who if they don’t work they don’t get paid? What about family-owned businesses forced to shut down? Are people able to get their vital medications? Are we taking care of each other?
We all need to put our political differences aside, our petty offenses, discriminatory attitudes that are a total waste of time, etc. and start working together. This virus is not as bad as some will be, nor will it be the last disaster our world sees. There will be more and they will be worse-but #Psalm91. That’s all I need to hear and I am unafraid.
We can be thankful that things are not worse right now and start immediately getting plans in place before the next one strikes. We can encourage our political leaders to-right now-start setting good examples for future generations of what true #civility looks like; #class, #grace, #dignity, #humility. That is not a suggestion, it’s a necessity if we are going to survive. Just as the people in the 1930s came together during the Great Depression, so must we right now. I will say this again, it is far better to be proactive rather than reactive. Let’s put all differences aside and take what was meant for harm and use it for good.


“Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out”.
From the song “Words” by Hawk Nelson.
Facebook, in my opinion, is not a healthy place to be. It is a place oftentimes filled with anger, hatred, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, people crying out for help and no one listening. It is a place where gossip and lies abound. There is an occasional cute animal video or a story of humans doing good things, but those happy, uplifting videos and stories are unfortunately a rarity.
It’s also interesting, for lack of a better word, how people seem to forget that it is your Facebook page, not theirs. So how dare you have your own opinion on your own FB page? How dare you believe something different from a stranger? Or your friend? How dare you vote for someone they hate or hate someone they voted for?
Many people don’t hear because many people don’t listen and many people can’t spell, so what makes us believe they can read?
Good and proper communication is crucial to the success of absolutely everything. But our lines are definitely getting crossed and messages are not getting delivered clearly. Poor communication, offensive communication starts wars. Prolongs wars.  Words can cost a person their life. Words can destroy nations, families, relationships. Or words can bring peace, courage, strength and forgiveness.
Stop reading if you want, but I’d like you to keep reading. I want you to listen just a little bit longer.  I’d like you to hear me. This is yet another problem with communication; state your case in 5 seconds or less or I will tune you out. Microwave something for 6 minutes? Are you kidding me? I’m going to microwave it for 3 minutes and if my frozen dinner is still partially frozen, screw it. I’m eating it anyway. Six minutes? Who has 6 freaking minutes?
When I patrolled the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis, I usually patrolled the north side with a partner. But the 4th Precinct also included downtown. When I was assigned to patrol downtown, I would regularly get dispatched to Loring Park. It was a very nice park, but it was also a place where many intoxicated, and I mean seriously intoxicated people, mostly Native Americans, would pass out. I began observing a man there who I was now seeing on a pretty regular basis. He was always in a suit, always passed out cold and seemed to be getting worse. On one particular day, I noticed he had a couple dirty, scrunched up $100 dollar bills sticking out of his left, front pocket. Luckily for him, the other people in the park were also passed out or they would have immediately seen him as a convenient ATM.
On this day, he happened to wake up and was intelligible before the detox van arrived to take him to a detox facility where he would be fed, bathed and have his clothes washed before being released. In talking with this man who didn’t look like the others because he, as I mentioned, always had a suit on and was Hispanic rather than Native American, I learned that he was an attorney. He told me he had always been compared to his successful brother and was “never good enough” for his father. This man also shared with me that he was going through a divorce from his wife because he was gay (which is also why he was passed out drunk in Loring Park, (a well-known place for gay men to hook up).
My point in sharing this story is that I could have just called the detox van, waited with him in silence for the van to arrive and have him taken away to a detox facility. Or, I could have done what I did and talked to another human who needed someone to hear him and needed someone to care. That’s called “communication”. And as strange as it may sound to some of you, there is a lot of love in communication because it takes time, your time, and it takes patience. Your patience. It might be a pain in the neck to you, but to the other person, your time and your patience-and your attention-means everything. Your time and your attention, which is free by the way, means more to that person than the most expensive gift you could ever imagine giving them. Instead of immediately saying, “b.s.”, just take a second to think about it.
How many of you are married or in a relationship, but feel like the loneliest person in the world? That’s because you two don’t communicate. One of you, or both, never talk anymore. Then your feelings get hurt and instead of humbling yourself and doing whatever it takes to repair the relationship you’ve invested so much in, you give up. You give up and file for divorce or split up when all you really need to do is something incredibly simple called “communicate”.
Here are some magic words; “I’m sorry”.  Don’t stop there, though. “I’m sorry gets their attention. They may not act like it, but trust me, they’re listening. So keep going. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I have barely given you the time of day. I’m sorry for acting like I don’t have time for you. You’re the most important person in my life. You mean the world to me and I have not been treating you like you deserve to be treated. Will you please forgive me?” I know, this may be incredibly difficult to say and mean it because you’ve been hurt too. But someone has to make the first move.  And be prepared for rejection after the first and maybe even the 2nd or 3rd attempts at peace. But don’t give up. Don’t quit. They may lash out at you, but “hurting people hurt people”-especially those closest to them. I’m not a marriage expert and I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but I am good at reading people. I do understand people and that’s because I listen and the care I have for others is 100% genuine. And I am not trying to come across as some saint. At all, nor by any means. All I’m saying is that despite all our imperfections and strange quirks, I do care about people which is the main reason I chose the profession of a police officer.
Anyway, you get the idea. You know your partner, your husband, your wife. And please don’t ever say, “I don’t understand women (or men)”. Yes you do. You understand your partner, or you would-if you would simply listen to them. And RESPECT EACH OTHER. Honor each other. Listening is a major way of showing respect. Eye contact with your partner is crucial. If you’re messing around with your computer or phone or have the TV on when they are trying to talk to you, you are not showing respect because you’re not giving them your undivided attention. These are simple steps towards a successful truce, towards peace, towards the love that you still have for each other. These simple steps could save your relationship. Does your partner matter to you? If so, show them. Put your phone down or turn off the TV or computer for a few minutes. It’s not going to kill you, it’s going to save your relationship.
It all comes back to communication and the power of our words. A friend of mine once told me about an argument he had with a friend. He told me that during this argument, his friend uttered something so hurtful it permanently ended their friendship. Then what he told me next has never left me. He said something very simple, but very true. He said, “You can’t put toothpaste back in a tube”. In other words, he was talking about our words. Once you say something to someone, you can’t take it back. It will stay with them forever, whether it’s something powerful and uplifting or something extremely painful and destructive.
So think about this; no matter what your position is or where you’re at, whether you’re at work talking to a co-worker or to one of your employees, or even the boss. Maybe it’s your own child who might be struggling with school or you’re in your car stopped at a corner and there’s a person standing there, holding a sign. It could be anyone anywhere. You can speak life and ignite a spark in that person or you can speak death and pour water over a fire that was on the verge of going out or being re-kindled. Just remember how powerful your words are and how they can change the course of a person’s life which could then change the course of history.
That is the power in our words.

Self Medicate to Self Preservate

Yes, I just made up a word.

I know a lot of people who self-medicate and I know why they do it. They do it for self-preservation. I believe most of society does this in various forms. The problem is some forms are more acceptable than others. This isn’t fair, but society’s rules are never fair. Ever.

So how do people self-medicate? Drinking, pills, sex, working out way too often, not working out enough-or at all, eating too much, eating too little, pornography, and on and on. Drinking, of course, is the most acceptable, but you have to hold your liquor well or people will know you’re an alcoholic. Being overweight is becoming increasingly acceptable, but morbid obesity probably never will be. Do you know a lot of people over eat to mask their own pain? Many who are morbidly obese have been molested as children or have thyroid problems, yet I have heard such cruel remarks come from people who immediately cast judgment without a second thought. Here’s a suggestion; don’t.

Question is, why do we self-medicate? We self-medicate because life is incredibly difficult. Life is filled with pain; painful memories, painful incidents, occurrences, betrayals by so-called friends, betrayals by people who claim they “want to help you”, but really all they want is to use you. They suck you dry, then toss you to the side of the road because they got from you what they needed. Now you no longer matter. Life is painful because there’s never enough money. Why do some of us always have to worry when we’ll get another assignment so we can get paid? Why do we always have to live in this kind of fear while people in Hollywood get paid millions to pretend to be poor?  Then just because we see them on TV or in movies, our brilliant society thinks these millionaire pretenders are some sort of gods. Well they’re not. They’re just like us; they self-medicate too. The only difference is they make a shit-load of money and most of us don’t, but we don’t get paid to pretend either. So for all of you pretenders out there who aren’t lucky enough to be an actor, stop wasting your time pretending. You’re not getting paid for it and people can see right through your act anyway. Relax and just be you for free.

People self-medicate to mask their pain the best they can. Can you blame them? I try not to cast judgment on those who do this because I truly believe most people do. Are we all guilty of something or are we all just doing the best we can to handle this thing called life? I may sound like I’m casting judgment on those in Hollywood, but I do resent that they get to pretend to be poor when they’re really not. They get to pretend to be a cop when they, in real life, could never do that job. They get to pretend to be whatever they want and they get paid for it. That is incredibly unfair. Do I sound a bit frustrated? I am and I have the right to be. I am human, I am a broke human and I’m one of those people who is afraid right now of where my next dollar is going to come from. Does anyone else feel me? I know you do. I may get criticized for this, but oh well.  I get unfriended or people unfollow me because how dare I say something they don’t like? How dare I be human?

Lets give people-and ourselves-some much-needed mercy. Why is society so mean, so cruel? So judgmental? What is with people these days? There’s a place in Denver called Cherry Creek. Whenever I walk through there, everyone always looks so incredibly angry. People honk if you don’t drive when the light turns green like you’ve just had the Indy-500 flag wave “Go!” Calm the hell down, people. You’ll get there when you get there.

We live in an angry, mean world. Yes, there are still some nice people out there, but they are difficult to find. I love nice people. I love kind, compassionate people and thankfully, I am connected with many of you. Yes, I am frustrated today for many reasons. I am fighting a battle right now and as always, I’m fighting it alone. So just let me voice my frustrations without casting judgment. I like to write for therapeutic reasons. It helps, so let me help myself in a healthy way. I’m not drinking, not overeating or under eating, not taking pills and not working out too much. I’m just sitting here, writing. I’ll get through this, just as all of you will who are fighting battles of your own. Lets stay strong together. As they say, whoever “they” are, this too shall pass.

By the way, I have “self medicated” by having one too many drinks on occasion. I think we all have. Just for the record. And, I was not drinking when I wrote this so if you hate it I have no excuse. And I should also add things like marijuana for self medication especially here in Colorado. Absolutely cannot stand the smell or affect of it on myself, however. I can’t think of any others, but people self-medicate in a variety of ways. No judgment here people.

Arming Teachers. Not A Good Idea.

A while ago, I was forced to engage and kill an active shooter hell-bent on taking as many lives possible in as short a time as possible.

Yesterday, I was interviewed by the people from the HBO documentary series “VICE”. They were asking me specifically about whether we should arm teachers or not. I cringe at the very thought.

Teachers are a profession, as are police officers. Are you a teacher or are you a cop? Sorry, but you can’t be both. When you put on your uniform and your duty belt, you are, or should be, in full cop mode. Full cop mode means you are willing to do whatever it takes to protect and serve the public. It’s the oath you take when you become a police officer. But it’s most certainly not the oath you take when you become a teacher.

I know the teachers who want to be armed mean well, but you have no idea what you are asking for. If you’re a former police officer who is now teaching, go for it. But if you are a teacher and always have been a teacher, hang on to your chalk and leave the gun to the professionals. I appreciate your well-meaning attitudes, but I also want you to know you have NO IDEA what you are asking for.

When I was a Minneapolis Police Officer, I was called-many times-to schools where teachers were being assaulted by students. What if a very angry, large student overpowers an armed teacher, takes their gun and kills as many people in that classroom as he can? Ever think about that?

I believe our President means well, but he is being misled. I would love to meet with President Trump and speak reality with him. Instead, he’s being filled with information from people who are advising him without having had the proper police training or experience.

Very few are called to be police officers. We run towards the danger while others run away. What on earth makes people think a teacher can suddenly change from the mode of administering a biology test to engaging an active shooter?

Put more school resource officers in schools. These are trained, armed, uniformed police officers. But leave the teachers alone and let them do their jobs to teach. This request, this idea, is unfair to both teachers and students.

I was a trained professional police officer. One of the first questions asked of me during the hiring process is “could you take a life if need be? “My answer, without hesitation, was “without question”.

Do you think ending another human being’s life is easy? It’s not. Do you know how many cops quit their jobs after having to kill someone? Some quit even after having had to just shoot a person and that person did not die. It’s incredibly, incredibly difficult to be forced to end another human life. This is not a game, people. So you who want a pink gun or shoot at zombie targets, do think this is a game? It’s not. I did not rejoice when I killed the gunman in my incident.  I was a well-trained police officer who did my job. I am no “hero”. I just did my job. Ending another human’s life is not a joke. It’s real. It’s ugly and it will stick with you for the rest of your life.

We need to take this issue far more seriously. Put more  trained police officers in schools and let teachers teach. But don’t arm teachers. It’s not their calling, it’s not their job.

The Lesson in Lack

This story has a happy ending.

I have never struggled financially like I am now. While this has been incredibly stressful, this experience has also been very eye-opening.

I used to have a nice, steady income. Never kept my money to myself, though. I have always contributed to people who needed it. I did this gladly. I care about people and am genuinely happy to help. When I see a person in need, there’s not a better feeling than fulfilling that need and seeing the sincere gratitude on that person’s face.

But until now, I have never truly understood what it meant to be in lack. I’ve never not been able to make ends meet and pay all my bills. I’ve never had creditors after me, calling me every day, all day. If I had the money, I’d pay you. I’ve called. I’ve explained this. Yet they think that their harassing phone calls are somehow going to make my job pay me more and I’ll pay them in return. They make me feel like some kind of dirtbag criminal. I’m doing the best I can. And if you’re judging me right now, don’t. I never thought this would happen to  me, either.

Now when I watch movies (the free ones), I notice the ones in particular where people work hard at low-paying jobs and live in cities in nasty apartments or broken down homes, driving shite cars or having to take the bus. I notice that here where I live as well. I never used to. Not as much anyway. I saw it, but I never contemplated it. Why would I? It wasn’t my life. I never once thought I was better than these people either, but again, I never thought I’d be in a somewhat similar situation. I don’t live in a run-down home or apartment and I’m not on the street and still have my car, but my eyes-and heart-have definitely been opened to an entirely new world. A world that I hope is just a temporary visit. God in heaven, please let this only be temporary.

It’s not like I blew all my money on drugs, alcohol or gambling. I didn’t. I just ran out of savings and didn’t work a “real” job while I suffered through a time of off-the chart depression. When a person is that deeply depressed, you don’t want to be around people. You can’t be around people.

I did work, but it’s been on a very large-scale project that will change our nation in a very positive way. Shake your head in doubt all you want, but I guarantee you, it will. But projects don’t make a person money until they are believed in by another person or people with a whole lot of money and a whole lot more money than I have. Luckily for me, I found this group of people and things are finally moving along in the right direction. My sacrifice will be a salvation for our country. I say that not in a boastful way by any means. I say it simply as a matter of fact.

When I see TV programs where people are buying their 2nd vacation home, it reminds me  instantly how much my heart aches just to own ONE home. I grew up in a massive home. My parents were not snobs by any means, but they taught me, “Jeanne, you get what you pay for”, so I was brought up believing that you buy the best of everything. Honestly, we do get what we pay for. You buy quality things and they last longer. You buy cheap things and cheap things break faster and wear out faster. Obviously, this is not a choice for many of us, including me now.

I have always wanted to be a philanthropist. I’m a bit of a loner now (ever since the shooting), but I deeply care about people and love them no matter what they look like, the color of their skin, political beliefs, where they came from, whatever. I just care about life in all forms. Now that I am experiencing this tremendous lack in finances and my eyes have truly been opened to the stresses of not being able to buy groceries, fuel for my car, and get some of my bills paid, I want to be that philanthropist now more than ever. And I promise you, I will be. I know the bible says there will “always be poor amongst us”, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit by and let that happen. People with great wealth could be doing something about it right now. There are shows on TV about lifestyles of the most wealthy people on the planet. They have fleets of vehicles that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. They have gold toilets, Carrara marble staircases, chandeliers that cost hundreds of thousands, etc. Why? To impress the “Jones”?  Who are the Jones, anyway? And what do these people think when they drive by the slums or see people pushing carts on the streets? They don’t think. They are on their way to lunch and therefore most don’t ever even consider the rumbling stomachs of those in need.

I didn’t ask to be in the position I’m in now, nor did I do a single thing to deserve it-despite the false reports some of you may have read about me. I did my job as a police officer and saved several thousand lives from an active shooter. False reports about me and insecure people who choose to believe those lies rather than get the truth from me first hand are the reason I don’t have a great job back in law enforcement where I belong. But I had to move on. I had to pick  myself up and keep moving forward. Do you put a bullet in your skull and quit or do you acknowledge the integrity and the greatness that God has placed on the inside of you and keep moving forward in faith that one day YOUR justice will finally show up? But will it ever? I ask God that question every, single day. But I must believe it deep down or I wouldn’t keep getting up early every day, work out, and go to this job that brings in at least some income. I like the people there, I get to work solo, which I like, and I am not stuck in some closed-in cubicle. But listen, I didn’t get my master’s degree to do mindless work. God gave me a fantastic, creative brain (in my humble opinion) and I love using it to improve on every situation I see. I’m thankful I’m alive. I’m thankful for the things I do still have. I’m thankful for the decent people in my life who have helped me when I was in a huge bind, and I’m thankful that I still have that glimmer of hope that tells me my time is coming.

For all of you who are struggling right now with finances, with relationships, job search, health-whatever, hang on. Hang in there. Quitting gets you nowhere. Quitting doesn’t pay the bills you can pay. Quitting means you don’t get to see the great pet you have anymore who loves you unconditionally or the kids you may have, the amazing sunrises and sunsets, the leaves changing in the Fall, those beautiful Winter snowfalls that make your heart sing. And quitting means failure wins. And none of us is truly a failure. We were all born to win. Hang on to that last strand of hope and hang on to it tightly. Speak positive things over yourself and ignore the negatives, including negative people, that may seem to surround you. I’m telling you, you got this and I’m with you, cheering you on. And when my time does come-and it will soon-I will do whatever I can to make your world a better place too. You have my word on that. The End.