Most of my readers know I live in Florida. I love so much about the state. Of course, there’s the sunshine. The heat—yes, I love 90-degree weather! I adore the trees, the birds, and the gorgeous lizards. The blue skies. The cloud formations, the sunsets, and the beaches. There’s a great deal to appreciate.
But there is also a lot about Florida that brings me pain. One is our legislators’ continued efforts to ease restrictions on firearms possession.
On Thursday, just one day after the school shooting in Nashville, TN, Florida legislators passed a bill that will allow people to carry concealed, loaded weapons without having to get a permit. NO PERMIT. (Permits are currently required, but this bill scraps that requirement.) On April 3, Governor DeSantis signed the legislation into law.
While Florida is a state that prides itself on the freedoms it allows its citizens—like the freedom to walk into a supermarket or a movie theater or restaurant with a gun in your jacket pocket or bag—our legislators sure have been extra busy limiting the freedoms of teachers, librarians, administrators, and students–often the most vulnerable of students.
There is the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation of 2022, which is being expanded upon as I write this, the “Stop W.O.K.E. ACT” . There’s also the recent Florida ban on the AP African American Studies course and the new mission to overhaul Florida state colleges and universities.
I Want to Tell EVERYBODY about Grace Linn!
Books are being banned in public schools all over Florida, a move that both saddens and terrifies me, a move that is itself based in anger and fear.
But why am I writing all this in my blog—a blog that celebrates women over 50 and all the wonderful things we can do?
Because of Grace Linn.
Grace Linn, a Martin County, Florida resident. A 100-year-old Martin County, Florida resident.
I want to tell EVERYBODY about Grace Linn!
On March 22, Grace Linn attended a local school board meeting where discussion revolved around the banning of books. Ms. Linn has her opinions about the topic—and she made it her business to share them.
Not only did she create a beautiful quilt displaying books that have either been targeted or already banned, she spoke up and out.
Here is some of what Grace Linn had to say at the meeting:
” ‘I was born the year after women got the right to vote. My first husband was killed in action in World War II. He died for freedom. Freedom is so important.
‘One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the freedom to read the books that they banned. History will repeat itself if you don’t know history. History needs to be told, and everyone needs to know what went on in the past.
‘Banning books and burning books are the same. Both are done for the same reason — fear of knowledge.’”
Fear of knowledge. Is that what we have become? A state, a country, that fears knowledge, that fears the lessons of the past?
I worry about our future, about our children and their children.
But I am also hopeful—and oh, so grateful for people like Grace Linn, who use their talents and their voices to speak truth to power.
Women over 50. We are a powerful group. We have lived history—and learned from it, and we can make an impact, do our share to make this world a better place.
Here are some resources to guide you. And if you have others, please share them with me in an email or a comment.
And here are some organizations working tirelessly for stricter gun legislation:
Let’s be like Grace Linn, an example for us all.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please write a comment or send me an email.
See you soon!
For one-on-one support in uncovering your voice on the page, please consider working with me! I’d love to join you on your journey!
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