Michael Szostak

There is no going back once the trigger is pulled

Given the flaws that exist in our prevention systems, we need to reduce the danger that guns pose

Many gun advocates say, “Guns don't kill; it's people who kill people.” They say that the problem with an epidemic of mass shootings in this country is a mental health issue, and that is not a reason to restrict gun ownership.

If we are being honest with ourselves, as a human being with some flaws that most of us have, at times we make bad decisions. In retrospect, we regret what we did and sometimes beat ourselves up for what we did. We sometimes can recover by offering a sincere apology and changing our behavior going forward. Life goes on and hopefully we learn something that will help us do better.

Guns, especially those that fire multiple shots quickly, can and do result in a devastating destruction of human life. There is no going back once the trigger is pulled. Apologies don't work. Life does go on, but the scars that loved ones suffer alter their lives forever and another child or adult does not get to live out their life.

Most of us would probably not resort to shooting someone, even under duress. But as flawed human beings that we all are, we do not know for sure what would happen if we were pushed to the edge of our tolerance.

Read More

Coffey: Accomplishments have exceeded expectations

In 2018, I decided to actively support Sara Coffey in her run for office. I did not know Sara well, but I initially liked her as a person and found common ground in her stated values, her priorities, and her willingness to seriously consider differing views. Admittedly, my support...

Read More

BUHS in leadership hands that can create possibilities for change

Most of us have been taught that leadership means top-down-rule, with one person, often a man, at the top of a pyramid-type organizational structure. When that structure does not exist, it is understandable that some people become uncomfortable and insecure. Another structure for leadership of an organization is a...

Read More


For many people in our nation, we’ve never had a democracy

What happened recently at our nation's Capitol is being commonly described as an assault on our democracy. But that characterization sounds as if it's something new and it fails to recognize the assaults that have been occurring in our country since its founding. Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), other historically marginalized people, and those of lower income have been and are continuously assaulted. Sometimes these assaults have been physical, but other times they've been in the form of systemic...

Read More

Lawmakers, stop the bleeding by taking action against guns

Most sensible people realize that when someone is seriously wounded, you must stop the bleeding before dealing with the actual cause of the wound, or else the victim is likely to die. As recently occurred in Florida, the blood of our children is being shed while we adults debate the causes and prevention strategies. Improved background checks, competency and mental-health requirements, school-safety drills, family-unit revitalization, and spiritual renewal are all worth considering, but we've been studying this issue since Columbine...

Read More

A restorative approach in action

On Nov. 13, approximately 50 people gathered at Brattleboro Union High School, forming a circle of understanding to address: “How are you personally affected by substance abuse in our community?” This circle, which I had the pleasure of facilitating, was conceived and sponsored by the Brattleboro Restorative Justice Consortium, composed of representatives from Youth Services, the Brattleboro Community Justice Center, Brattleboro Union High School Restorative Justice Program, the Just Schools Project, and the Bellows Falls Community Restorative Justice Program. This...

Read More