Well hello. I’m Doug Jackson, founding attorney of the Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson. We’re back again with our fourth monthly newsletter.
Like before, and like every time here to come, I’ve written a letter to you, my friends of the firm, that I want to read to you. This month, a lot has happened, both within the firm and in America. I will warn you in advance, this one is probably more raw and real than my previous letters. Here we go.
Dear Friends of the Firm,
Much has happened since I’ve written you last. We celebrated Mother’s Day. Stacey Bechtel, our firm’s Case Manager, celebrated her three year anniversary with the firm. David Hines, a former law clerk and alumni of the firm graduated from Stetson University College of Law. We began our internship series and welcome Pamela Watt as a new Legal Intern with the firm and Virginia Sanchez as a New Legal Assistant Intern with the Firm. We remember those who sacrificed all for our freedoms on Memorial Day. We’ll get to all of these things, but first we must discuss what I believe is the most pressing issue of the month, and that’s the 27th school shooting of the year in America, which happened in Robb Elementary School.
Usually, I’d suggest we take a moment of silence. Yet, time after time, I’ve seen that thoughts and prayers and moments of silence don’t stop this from happening again, and again. This time, instead of a moment of silence, I’m demanding a moment of action.
We all agree that we cannot accept or tolerate the massacre of our American children in schools. Whether you just think that doors need to be locked or you think guns need to be abolished completely, we can all agree that something must be done. For years, I’ve seen banter back and forth and deflection. I’ve seen people only able to accept the extremes without compromise. For too long, I’ve seen people identify first as right versus left of Democrat versus Republican. Let me be very blunt, if you identify as either first you are wrong. We are Americans first, dammit! Forgive my language, but I’m just dumbfounded by how stupid we look as Americans when so many of us forget that and put our party over our country. Conversations start with I’m a Republican or I’m a Democrat, and if the other person isn’t, we won’t even consider what they have to say, much less compromise. Well, I’m a red-blooded American, dammit, and so are you. Start acting like it.
Have we become so weak that we can’t even consider compromise because someone identifies as another party? Really? Have we sunk that far? Are we such losers that just because some statistic that we read somewhere says that another country has more mass shooting than us, someone we believe that means that we don’t have to take measures to improve our own standings. It certainly looks and sounds that way to me, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think we’ve forgotten that we’re Americans first and foremost. We’re winners, and it’s time that we start acting like it.
It’s time that we stop deflecting and using copout arguments; instead, it’s time that we tack action. I don’t care if some statistic you read somewhere says we have the least school shootings of any country (by the way, it doesn’t, we have by far the most school shootings in 2022), we should still want to improve. To me, one American student who died in school from gunfire is too many. We need to keep taking narrowly tailored steps forward, until we have solved this problem. Note, I said “narrowly tailored,” and that’s because I believe that we, as Americans are strong enough to compromise. We won’t just settle for the ideal political policy of our respective parties because we know that our ideal as Americans is to absolutely protect the lives of our American children while in school. It’s time to take action—all of us.
What can we do, you ask. Pick up a pen and paper and write your Congressperson. Demand as much as you possibly can. If all you can do is demand that we enact legislation to lock doors, demand it. It’s weak on your part as we can do more than just locking doors and it’s foolish to think that a mere locked door would have stopped all 27 school shootings that have occurred already this year, but if it’s all you can do, at least it’s something. Do it. If you think we need tighter background checks, demand that the Senate pass H.R. 8. If you think we need more mental health assistance in this country demand that the legislature enact legislation for it. If you want to go further, like banning AR-15s for those under 21 years of age, do it. Even if you believe all guns should be made illegal, demand it. We don’t have to agree with all of these to know that it’s time to get the discussion started. It’s time to start putting pressure on our congresspeople to do something. To take some action. We generally want our laws to be narrowly tailored to both solve the problem but protect as much as our freedom as possible, but the only way to do that is to demand something, so that our congresspeople have to come to the table to compromise. I don’t necessarily believe that we erode our Second Amendment, but in law, sometimes we have to make strong demands to get the parties to come to the table. It has gotten to the point where even for those that believe guns should be abolished completely, they should write that letter, just to get the parties to the table. For the rest, compromise to a narrowly tailored solution and send off that letter to your congressperson. Something must be done, and as Americans first and foremost, we don’t allow inaction; we act to protect our countrymen, especially our American children in our schools. They are the future of this great nation. It’s our duty to them to compromise. When we only operate in extremes, the pendulum only swings extremely. By compromising, and agreeing, we protect both our American children for school shootings and we protect our country from the extreme swings of the pendulum that disrupt the balance of our great nation.
The incidents of Robb Elementary couldn’t be glossed over in this letter, nor should they be glossed over. Neither can our duty as Americans first and foremost to demand some, any, solution from our congresspeople. Please, do not forget to write to your Congressperson, demanding any solution you believe is necessary, as our demands, regardless of our proposed solution, must be made in mass to get our representatives to the table to compromise on a real solution.
Now that we have stressed the importance of each of our ability to act, and I trust that you will, I’ll move on and discuss the exciting news that has happened in the firm and in our world.
Earlier this month, we celebrated Mother’s Day. That’s a very special day, and none of us would be here without our mothers. I specifically wished my mom, Connie Jackson, a very special Mother’s Day because this firm would not exist without her great parenting and support.
Additionally, my alma mater, Stetson University College of Law, which is in ranked in the top 5 for both trial advocacy and research and writing, held its graduation ceremony earlier this month. David Hines, a former law clerk of our firm, graduated with his Juris Doctor. He will be sitting for the bar examination and hoping to join us as a member of the Florida Bar.
We are very excited to announce that we have begun our internship program. We welcome Pamela Watt as our first Legal Intern and welcome Virginia Sanchez as our first Legal Assistant Intern. Pamela is enrolled in Stetson University College of Law and will be assisting the attorneys with work this summer. Virginia just graduated the University of Southern Florida and will be assisting the firm’s support staff this summer. We are very excited to have both of them as interns and know that they will help to forge the new internship program tremendously.
Also this month, Stacey Bechtel, the firm’s Case Manager and first employee to join myself in this firm, celebrated 3 years this month working with this firm. She has assisted the firm significantly during this period and I don’t think we’d even exist today without her hard work over the last three years.
Finally, we remember those who sacrificed all for our freedoms on this Memorial Day. We cannot thank them enough for their sacrifices, and we remember the families of those brave Patriots.
Although the newsletter will only go out about monthly, the life and spirit of the Firm don’t stop in-between newsletters. Therefore, we believe it is only fair to keep updated on Social Media and by creating website content, such as informative articles (blogs) to keep you updated in the interim. Essentially, the newsletter will be somewhat of a highlight reel, so that you can tune into anything that you missed if you don’t want to keep up in real-time.
We are very excited about our expectations for 2022. We hope for some big things for the firm and some big things to help you.
Remember, get your legal action at the Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson.