Posts Tagged ‘Texas Federation of Republican Women’

September News & Committee Reports

September 21, 2014
Konni Burton, Republican Candidate for Senate District 10

Konni Burton, Republican Candidate for Senate District 10

On Wednesday, September 24th, Fort Worth Republican Women will have guest speaker, Konni Burton, Republican candidate for Senate District 10.  Konni is a Texas native born in the small town of Kerrville.  She earned a BBA in Marketing from North Texas University, and met her husband Phil while completing her degree.  After working for Olmstead-Kirk Paper Co., she became a small business owner and then later chose to stay home to raise the Burtons’ children.  She has been actively involved in her church community as well as grass-roots politics, helping to make Tarrant County a better place to live.  Come and hear about her plans to address issues such as the Texas budget and economy, immigration, education, Obamacare, and more so you can spread the word to take back Senate District 10!

Social – 11:00am Program – 11:30am; Location – Fort Worth Club, 306 7th St., 12th Floor. Valet parking is available for a $5 charge.

Paul Ryan's Book CoverMake your luncheon reservation NOW and DOUBLE your chances to receive a fabulous door prize! FWRW Past President and Member Services Chair, Sharon Dale has graciously donated an autographed copy of Paul Ryan’s latest book, “The Way Forward” as a door prize at our September meeting. What a fabulous door prize for yourself, or as a gift for a special someone in your life!  In order to receive TWO TICKETS for a chance to receive this autographed book, you must make your reservation before noon on Monday, September 22! Why wait? Make your reservation NOW!  (Must be present to win.)

To make a luncheon reservation ($25 with reservation, $27 without), RSVP by noon on Monday, September 22, 2014 to Helen Bavousett at 817-516-0704 or  If you are not having lunch, no reservation is necessary. Those who RSVP but do not attend will be billed for their reservation cost. (Please do not RSVP using the Comment/Reply section below.)
Red Star
Judge Bonnie Sudderth, President of Fort Worth Republican Women

Judge Bonnie Sudderth, President of Fort Worth Republican Women


On September 11, 2014, one of America’s most precious and fundamental rights came under attack. The threat did not come from foreign enemies or outside forces. Instead, it came from inside a chamber of our own federal government – the Senate of the United States.

On September 11, 2014, fifty-four Democrats voted in favor of considering SJR 19, a proposed Constitutional Amendment which, if passed, would give Congress the right to determine who among us is permitted to exercise free speech and who is not.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  Last week, 54 U.S. Senate Democrats voted to take away our First Amendment rights to free speech and to give our national government – Congress, in particular – the power to regulate and suppress political speech as they see fit.

The most frightening aspect of this was just how close the Senate came to passing this resolution. After all, 54 votes does constitute a majority of the 100-person Senate body. Fortunately, despite the fact that the Democrat majority supported the proposal, our precious freedom of speech was preserved because the proposal fell short of receiving the 60 votes necessary to end debate. In other words, our fundamental, 225-year old First Amendment right to free speech was protected, not by a majority of the elected Senators (all of whom took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution), but by a procedural device known as “cloture.”

On September 11, 2014, not one single Republican voted to give the government the power to silence its citizens. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the Republicans in the U.S. Senate who thwarted this attack on our Bill of Rights.

I am a Republican because Republicans support freedom of speech.

Bonnie Sudderth

Red Star

Denton invite

Red Star

 Fort Worth Republican Women Proudly Support: 

Greg Abbott, Candidate for Governor of Texas

Dan Patrick, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas

Ken Paxton, Candidate for Texas Attorney General

Glenn Hegar, Candidate for State Comptroller

Sid Miller, Candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner

George P. Bush, Candidate for Texas Land Commissioner

Ryan Sitton, Candidate for Texas Railroad Commissioner

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Texas Supreme Court

Justice Jeff Brown, Texas Supreme Court, Place 6

Justice Jeff Boyd, Texas Supreme Court, Place 7

Judge Bert Richardson, Candidate for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3

District 11 State Board of Education Member Patricia “Pat” Hardy

District 9 State Senator Kelly Hancock

Konni Burton, Candidate for Senate District 10

District 91 State Representative Stephanie Klick

District 92 State Representative Jonathan Stickland

Tony Tinderholt, Candidate for State Representative District 94

Albert McDaniel, Candidate for State Representative District 95

David Hagerman, Candidate for 297th District Court Judge

Carey Walker, Candidate for Judge of County Criminal Court No. 2

Tarrant County District Clerk Tom Wilder

Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen

Tarrant County Commissioner J.D. Johnson

Justice of the Peace Ralph Swearingin

Justice of the Peace Mary Tom Cravens Curnutt

Cheryl Surber, Candidate for Justice of the Peace

Justice of the Peace Matt Hayes

Election Day – November 4

Early Voting Begins on October 20

Red Star


This month the Fort Worth Republican Women share what we believe.  For those of you who may not understand why a person, especially a woman, would be a Republican, we hope that you will reflect upon our statement below with an open mind. We are confident that if you do, you will see that Republican issues are women’s issues.  Perhaps you are more of a Republican than you realize!

For Americans to succeed, American businesses must succeed.

Government should not waste our taxpayer money.

Government should protect our rights, not limit or violate them.

We shouldn’t pass on a national debt to our children to pay.

The federal government should have a budget and live within it.

Citizens should be accountable for choices they make.

Likewise, government should be accountable to its citizens.

To become a member of the Fort Worth Republican Women, please visit our website HERE.

Red Star


On Saturday, September 6, Dr. Tim Daughtry provided our local Republican women’s clubs with practical strategies to get off the defensive when dealing with liberal strategy and tactics and to restore the Judeo-Christian foundation of our culture.  Attendees gained valuable tactics to help persuade undecided voters and to help KEEP TEXAS RED!

Fort Worth Republican Women had the following members in attendance and a great experience was had by all!

Brooke Allen

Pam Bassel

Helen Bavousett

Debra Coffey

Betty Diano

Cynthia Favila-Terry

Barbara Harris

Traci Hutton

Leza Kerr

Judy Laing

Debbie McDaniels

Paula Miller

Kaye Moreno

 Bonnie Sudderth

Red Star

SAVE THE DATE for Senator Jane Nelson’s Annual 40th Birthday Party!

On Thursday, October 9, from 6pm to 8pm, the annual celebration of Jane Nelson’s birthday will take place at

Circle R Ranch
5901 Cross Timbers Road
Flower Mound 75022  

For more information, click HERE.

Red Star

This year, Judge Daryl Coffey, of Tarrant County Criminal Court 8, will retire.  The Fort Worth Republican Women thank him for 24 years of service to the bench and to the Republican Party.  Through his service, Judge Coffey has helped make Texas a better place, and for that, we are thankful.

Daryl  headshot courthouse articleJudge Daryl Coffey was born and raised in southeastern Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1978 from Western Kentucky University.  In 1981, he graduated from the University of Louisville with his Juris Doctorate. Raised in the 6th Congressional District of Kentucky, Judge Coffey brought his conservative Republican values with him when he moved to Texas in 1982.  He wasted no time finding a way to contribute his talents.

Judge Coffey is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Kentucky Bar Association. Prior to being elected a judge, he served as a private practice attorney (civil and criminal), an Assistant District Attorney, and Special Prosecutor for the 8th Administrative Judicial Region. Judge Coffey was elected to the Bench of Tarrant County Criminal Court 8 in 1990.

Since taking the bench, he has disposed of more than 75,000 A/B misdemeanors and has participated in more than 700 jury trials to conclusion. Ninety percent (90%) of these cases involved allegations of DWI.  Judge Coffey is one of the few active judicial members of the International Association of Chemical Testing and the American Academy of Forensic Science and has twice been selected to be the guest jurist at the Masters of Scientific Evidence DWI Seminar.  His actions on and off the bench express his strong conservative attitude.

Judge Coffey has been an active associate member of Fort Worth Republican Women for over 20 years, and he has enjoyed memberships in other Tarrant County Republican Clubs such as the Lincoln Council and the Tarrant Republican Party. He has worked for and assisted with numerous local, state and national campaigns, walking neighborhoods, writing letters, donating money and making phone calls, as well as hosting numerous events and candidates in his home.  Judge Coffey has been a frequent Republican Club speaker on conservation conservatism and Republican Values.

Judge Daryl Coffey and Wife, Debra Coffey

Judge Daryl Coffey and Wife, Debra Coffey

When he is not serving the Republican Party or the people of Tarrant County, he enjoys hobbies reflecting his love for the outdoors and trees, such as tree farming, forestry management, land management and construction.  He has a unique ability to name the genre and species of trees on sight.  He has won numerous awards nationally for forestry, conservation and wildlife management.

Judge Coffey will miss the bench, and appreciates all the support Republican Women have provided him through the many years he has had the honor and pleasure to serve.  His retirement plans include sitting as a visiting, spending days at his Ranch “The Coffey Grounds”, in Central Texas, welding and killing Rattlesnakes, or timbering in the cooler temperatures in Colorado.

Judge Coffey’s wife is Debra Coffey, former Board Member of the Fort Worth Republican Women, and current First Vice-President of the Texas Federation of Republican Women.  The Coffeys have two Republican grown children, Amanda and Grant, who reside in Austin.

Red Star


Debra McDaniels represented the club at the Ft. Worth Gun Show August 23rd.  She also handed out 35 voter registration packets to members at the August luncheon.  These packets included mail in registration forms, application to vote by mail forms, photo ID flyer and club membership cards to be distributed to friends and family as needed.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Pantego Fest – Sept 26-28th.  The Republican Party of Texas has secured a booth and we are partnering with them to woman it and assist with voter registration.  We need volunteers to help during the hours of the festival as follows:

Friday, September 26th 6 – 10pm

Saturday, September 27th 9am – 10pm

Sunday, September 28th 12pm – 6pm

This will be fun and you will have an opportunity to meet area candidates!!

  • Elephants in the Park – FWRW Family Park Day and Voter Registration Drive!  This is a great opportunity to have a day out with the families of the Fort Worth Republican Women and is sure to be a great time!
Date:  October 5, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Oakmont Park Trailhead – Trinity Trails
Bellaire Drive S. (Castle Creek Dr.) Fort Worth, Texas 76132
(Look for the signs)
Snacks and Drinks will be provided on a first come basis.  Special thanks to Brooke Allen for leading this family-oriented event and for involving FWRW members and mothers Patricia Cole, Anna Gill, Dinah Rowland, and Cynthia Terry.  
Please contact Debbie McDaniels for more information!

Red Star


Election day is fast approaching and all eyes are on Texas.  Help send the entire nation a message that Wendy does not speak for us!  Please take advantage of the following opportunities to do your part to help Keep Texas Red:

  • PHONE BANK VOLUNTEERS – Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, there is a phone banking opportunity at party headquarters at 2405 Gravel Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76118 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The center needs to place 3500 calls a week so everyone’s help is needed.  For questions, please call the Tarrant County Republican Party Headquarters at 817-595-0303
  • REPUBLICAN WOMEN PHONE BANKING FRIDAY – Friday, August 29, 10am – 2pm.  Tarrant County Victory and TCGOP invite the Republican ladies of Tarrant County for lunch, tea, and phone banking.
Report to Tarrant County Republican Party Headquarters for each of these opportunities!
2405 Gravel Drive, Fort Worth, 76118

For more information or to RSVP for any of these events above, please contact Ann-Marie Craig at 817-372-7761 or

Red Star


38 BFFs Host Board

Welcome to our latest BFFs:



Terry Terry Law, PLLC

For information on how you can become a BFF to the Fort Worth Republican Women, contact Jan Brefczynski at

February News and Committee Reports

February 23, 2014

February Program Reminder:

Todd StaplesSenator Dan PatrickLieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was our speaker at last month’s candidate forum luncheon.  Come and meet your other candidates for Lieutenant Governor on February 26th!  Senator Dan Patrick of Houston and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples will join us at the February 26th candidate forum luncheon. (Land Commissioner Jerry Paterson has also been invited to attend our February luncheon.)

432nd District Court candidates Judge Ruben Gonzales and Steve Gebhardt will also be in attendance as well as the candidates for 231st District Court, Judge Jesse Nevarez and John Clark. The primaries are upon us, so come and get to know your candidates!

Social – 11:00am; Program – 11:30am; Location – Fort Worth Club, 306 7th St., 12th Floor.

To make a luncheon reservation ($25 with reservation, $27 without), RSVP by noon on Monday, February 24th to Helen Bavousett at 817-516-0704 or  If you are not having lunch, no reservation is necessary. Those who RSVP but do not attend will be billed for their reservation cost.
(Please do not RSVP using the Comment/Reply section below.)
Red StarPresident’s Message
Judge Bonnie Sudderth, President of Fort Worth Republican Women

Judge Bonnie Sudderth, President of Fort Worth Republican Women

To view February’s President’s Message, click HERE.
 Red Star

Why am I a Republican?

In case you missed it last month, in 2014 our monthly newsletter will feature a guest post from a Republican woman who would like to spread her message as to why she is a Republican. We hope that in reading these posts, you will be renewed in your beliefs.  For those of you who may not understand why a person, especially a woman, would be a Republican, we hope that you will follow these posts with an open mind. We are confident that if you do, you will see that Republican issues are women’s issues.   Meet Susie Tonymon, who has been a member of FWRW since 1990!  Enjoy!

Susie Tonymon

Susie Tonymon

Let me tell you in very simple terms why I am a Republican and how I arrived at this determination in my life.

My parents emigrated from China in the early 1900s and settled in southeast Arkansas leaving behind poverty, warlords, bandits, political upheavals, and lack of opportunities for a better life. But upon reaching these shores, they discovered they were denied an opportunity to become citizens because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Therefore, they could not vote and because of that, I was not exposed to party affiliation in general and voting in particular. It was not until 1943 when that restriction was lifted because China was an ally during World War II. There was not much enthusiasm in my family about the electoral process until my father applied and received his citizenship shortly thereafter.

So, what to do? You work hard to achieve your goals; you assimilate where you are planted; you take care of your own; you live within your means; you guide and inspire your children to do their best; you show by example your care and compassion; you stress the value of an education. That’s what my parents did amid the circumstances of a segregated south where the Democratic party held reign until Winthrop Rockefeller became the first Republican governor of Arkansas in 1966.

As I look back over the years, I can see where my political philosophy began to take hold. Here are a few insights.

Governmental programs were instituted that were supposed to help its citizens. Instead they created a society of people who became dependent on government to take care of them. Payment for these programs created a tax burden for us and for generations to come.  I could see that government was not living within its means. This was entirely contrary to my vision of how the government should operate. Republicans want people to fend for themselves as much as possible.

Education standards were compromised to the point where students were graduating from high school without knowing how to read. Parental involvement became almost non-existent. Textbooks often contained fallacies or omitted segments of our great American history. The changing role of a teacher who is saddled with “paper work” often marked a decrease in his/her effectiveness in the classroom. Republicans seek to provide remedies.

To work hard to build a business and then to have government place so many taxes and regulations on it stifles the enthusiasm with which this country was built. Yes, some regulations regarding health and safety are necessary, but to place undue burdens on small business thwarts economic development and leads to unemployment and the closing of companies. Republicans fight to preserve small businesses.

Justice within the legal system means interpreting the law as written and not legislating from the bench. Republicans elect officials to uphold this judicial philosophy.

Social issues can be divisive with Republicans on both ends of the spectrum, but overall Republicans agree that disagreements can be civil.

Aside from a strong belief in the Constitution of the United States, you can see the basic values that I live by and the reason why the Republican party fits me. While I may not agree on every issue, for the most part the Republican party fits me, and I am pleased to proclaim, “I am a Republican.”

Red Star


You have until February 28 to vote early in the Primary Election. The Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 4.  Remember that photo ID is now required to vote.  For more information, visit  or download the VoteTexas app to your smart phone!


Every vote counts, which is another reason we must be responsible with the privilege of voting.  Please take some time to educate yourself about the candidates.  Thanks to Beryl Dowd who has passed along a great tool to use as a start to making your voting decisions.  Visit to get started.

A list of Republican Party Primary Election candidates can be viewed at 

You should also view the sample ballot at

Red Star

President:  Judge Bonnie Sudderth
First Vice-President, Membership:  Brooke Ulrickson Allen
Second Vice-President, Programs:  Justice Lee Gabriel
Third Vice-President, Campaign Activities:  Pam Bassel
Fourth Vice-President, Finance:  Julie Johncox
Fifth Vice-President, Communications:  Cynthia Favila-Terry
Sixth Vice-President, Events:  Helen Bavousett
Secretary:  Melissa Swan
Treasurer:  Jan Brefczynski
Parliamentarian/Immediate Past President:  Cyndy McCoy
 Red Star

If you are interested in becoming a delegate (or alternate delegate) to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention held June 5-7 in Fort Worth, you must first attend your precinct convention and be named a delegate to your Senate District convention.  The Precinct Convention is the same night as the Primary Election, beginning a half hour after polls close.  Ask the Election Judge where your precinct convention is and he or she will direct you.

The Senate District 10 Convention will be held on March 22. The main purpose of this convention is to collect resolutions to send to the state convention and to elect the delegates and alternates to the state convention.  The SD10 Convention will be held at the Mansfield AISD Center for the Performing Arts located at 1115 Debbie Lane, Mansfield.

If you have questions about this process, please contact:

David Wylie
Senate District 10 Chair
Pct Chair 2305, Arlington
Red Star


That’s right!  Some of our FWRW attended the Texas Federation for Republican Women Leadership Boot Camp held on Saturday, January 25.  They spent quality hours sharing ideas and learning innovative strategies to strengthen the club and its effectiveness in assisting Republican candidates and voters.  We thank them for their time and dedication and look forward to implementing the ideas they brought back here to Fort Worth!   

FWRW President - Judge Bonnie Sudderth, TFRW District Director SD 10 - Kaye Moreno, Voter Registration Chair - Debra McDaniels

FWRW President – Judge Bonnie Sudderth, TFRW District Director SD 10 – Kaye Moreno, Voter Registration Chair – Debra McDaniels

Red StarRed Star


FWRW 5th Vice President - Communications and Newsletter Editor, Cynthia Favila-Terry

FWRW 5th Vice President – Communications and Newsletter Editor, Cynthia Favila-Terry

The strength of conservative values and the Republican Party in Texas is being tested this year.   In fact, it is being challenged.  And for what?  The great state of Texas has seen growth in economic times when the rest of the country has either seen little growth or has seen job and population loss in record volumes.  It seems that all of this talk of blue and pink is about simply taking political power.  Perhaps these power-seeking Democrats should be reminded of something Thomas Bertram Lance once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Texas isn’t broken, and we must continue to make it stronger as opposed to letting them try and “fix” it.  This primary is another battle in the war we are in this election season.  It’s up to us to show them what a battleground is.

Start by voting in this primary.  Volunteer in one campaign or several.  Republican candidates need you!  If you want to volunteer to assist a Republican candidate’s campaign, but you’re just not sure how to get started, please contact FWRW Third Vice President – Campaign Activites, Pam Bassel.

If volunteering is not something you are able to do, then here are some other suggestions:

  • Send a donation to help the candidates get their message out;
  • “Like” the Republican candidates on Facebook;
  • “Follow” them on Twitter and retweet their tweets to help them get their message out;
  • Contact Brooke Allen at to order your “Let’s Keep Texas Red” gear (I get lots of attention when I wear mine and it’s a great conversation starter!);
  • Invite your friends, who may be on the fence, to come to a luncheon or attend a candidate forum; and
  • If you have not done it yet, follow @FWRepWomen on Twitter!  Social media is a powerful and free avenue to get the message out.

There is so much happening this election season and the FWRW want to help spread the information, but we need your help!  Do not hesitate to share information by emailing it to  We will get your events and messages out to our members so that together we can KEEP TEXAS RED!

April News & Committee Reports

April 17, 2013

Red StarApril 24th Program – Attorney J. Shelby Sharpe, Sharpe & Rector, P.C., will speak about “Sharia Law: A More Sinister Threat Than You Might Think“.  Mr. Sharpe was born and educated in Texas.  He has practiced law in Fort Worth for over 40 years with the main focus of his practice being the defense of religious organizations.

Social – 11:00am  Program – 11:30am; Location – Fort Worth Club, 306 7th St., 12th Floor.

To make a luncheon reservation ($25 with reservation, $27 without), RSVP by noon on Monday, April 22nd to Helen Bavousett at 817-516-0704 or

If you are not having lunch, no reservation is necessary. Those who RSVP but do not attend will be billed for their reservation cost. (Please do not RSVP using the Comment/Reply section below.)  For more information, click HERE.

Red Star

Cyndy McCoy, President of Fort Worth Repulican Women

Cyndy McCoy, President of Fort Worth Republican Women

Read President Cyndy McCoy’s March 2013 Message: Find it by clicking HERE

Red Star

A Special Thanks to Justice Lee GabrielLee Gabriel1

. . . for providing refreshments and sponsoring the FWRW Board of Directors meeting in March! Justice Gabriel sits on the Second Court of Appeals and serves the citizens of Tarrant County, as well as 11 other counties in north Texas as a justice on the Court.  She is also an active member of Fort Worth Republican Women, serving in the very important position as our Treasurer!

Red Star
Image of Books


It’s easy to apply! The student may be either an undergraduate or graduate student and should simply email us the following information:

Name, address, phone number, email address and the name of college she is attending.  She should also include a brief statement about her involvement in any Republican activities. The deadline for applications is: Friday, May 3.

Applications (or any questions about the application process) should be emailed to:

Please encourage all young Republican college women you know to apply! By the end of this year, Fort Worth Republican Women plans to give a $250 scholarship to some deserving young Republican woman currently enrolled in college and in good academic standing. If you know any young woman currently attending college who has been involved in Republican events, please encourage her to apply. Involvement can be as simple as voting in a Republican primary, encouraging friends to vote Republican or attending a Republican event.

Red Star
Toni Anne Dashiell Elected as Texas National Committeewoman
             Toni Anne Dashiell, former Texas Federation of Republican Women President and current Kendall County GOP Chair, has been elected the Texas National Committeewoman to the Republican National Committee. An author and NFRW event presenter, Toni Anne succeeds Borah Van Dormolen, also a former Texas Federation of Republican Women President who passed away recently.
Red Star
Use Twitter for the Most Up to the Moment Political News!  If you have not created a Twitter account, click HERE.   Click on the yellow “Sign Up for Twitter” box and it will give you step-by-step instructions on setting up your personal Twitter account.  Of course, the first page you want to follow is @FWRepWomen and once you’ve done that, just look at who the Fort Worth Republican Women page is following for tips on who else to follow!  It’s simple.  In fact, here is a list of local state legislators that you will want to follow:

Please, take a moment now to click on any of the above Twitter names.   On any given page on the left hand side, you will see a yellow “Sign Up” rectangular icon.  Click on that to start your Twitter account!

Looking for more state and national conservatives to follow?  Go to for the Twitter names of over 7, 000 conservatives using Twitter!  All you have to do is click on their @ and it will link you to their Twitter page.

As of today, the Fort Worth Republican Women have 27 followers on the Twitter page @FWRepWomen and in just one month @FWRepWomen has tweeted 171 tweets for the world to see! Go ahead and join in on this part of the journey for the cause.  You will be glad that you did.

Red Star

twitter photoYEARBOOKS ARE IN!  

The 2013 FWRW Yearbook will be available at the April Luncheon. For those who would like the information but do not want a book, electronic copies are available.  What a great way to save space and yet have a memento and information source!  To request your electronic copy, send an email to:  Donna Thompson (
Red Star
Ruben Gonzalez Invitation Handouts
Red Star
This will be an informative and powerful event!
April 27, 2013
9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.
      306 West 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas  76102

(Parking entrance is on 6th Street between Taylor & Lamar; Parking is free)

$30 Registration Fee (includes plated lunch and printed materials)


  • Diane Edmondson, Chair, Denton County GOP, “What You Need to Know About Liberal Efforts to Turn Texas Blue”
  • Jody Rushton, TFRW Vice President, Finance, “Show Me the Money!” – Fundraising Tactics for Local Clubs
  • Judge Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Court No. 1, “The Most Powerful Women’s Political Organization in Texas – Who Me?”
  • Featured Luncheon Speaker – Rafael Cruz, Father of Texas Senator Ted Cruz
  • Other topics include Texas’ changing demographics and parliamentary procedures for dynamic meetings

Make checks payable to Kaye Moreno.  RSVP by mailing your check postmarked no later than April 22nd to: 

Kaye Moreno, Leadership
1213 Kelpie Court
Fort Worth, Texas  76111

*Please include your name, address, occupation, email address and phone number.

Red Star

caryn-boddieIn the April 16th newsletter of THE AMERICAN THINKER, Caryn Boddie published a profound article, “Ending the Violence”, discussing the gun violence in schools and how quick America is to blame guns or individuals.

As you read through it below, think about what she is saying.  In the push for gun control, her ideas are foreign. The idea of taking real proactive responsibility as individuals and as a country resonates in her basic ideas of paying attention to our sons, helping them and praying for them.

What can we really do to stop shootings in our schools and other public places? I’d like to share two ideas — connected across the years — as we come up to the anniversary of a mass killing that affected my life and my community.

The first idea came to my attention not in the United States of America but in Central America.

It was March 1999, and I had taken a part-time reporter job at The Columbine Community Courier, a weekly paper in Littleton, Colorado. However, before working for the paper on a regular basis, I went off with my family on a long-planned mission trip to Honduras. There we worked on a few projects then did some sightseeing.

In Copan we stopped into a Catholic Church during mass. The church was packed, and we found out why that was so before long. The priest came to speak and he was absolutely furious with his flock. A woman in our party, who was a Spanish speaker, translated for us: Some of the young men of Copan had come into the town square the night before, during a festival, shot it up, and killed a few people.

The priest yelled a question at the congregation, “Why are you people not watching your sons?”

That moment stuck with me as we came back to Colorado, and I wrote the story of our trip for publication. Then, I proceeded to cover small stories in the community, such as the dedication of a new playground at an elementary school.

A week or so later, I was driving home from a dentist appointment when I passed Columbine High School. Just south of the school, I saw two young men, dressed in black dusters, walking toward Columbine. They looked into each other’s faces then strode up the sidewalk with smiles and knowing looks. Little did I know I was watching two of the sons in my community who were about to become murderers. I remember feeling the presence of evil, and I prayed briefly, but I did not know what else to do. (Since that time, I have learned that many other people in the community had similar experiences.)

On April 20, 1999, the two young men I saw murdered 12 students and one teacher then killed themselves at Columbine High School.

I covered the tragedy and its aftermath for the immediate community for about one year. Of course, it was a time of grief and trauma, and we all had to go through that and through the process of healing. In the midst of it, I believe there was a window of time where we could really learn and pass along what could be done to stop such a thing from happening in another community down the line.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media and the politicians came in and hyped the gun issue, just as they’ve done after every one of the tragedies that has followed Columbine. We all got focused on changing the laws that control guns. Family members of victims went to Washington, DC, and were displayed by our president, just as family members of new victims are being displayed by a president now. We had a Million Mom March in Denver. We debated closing the gun show loophole. Laws were changed.

We also focused on fixing Columbine High School and on building a memorial for those we lost. Some of us focused on blaming one person after another for the loss, and trying to make them pay; that went on for months and months.

Our focus on these things did not help other communities avoid similar tragedies.

So what should we tell other communities now?

First: Watch your sons.

Really, think about who is shooting in our schools; think about who it is that is killing innocents in Chicago; think about who it is that walked into a theater in Aurora and murdered people.

How do we watch our sons more carefully? By getting them more of what they need in their community, so that they are connected in their daily lives with more than one adult. The Search Institute of Minnesota has created a program called the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents, which people in Columbine discovered after the tragedy there. Through it many people touch our son’s lives and watch them as they grow up.

But, it’s not enough to watch our sons, we must then get them help when they need it — and the help must be effective.

To that point, the second idea I want to tell you about came together for me when I was watching television, years after my family’s trip to Honduras.

I was doing some chores with news on in the background. I heard the anchor review who the shooters were in the latest mass killings in our country and what their mental states were, Then in an interview, I heard Dr. Keith Ablow, a forensic psychiatrist, say, “What all this gun legislation, restricting firearms or increasing background checks, fails to address is the real problem, which is untreated mental illness, and a mental health care system that is completely severed from anything like an ability to deliver outpatient services on an as-needed basis, sometimes involuntarily. So, we’ve allowed our mental health care system to become decrepit; people are falling through gaping holes in the system. It really has nothing to do with guns, as we just saw in the mass stabbing in Texas and as we should have learned in 1927 when 38 children were killed with homemade explosives at a school. This whole debate should be filibustered right off the Senate floor; people shouldn’t show up for this debate because it’s just a sideshow.”

So, the second idea comes from another credible source: Fix the mental health system and create an effective pathway by which people in a community can report a person who seems mentally ill and dangerous.

Young people proved this can work after Columbine. Adolescents started watching each other and reporting other adolescents who showed signs of being troubled and/or dangerous and some killings were stopped. This was because they heard that it was good to watch and to tell and a pathway was created for them to do so that was effective.

And finally, this thought: we must pray for our sons.

So, these are two ideas for stopping future mass killings. Let’s get our attention off the gun debate, ignore the politicians, and take them up for the sake of other communities across our nation.