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Well, this week has been filled with tragedy.

The entire country has mourned with Parkland, Fla., especially cities like ours that have firsthand knowledge of crazy people using semi-automatic weapons to commit mass murder.

The fact that it happened — again — at a high school and took the lives of kids makes it even more heartbreaking.

So many thoughts and questions keep running through my mind, from the families who lost children to how do we keep deadly weapons out of the hands of crazy people to wondering why we even need the semi-automatic rifles that have become the killing machine of choice.

There's also this one: That madman caused so many in Douglas High to pray for their lives. If those people had tried to pray in those halls a day before, it would not have been allowed.

Shut up and dance (if you're a dancer)

OK, Lebron James and Kevin Durant, two of the best and most well-known professional basketball players on the planet, made a stir this week by blasting President Donald Trump.

Hey, it would take a pretty large room to house all of the folks who are not fans of the president.

That's OK.

Disagree with James and Durant. Confront their statements and counter with facts. Even choose to ignore them or boycott the NBA and the folks who sponsor it.

That's your right, like it's their right to voice their opinion.

But you know what is a completely hollow argument? The "They need to shut up and dribble" and "Just play basketball" line of thinking.

Under that line of thinking, can only politicians speak about politics? Sure those guys have a bigger platform, but if you are a plumber or a chef, should you avoid political topics altogether and just shut up and plumb or cook?

Insurance for insurers

We have a lot of folks around these parts who make their living in the insurance industry.

In truth, there may not be a more confusing enterprise that affects more Americans than insurance.

That's not a jab, just a fact, at least for me.

In that regard, this monster lawsuit against Aetna, in which the company is being sued for allegedly having only nurses rather than doctors review medical claims subsequently denied, could very well affect us all.

Here's betting that no matter how this turns out, thousands of health insurance customers are going to get socked because the liability insurance that insurers must have will go up as a result of this lawsuit.

Told you it was confusing.

Saturday stars

To all of the people who are showing the true greatness of our nation and compassion for our fellow Americans by helping the folks suffering from the tragedy in Parkland.

There was a Go Fund Me web drive started Thursday with an original goal of $300,000. That number was reached in hours; the goal has since more than tripled to $950,000.

As of lunchtime Friday, there was more than $850,000 donated by more than 15,000 people. If you are interested, the site is gofundme.com/stoneman douglasvictimsfund.

It makes me sad that when our nation faces the worst we are at our best, but when things are fine it often feels like we are at our worst in how we treat each other.

Until next time.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and 423-757-6343.

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