The Mississippi I know

ABC News posted a headline on facebook last night about the shooting at the Walmart in Iuka.  For those not familiar with this town it is pronounced eye-YOU-ka.  That is a capital “i”, not a lower case “L” as many news outlets have posted incorrectly.  As I was reading the comments I noticed that while a few commenters offered prayers and concern for those involved most of the comments included words like redneck, backwoods, racists, homophobes, trigger happy, gun control and Christian haters.  I am quite certain these people have never visited, much less lived in Mississippi.  They rely totally on the many negatives that have been told by the media and disagree with our laws and lifestyle. 

I know this state and its people as kind, hospitable, charitable, intelligent, athletic, hardworking and happy.  Many studies will tell you otherwise.  These studies base their claims on income, graduation rates, emotional and physical well-being among other things. 
Our income may not come close to those on Wall Street or Silicon Valley but that doesn’t make us any less of a person or even an unhappy person.  The cost of living is much less so we don’t require six and seven figure incomes to live.  Most everyone I know has a home and plenty of food to eat.  Yes, we have those that struggle financially and even homeless people.  I’m not saying things are perfect.  I’m saying the majority of people live happy, fulfilling lives.

I know many men and women that didn’t graduate from high school but have decent paying jobs.  There are lots of people in construction, manufacturing and the oil field.  I would advise everyone to graduate and get some college but it isn’t mandatory to earn a living. 
We take care of our sick and our elderly and those in need.  Remember Katrina?  We didn’t sit around and wait for the government to come help us.  We started cleaning up and building back and seeking those in need and lending a hand and offering food.  I know.  I lost my home but didn’t lose my faith in my neighbors.

Yes, we have guns.  They are mainly used for hunting which provides food for our families.  Are there people out there that should not have a gun?  Yes.  Is there any way to control those people and not allow them to have one?  No.  No matter what kind of gun control may be imposed upon a people there will be ways to get one.  We can’t take guns out of well meaning and well minded people hands because of a few that will abuse it.  It can’t be done.  Don’t argue with me.
I won’t even try to mention the musicians, chefs, authors, and sports figures that come from Mississippi.  Go here http://www.mississippibelieveit.com/ads-mechanicals/ and read about it.

So while others read the headline last night about the shooting at Walmart they started writing hateful, negative comments.  Us Mississippians started praying.
I could go on forever about the good things in our state.  I honestly believe that if this world stays here for another one hundred years outsiders still will not know what a great place it is.  And that’s okay.  It’ll be our secret. 

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