I’ve been here before. The odds are that I will be here again. I’m discomfited, disheartened, frustrated; Roget’s Thesaurus does not have the words, and neither do I.
Something has to wake us up. Something has to make a difference. It’s a cultural change I’m seeking, a refutation of our obsession and glorification of the power of the gun.
I want to feel safe again. I don’t know how that’s possible in a society which allows an individual to accumulate assault rifles the way a my daughter collected Beanie Babies.
A friend tells me that a gun is a tool, just like an ax or a shovel and I wonder: Why does anyone need even one tool capable of inflicting so much damage, in such a short time, from such a great distance, let alone 10 suitcases filled with them? To what legitimate purpose can they be put?
Thousands of innocents in Las Vegas are wondering the same thing this week.
I don’t understand a Congress willing to make buying a silencer penalty-free, pre-empting state and local laws that tax or regulate their possession. Bravely, obviously proud of its underlying premise, HR 367 is the Hearing Protection Act of 2017.
Had the Capitol Police not heard the bullets and come running to the rescue, more than one Republican baseball player might have spent his summer in the hospital. Aren’t they paying attention?
I’ve listened to the arguments around the notion of a Good Guy With a Gun, and I remain unconvinced.
Why wouldn’t a Good Guy want to receive training? Why wouldn’t a Good Guy be interested in trigger locks or gun safes or waiting a few days before acting on those homicidal or suicidal thoughts?
I say this with your best interests at heart. No one starts the day expecting to be involved in mass murder, but it can happen to anyone, anywhere. No one should have to live with what my family and I carry around, not Rep. Steve Scalise, not Connecticut kindergarten kids, not Aurora movie-goers, not first responders in Tucson or hospital personnel in Salt Lake City, where many of the most recent victims were taken by air because the local hospitals were overwhelmed.
Think about that. The hospitals couldn’t care for the dead and dying. There were too many of them.
“The principle that reasonable limitations on the right to bear arms do not offend individual constitutional rights is too well-embedded in the jurisprudence of Arizona and sister states to be the subject of great debate.”
Thus wrote the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1998.
Ask yourself if it is reasonable to be able to check into a hotel with heavy weaponry in your luggage. Ask yourself if someone rejected by the military as unfit should be able to purchase a legal weapon. Ask yourself if the right to bear arms comports with your right to the pursuit of happiness.
Then act. Call your legislators, especially those accepting money from the NRA.
Ask what they plan to do to keep you safe. Ask your neighbors if their guns are secured before you bring your toddler over for a play date.
Connect with people who might be willing to listen, whose opinion might be changed, and engage with them. Get involved; you can’t make a difference if you don’t.
It’s hard. It’s necessary. It’s long overdue.
Be willing to take a stand. Make your voices heard. I’m wearing my orange Survivor shirt this week, hoping to spark conversation and engagement.
What will you do?