I titled this entry as such because I have sat here for a good twenty minutes or so trying to think of something to write. I have to. Have to say something. And I’m not coming up with anything, even though my mind has been on overload all morning.
Cameron didn’t want me to watch all the news. Get updates, he said, but don’t sit here watching this all day. I know he’s right, that I shouldn’t–but it’s hard not to. On my lunch break I was home to watch the President’s press conference. Immediately following, Lester Holt mentioned that most of the dead were kindergarteners. And I lost it. I just sat there and cried.
Mostly I am angry. I am angry that this has happened again. Wasn’t it enough when the theater shooter killed all those people? And the guy that shot up the temple in Wisconsin? And last week, the shooting in the mall in Oregon? Hasn’t it been enough in the last year alone that we should want to sit down as a nation and re-think this whole right to bear arms thing?
It wasn’t enough, apparently. And now our children are dead. Our kindergarteners and our fourth graders. They are dead a week before Christmas.
Is it enough now? Haven’t we all as a collective society had enough?
Personally I cannot understand how so many people are screaming out about how this is the wrong time to talk about gun control. If this is not the time, then when? Tomorrow? Next week? Didn’t we say the same thing after Columbine and Virginia Tech and all the rest? And what’s happened? Nothing. And I know I might offend someone-or a lot of people-by saying what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway.
If you are responding to this tragedy by saying that this isn’t about gun control, that it’s not about guns and “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”…then you are part of the problem. I’m sorry. You are. You are part of the gun culture in this country that lends to defending the second amendment instead of looking at the reality of this situation. And the reality is, twenty little innocent children and some 7 or 8 adults who tried to defend those children are dead. And why are they dead? Because someone made an active choice to walk into that school and pull the trigger. Maybe he was suicidal. Maybe he was mentally ill. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he had a gun in his hand (or three) and he had ammunition in those guns and he chose to use those guns to kill people.
Look, I know that laws don’t mean a thing to these kinds of people. Even if we had stricter gun laws they would still find ways to get them. I know. I’ve heard all the arguments. And to be honest it’s taking me so long to get through this entry that I don’t even know what my eventual point is. There’s only one thing I know about what happened today. This HAS to be the catalyst that gets something changed. And something HAS to change. I don’t know what. Different mindset, different gun culture, different something. This sort of thing just cannot be allowed to keep happening. And there’s a lot that goes into that–it’s not just gun control. I know that. It’s also how we deal with our mentally ill and how we raise our children and EVERYTHING goes into that. So trust me, I’m not naive enough to think that this is a one-facet issue. I wish it was. But I think everyone can agree that something has to be different. Someone once said to me that she goes through her life trying to make sure that everything is sustainable. And when I think about what is happening in America now, every day, I cannot help but think that this–this country, this culture, this society–is not sustainable. This cannot be sustainable and it cannot continue. We cannot keep turning a blind eye to the problem and then pretend that we are so completely shocked the next time it happens. Because inevitably, it will.
And here’s another thing that I know will undoubtedly offend some people. But maybe they will have an answer for me because I have always wondered about this. All the people who say, in the response to these tragedies, “God have mercy” or “God bless these people” or any other number of requests to God to make the survivors better…my question is, why would God have mercy upon the people whose lives he had just destroyed? Isn’t that how God operates? If he is all powerful and has a plan and presumably is responsible for everything that happened in the first place, why on earth would he then go about making the survivors feel better? I mean, call me a cynical atheist, but doesn’t that seem a little cruel to you? Like I said…I know I’m treading dangerous waters here but you know what, if you don’t like reading what I have to say you are more than welcome to leave. On the other hand, if you have an explanation for this, I’m happy to listen. Because it’s a mindframe that has always confused me.
Okay. As you can see my anger is coming out more and more now and I don’t think it’s appropriate to be this angry. And this has turned into much more of a rant than I had planned, but that’s how these things go.
In the end, I guess all I have left to say is love one another.