Monday, August 5, 2019

Guns In America

A friend of mine lives in the quiet Virginia countryside among her horses and rescue dogs. This weekend her home was broken into by someone high on meth. I thank God she and her boyfriend have a gun and know how to use it. They were able to keep the person at bay until police could arrive. 

I’M VERY GLAD MY FRIEND OWNS A HANDGUN TO PROTECT HERSELF. And I believe in your right to own a gun to protect yourself or to go hunting with if that’s your thing. 

However, I don’t think high capacity firearms capable of mowing down entire crowds of people in mere seconds have a place in civilized society. Do you? I KNOW getting rid of them isn’t the only solution, because people bent on violence will use whatever they can get their hands on, but it’s SOMETHING. It's better than nothing. It will save lives. Like classrooms full of little children. Like food festival goers and people shopping for school supplies in WalMart. 

And before you go popping off with “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” Well NO SHIT Sherlock of course it isn’t just guns all by themselves. Most of us know the problem is way more complicated than that. It’s lack of resources for the mentally ill, it’s the continued legacy of domestic abuse and violence, it’s the spread of ignorant and hateful rhetoric to people that feel marginalized, it’s the glorification of brutality in our culture, it’s lack of accountability and of feeling connected to community for so many. It’s a BUNCH of ugly things we need to pay attention to and begin to untangle and address. It’s complicated and it’s hard work and we need to have the balls and the brains to look at it together. And we need leaders capable of doing something constructive. Soon.

Are we so polarized that this can’t be done? Is it all so black and white now, all so left and right that nothing in between matters? The whack jobs on the extreme left and the assholes on the extreme right seem to have control of the microphones right now and the millions of us somewhere in the wide spectrum of the middle have to sit here while they go at it day after day accomplishing zero but fueling hostility and division among the fringes. Oh and we have a president that sits on his gold plated crapper and tweets incendiary comments and then quietly grins when crowds at his rallies shout "shoot them" and "send them back." THIS SUCKS YALL and I’m tired of it. This shouldn't even be about politics. It’s about our collective health and safety and the kind of society we want to live in. Because tomorrow it could be your kid's school, your shopping center, your movie theatre, your church. Something has to change. Can we at least start with agreeing these types of military-style weapons have to go?

We can’t afford to remain complacent and uninformed. I don’t know what the solution is right now but we’re doomed if we throw up our hands and say nothing can be done. This is America! Land that I love. If there’s a will there’s a way. If we can put a man on the moon, build the Hoover dam, invent the internet and find Osama Bin Laden we can figure this thing out. We deserve better than what is now the norm in our country. Don’t we?