I didn’t think much of anything could be more exhausting than listening to people argue over the president and his daily atrocities. I was wrong, watching people tear each other apart over gun violence is even worse.
I keep getting referred to as “you people” if I disagree with anyone. I’m not sure which people I’m supposed to be, but I have to break it to you guys: My family owns a LOT of weapons. Enough to arm a small militia, probably.
I keep a gun in the house. If you try to break in or harm my family I will shoot you where you stand and my only regret will be for the blood I have to scrub out of the carpet.
I don’t eat meat and I think trophy hunting is vile, but I have neighbors who only survive by hunting for food. I would never want to see that taken away from them, especially by a government that clearly doesn’t care if its citizens starve.
So there’s all of that, but there’s also the other side of the equation. There’s something deeply broken in our country. It’s evident in our politics, in our news, in social media. I’ve been told it’s because we took God out of schools, because good Christian family values have collapsed, gender roles are confused, racial identity is becoming watered down, homosexuality is becoming normalized.
I don’t think it’s any of that. I think we’ve just become so polarized that we’ve forgotten how to give other people the benefit of the doubt. We’ve become so solidly entrenched in the idea that we must be right at all times that we’ve forgotten how to debate and discuss. What passes for debate now is really just an exchange of ugly insults, and whoever can shout the loudest wins.
We’ve forgotten that we are, all of us, just these tiny fragile bodies holding the most gorgeous, complicated brains that allow us to create, to paint and sing and dance and build rocketships to the stars. To manifest our dreams and share them.
We are so miniscule in this universe, though we feel so large. We have forgotten that all we really have is each other.
And one of the ways this is exhibiting itself is through young white men who feel disenfranchised and alone, taking their pain and taking up arms and tearing a hole through their communities. They are insisting; now you will see me, now you will hear me. Now something will be done.
However, nothing is done. We have thoughts and prayers, then those mocking the uselessness of thoughts and prayers without action, followed by a bunch of outraged, incoherent screaming. Rinse and repeat a week from now when the next massacre occurs.
From a strictly logical perspective, it seems like the solution is easy. Mass shootings, not just in schools, began around the time that lightweight, inexpensive assault rifles became available. It isn’t hard to figure out. Without this type of weapon, it’s much harder to shoot a massive amount of people at one time.
And no, I don’t think guns are what cause this type of violence or any other. I think the easy availability of assault rifles is the CATALYST that allows the shootings to happen. If you remove the catalyst, they may still have the desire to act, but they will no longer have the means.
Cue people sending me nasty comments about their Constitutional rights. Settle down. I think the Constitution is a beautiful, masterful document. I especially like how the framers were smart enough to know that they couldn’t predict the future, and thus left it open to change.
I have to say, I also find it adorable when women screech at me about the Second Amendment. The one that was written in 1791. One hundred and twenty nine years before women were considered fully equal citizens and allowed to vote. Excuse me if I don’t consider a bunch of misogynistic old white men’s opinions infallible.
Just try to remember that when that amendment was written, you wouldn’t have been able to own a gun or any other kind of property while you’re telling me about your sacred, God-given rights.
The extra ironic part of all this is that it’s STILL a bunch of rich old men keeping us bickering with each other while they line their pockets with blood money from the NRA. We are but pawns in their never-ending game.
We don’t have to be. We can use our voices and our votes to change the status quo. We can stop looking at those we don’t agree with as “you people”. We can make things better, but we can’t do it alone.