I’m a mess. I am sad and horrified and scared and ANGRY. I watch the posts flooding social media and my hands clench. I hear the politicians mouthing platitudes and my teeth grind.
I watch the NRA pour money into political pockets and I want to scream, “Enough! When are our children going to be more important than your agenda?”
I want to fight. But I don’t have a fighter’s physique or mindset. Nowhere in me is the desire to hurt anyone. All I have are my words.
My fighting words.
Here they are.
Violence in schools has to stop. We have a responsibility to our society to make it stop.
Saying that a person should be required to have an appropriate level of training, maturity and mental stability before they are allowed to own a gun is not a strike against the second amendment. It is a reasonable precaution against tragedy.
The solution will not be a single mandate or one-size-fits-all action. It must be a nuanced, carefully thought out collection of positive actions.
Screaming “my side is right and your side is stupid,” helps no one, fixes nothing and makes you sound like an idiot. Stop it.
We have to have a license to drive, to pilot an airplane, both potentially hazardous endeavors that people do every day quite safely. We must be a certain age to drink, to drive, to vote. Why is owning and operating a gun (the purpose of which is to kill, whether the target is game or assailants) any different? And do not trot out the target shooting excuse. Yes, some folks use their guns exclusively for that, but it isn’t the original purpose of owning a weapon. Target practice is the responsible gun owner’s way of ensuring that they can hit what they are shooting at, rather than spraying bullets and praying“.
The sole purpose of AR capability is to kill more targets, faster. No homeowner or hunter “needs” an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. The purpose of civilian gun ownership is to defend a person’s home or put food on the table. The responsible civilian gun owner doesn’t need an AR anything for that.
There are those who would like to see the second amendment repealed. This is true. Stop trying to deny it.
There are those who would like a return to the wild west where guns were ubiquitous. This is also true. Stop trying to deny it.
Americans are guaranteed the right to bear arms by the U.S. Constitution. Deal with it.
Americans are guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rampant, uncontrolled gun usage is a threat to that right. Deal with it.
Thoughts and prayers have been offered by politicians after every mass shooting to no avail. The divine is tired of us having the tools to affect change and doing nothing but sit with our hands folded, thinking or praying about it. The solution may start with thinking and praying but it cannot, for the sake of all that is holy, end there.
In the end, we gain nothing be entrenching our positions, plugging our ears and yelling imprecations at the other side.
America is great because her people govern together. We haven’t done a great job of that lately. We need to start, and we need to demand that our governing bodies put the needs of their people before the needs of their wallets.
Our kids – the same ones who have been called immature, lazy, apathetic, clueless and worse – are standing up. They are leading, and we adults should be ashamed if we aren’t standing on the front lines with them, demanding change. We have the vote, most of them don’t. We need to lead from the front until they can catch up.