Friday, December 14, 2012

Let's Go There Together

I'm an anxious person. I've never done well away from my family (and I don't really mean when we're separated by hundreds or thousands of miles. I mean when we're not all physically together in the same room). It was tough to be a kid of divorced parents. I was always afraid one of them would die while I was at the other's house. That kind of anxiety doesn't ease up when one grows up and the reality of the world sets in. After 9/11 I was always, always looking for the nearest exit. I still do this, almost every time I got,  somewhere. I mentally seek out "safe" places to hide and try to have an exit plan. I've yet to go to a movie after this summer's shooting in Aurora, and I'll be honest - having tickets to The Hobbit for opening weekend this coming Sunday (like I do), stresses me out. My heart will be pounding the whole time I'm in the theater. 

I left work partially because of my anxieties. Being away from my baby, my flesh and blood, was literally paralyzing some of the time. Every single night for the past 19 months, without fail, before I give in to sleep I lay awake thinking about terrible things happening that night and how I could rescue my girl. I imagine bad guys invading the house from different entrances, and figure out where I'd go to escape. I envision earthquakes and mentally calculate how long it would take for me to get to her before a tree falls on her crib. I'm positive I'd beat the force of gravity. I even think about hurricanes or flash floods or nuclear attacks and try to prepare for how I'd handle those things. 

Today in Connecticut, parents are having to live every parent's absolute worst nightmare. People all over the world are watching the news and crying. Normally, I'm glued to the TV in the wake of a tragedy. Today, I simply can't. I'm so heavy hearted with grief and sadness, and I can barely see straight with anger. I'm angry at that shooter, but I'll admit it: I'm irate with the government today, with Congress and with our President who have yet to even discuss gun control in the wake of this horribly violent year. And I'm angry with our citizens, with my neighbors and friends and family, who continually say "now is not the time." The White House has released a statement saying "today is not the day for gun control debate."

When is the time? 

When will we not be in the wake of a tragedy? Certainly not yesterday, when we were fresh off a shooting spree in a mall in Portland. Today is too late.

Call me tacky to bring this up on the internet today. But children died today and it's time to address this issue. (Along with others, such as mental health care).

Guns are designed to kill. Yep, tragedies would still happen without such easy access, but isn't it our responsibility to each other to make it more difficult to allow these things to happen? Rocks aren't designed to kill, nor are steak knives, nor are vehicles. Guns are. And almost every mass homicide this year in the United States involved a handgun. The US has twice the murder rate as the rest of the first world. 

More people having access to guns will not lower the violence or these incidents. Remember when four police officers were killed in a coffee shop by a man with a gun? Police officers, men and women trained in shooting and each with multiple guns on their body, and they could not stop the attack or alter the outcome. Yesterday in Michigan a law was passed allowing guns in schools, churches and daycares.  Is this the world we really live in? Where Congress will bring a record number of bills to the table in one year attempting to restrict a woman's control over her own body, but not one SINGLE bill or even attempted discussion on gun control? Where we'll debate the damned fiscal cliff without budging one inch, pointing fingers and acting like children on both sides while almost an entire classroom of actual children is murdered by what is reported to be "at least a hundred rounds" fired by a legal .223 caliber rifle days before Christmas?

I'm not really a gun control advocate. I'm an anti-massacre activist. And I suspect you are too.

Signing off to be with my babies.

1 comment:

  1. Since I know none of my family reads this, I can voice my assent without fear of repercussions... I agree! I am not anti-gun. In fact, I have shot several guns in my lifetime. But I'll tell you what: in order to get a prescription, I have to go to a doctor and then the pharmacy and then I only get a one-month's supply. Restricting gun and ammo access will NOT eliminate murders or crazy people doing crazy things. But maybe it will slow them down. Maybe slow them down enough for someone to step in and say, hmm, you seem unstable, maybe you shouldn't have a gun. Oh, and let's get you some help for the mental issues you clearly have. I think it is just so telling that the perpetrators of all of the killings you listed were said to be mentally ill by people who knew them before they killed. And these people had access! Easy access! Why should anyone have EASY access to a gun? It's not that easy to get a driver license! Sheesh, America.