A Conversation

I just want to go ahead and share this from my sister-in-law’s Facebook:


My son: “Why are they crying Mommy?”

Me (holding back tears): “Because a bad man with a gun came to their school and hurt a bunch of people”

“Did they get the bad man?”

“yes baby they did. Ben do you know what to do if a bad man comes to your school?”

“We hide in Mrs F’s bathroom and be quiet”

“And I bet she locks the door, right?”

“Yes”

“And you wait quietly until Mrs F says it’s ok to come out right?”

“Yes”

“Do you practice that at school? Like you practice when the fire trucks come?”

“We do!”

“Good, always listen to your teacher baby, she’s there to keep you safe”

***

He’s in Preschool. This is the world we live in now. In all my years in school we never practiced what to do in case of an active shooter, it wasn’t a problem then. My son is four years old and I have to have this discussion with him, because it is a very real possibility today. Fire drills, tornado drills, active shooter drills. That is the world we live in now. How sad is that?

If we can’t discuss gun control in America because “guns are part of the American culture” then maybe we need to have a discussion about why that is. If we can’t discuss gun control because “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” then we need to discuss why that is. If we can’t discuss gun control because “it won’t solve the problem” we need to discuss why that is. We need to have an honest discussion about why this is the 18th mass shooting THIS YEAR! It’s only February.

How many more have to happen before Americans stand up and say “Enough is enough.”

How many more parents will loose their children to gun violence before we start to realize that maybe the freedom to own guns isn’t on the same level as the right live without fear of being gunned down.

You have to have a license and in many states a class before you even drive a vehicle. Why is it that at 18 years old you can just go get a gun? Doesn’t that seem strange? You’re not old enough to buy beer yet but as long as you pass the background check, you can buy an AR-15? How does that even make sense?

“But he was mentally disturbed!”
“Criminals don’t follow the law!”
“The 2nd amendment!!!”
“It was his parent’s gun!”
“He got it illegally!”
“It’s not time to be political”
“It’s about mental health!”

I know the answer is complicated. I know that gun control won’t solve everything. I know that there is more to discuss, but you know what? It’s time to be real. It’s time for people to admit that there is a fundamental problem in this country when it comes to our obsession with guns. We as a people have created this problem and we as a people have to figure out how to solve it.

I don’t know what the answer is but I’m praying to God we figure it out soon before another child sits in fear, huddled in their classroom. Before gunshots ring out not in a war zone but in a lunchroom. Before children have their innocence stolen from them by witnessing bloodshed first hand.

This is America, Land of The Free, but living in terror isn’t really freeing is it?


17 Families. 17 groups of friends. 17 sets of acquaintances and “oh I met them once.” 17 series of photos both online and in albums that now carry new emotions. 17 ripples in the world ever spreading and carrying on in ways that will surprise those involved.

So what do we do as we gaze onto these ripples? Do we let it grow quiet again? Do we give in to corporate pressure? Do we roll over and accept it until the next one (probably in a matter of days, which seems to be the norm)?

What we need to accept is that whatever we are doing, however powerful or weak you feel it is, IS NOT WORKING.

The current laws and restrictions aren’t working.

Current methods of awareness and preparedness aren’t working.

PRAYER. IS. NOT. WORKING.

A scenario: The Smith family has 14 members. One day, Papa Smith gets tuberculosis. His Ma used to tell him honey BBQ chicken wings are a sure-fire cure for tuberculosis (god love that wise old woman, shame she had to succumb to tuberculosis). Anywho, Papa Smith dies. Then Angie Smith gets TB. Honey BBQ wings in hand, she succumbs. Daryl and Hannah smith next, chompin’ down some wings. Oops, they’re gone. One after the other, wings after wings, Zaxby’s stock sky-rocketing. Until just little June smith remains. Now, you’re a neighbor. You’re talking with June, and she’s recounting all this to you as you stand in (hopefully) horror. One day she calls, says she’s got that dern tuberculosis and needs you to make a wings run.

  • No, stupid, we’re going to a hospital
  • Sure, babe. What side you want.
  • GUVMENT AIN’T GONNA TAKE MY CHICKEN WIIIIIINGS

Hmm?

Day after day after bloody day after painful day we see this happen again and again. In movie theaters. In schools. In malls. In the streets.

And it’s NOT new. It’s NOT a “woo, 2018 is a bitch of a year already” thing. Decades of this, constantly reading about it, hearing about it, writing about it. For whatever reason you want to believe, money or stubbornness or national pride or history, we are refusing to accept this as a serious symptom. We whine and complain and then the cycle repeats. The world ending with a whimper.

We live in a country where preschoolers are taught how to hide from an active shooter and  “oh no, not another one” is something people actually say in these situations. Let that sink in.

It’s ignorant to think this is necessarily an easy fix. The negative side to a beautiful country made up of a diverse and varied people is that big decisions are tough. I don’t claim to know the answer, and neither should you. However, we have to talk and SERIOUSLY talk about this NOW. In congress, in the streets, at work, at church, at city council, on the news, on talk shows, in the White House Call you representatives, go talk to your mayors, write write write articles and blogs and first-hand experience stories and read read read these things as well. Get informed and be willing to debate. The conversation needs to rage until the tide of violence is slowed. Until there are no more ripples.

~C

PS: Marco Rubio, get that voicemail ready, champ.

 

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