[Ed. note: I wrote this post a couple months ago following the last mass shooting that made national headlines, but I ultimately chickened out of publishing it, basically because I have friends who own guns and who have a very different perspective on them than I do, and I didn’t want to risk an argument with them. I still don’t want to argue with them, or with anybody else, for that matter. But today’s news of yet another incident, this time on a college campus in Oregon, has stirred up the same sickening mixture of anger, helplessness, and resignation all over again, so this time I am going to publish it. For all the good it will do. I don’t expect to change any minds or actually accomplish anything with my words. And I certainly don’t want to pick a fight! I just have to say something. Because it’s what I do.
One last thing: There’s cussing ahead. Beware if that bothers you.]
Admit it: You can’t even keep them straight anymore, can you? We were just talking about Charleston, weren’t we? Or was it Chattanooga? Oh yes, that’s right… today it’s Lafayette. A movie theater (What, again? We’ve already done that one!) in Lafeyette, Louisiana… three dead, including the shooter, and nine wounded. Not that the details matter much, in the broad sense of our discussion here; it’s the same old story we’ve heard before. It’s so familiar, in fact, that it’s what we old-timers would call a “broken record.” (Ask your parents, kids.) And I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really sick of hearing this particular ditty.
I don’t have any idea why mass shootings seem to be happening so often these days, and I don’t have any practical idea how to stop them, not in light of (a) how many guns are already out there in America, and (b) how many Americans are flatly opposed to even considering doing anything about (a). But goddamn it, how many more times does this need to happen — how many more innocent people have to die in pools of their own blood for no crime other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, just trying to live their lives — before we take a deep breath as a society and say, “Enough“? Before we seriously reconsider this self-destructive love affair with gun ownership and realize that the crazy-hot chick who’s been leading us around by the baby-maker is really just… kinda crazy? Honestly, I thought Sandy Hook would’ve been the breaking point, but if a bunch of little kids getting blown away isn’t sufficient to make people sit up and do something, I don’t know what the hell will be.
I feel queasy writing this and I haven’t even decided yet if I’ll actually post it, because I fear alienating my gun-owning friends who are likely to read it. But goddamn it, I’m through being sad about these events; now I’m angry that this keeps happening, and I’m furious that we, as a nation, won’t seriously talk about what to do about it… yes, I am talking about gun control and making a serious effort to reduce the number of guns on our streets and I’m maybe even talking about amending the Constitution, if that’s what it takes to change this insane mess we’re living with.
I simply cannot imagine that this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind… or that they’d have long tolerated it. So what’s wrong with us that we do put up with it?
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