I know I am not the only one. Not the only one who is tired of hearing about another shooting: in a school, in someone’s home, in someone’s workplace. I know I am not the only one who draws a blank when, every now and then, someone mentions a town where a shooting occurred. There have been so many that, after a while, they start to blend together.
Do you remember when the NRA actually helped pass federal laws restricting gun use? (okay, I don’t remember either, but it was in the 20th c.). Do you remember when Columbine shocked us? But before that, there was a mass shooting in 1984 where 21 people died at a McDonalds in San Ysidro, CA. And before that, in 1966, there was a fellow in Austin TX who shot 43 people (13 died). Two years after Columbine, 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School children were slaughtered in Newtown, CT. And that’s just the “highlights.” What have we come to?
Well, we have come to a point where children must practice lockdown drills in elementary schools. If anyone thinks the children don’t know why, well just ask one of them. My son’s 4th grade teacher has told me that her students express fear of mass shootings and serial killers. I’m not one for raising my son in a bubble, but this is ridiculous. How is it acceptable that our children are growing up fearing for their lives? I would not find this surprising if we were in Iraq (not that it is acceptable for those children to live in fear for their lives either), but there is no war occurring on our soil.
But then again, perhaps there is. It is a war of different cultures. And, to show my bias, I will frame it this way: one side believes that their right to live in safety is more important. The other side believes their right to kill is more important.
So, I guess I’ve become a Right-To-Lifer…sorta. I believe that life-after-birth truly matters. If live is truly sacred, then surely we have an obligation to keep our children safe. And not just our own. Other people’s children too. Grown children (they are someone’s son or daughter too). People we don’t like (umm, that’s why that whole love-thy-enemy thing is tough. It’s easy to love someone you like). People we don’t understand. People who look different. People who make us angry.
So, what can we do? First, I urge you to watch this short (less than 4 minute), powerful video made by a mom in California. Not One More Then, support gun legislation that makes it harder for people to obtain a gun. Do not patronize businesses that sell guns or ammo. Tell them you won’t shop there anymore. Tell businesses that welcome open carry customers that you won’t shop there because you don’t want to risk being shot and killed. Call whoever is running in this upcoming election and tell them you won’t vote for them if they won’t help keep you and your family alive and support stricter gun legislation.
We must put an end to this madness.