I grabbed my phone when I woke up Sunday morning to check the latest news on the El Paso shooting, but that shooting was so five minutes ago, because there’d been another shooting in Dayton. I wondered if I had logged into The Onion. No, it was the New York Times alright, and they never joke.
I didn’t know anybody in either shooting, but they were people just like you and me and your little brother who loves baseball more than pizza and your aunt who makes that really good coconut cake and your best friend from high school who had that snort laugh you can still hear.
It’s easy to become desensitized to these shootings, to pretend that these victims aren’t real, aren’t like you. Certainly, it’s easier than thinking about people dying in a fucking Walmart. But don’t allow yourself to turn away this time. We have an election in 2020, consider carefully who you vote for. We have to define who we are right now in this country. Our president is encouraging white supremacy. After Charlottesville, he said there were good people on both sides. He’s telling non-white members of congress to go back to where they came from. And these are just a couple examples of the many times this divisive president has spewed hate and incited racism. This president is poison.
We have to demand better. We have got to do what we can. Life in America does not require an assault weapon. High capacity magazines need to be banned. Universal background checks need to implemented. Congress need to act today.
And we need expanded mental health help. In our schools, in our places of employment. in our family systems. Of course, if there were fewer guns and more stringent gun laws, those with mental illness wouldn’t have easy access to them.
Because remember, next time there’s a mass shooting, (which could be this afternoon) it could be your middle daughter who loves to draw, or your neighbor who volunteers at the homeless shelter downtown, or it could be you.
Make no mistake, it could be you.