gratitude-a-thon day 2096: Again

I used to go pick up my kids at school. And I loved that minute I saw them, before they saw me, when I could marvel at the fact that they were people-ish enough to go and have their own day without me there to wipe their noses. I loved covertly spying on the tiny signs of independence they showed–carrying their oversized backpacks on their little shoulder, or giggling with a friend. We’d connect eyes and there was a silent and comforting joy in our pupils that screamed, “I am so happy to see you, you are my home.”

This is what I think about when something like yesterday happens for the 1,890,324th time. When the school shooting alerts started to appear on my phone. I started to feel sick, then sad, then balls to the wall angry. And all the while I was imagining myself going to my kid’s school during the mass chaos of a shooting and finding out that their lives had ended because we are a country that is following a constitutional law that was created when we had bayonets and militias, not AR-15s we can carry around like cell phones and buy as easily as a latte at Starbucks.

I don’t know that I could make it through such an unspeakably horrific event. I don’t know if I could……

And yet, we, as a country, we allow parents to go through this kind of eighth ring of hell all the time. We let them send their children to what used to be the safest place on earth to be slaughtered in a more traumatic way than soldiers in combat. We expect those who weren’t in the way of the bullets to go back to live their lives as usual, even though nothing about their lives will ever be usual again.

We don’t talk about it in polite society because it’s not polite, but every parent breathes a day-long sigh of relief when they learn their child is safe after they hear the words “school shooting.” We thank God, or whoever it is we think is in charge of this three-ring circus for being spared this time. Of course we don’t really know if it will be our child, or our neighbor’s child, or our sister’s child next time. The plain truth is that we have decided as the US of A that guns are acceptable, and so it could be anybody, anywhere, any time. ANYBODY. ANYWHERE. ANY TIME.

I have tried to imagine a solution. I have wondered, if those so vehemently against gun control, ever lost a child in a shooting, if they would still believe in protecting our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. What if every senator and congressperson who votes against any kind of gun control lost a child in a mass shooting? Would it change their thinking? I don’t know the answer. And I don’t hope to find out, but my mind goes all kinds of cuckoo just trying to imagine what would have to happen to make us all unanimous about the fact that guns are killing us. Our kids, our souls, our humanity.

Am I grateful this wasn’t a thing when I went to school? Am I down on my knees my kids were safe during those pickups from grammar school? Of course, I am. But I’d be more grateful if nobody ever had to live through this madness, this horror, this nightmare that has become the way we now live in the most progressive country in the world.

2 thoughts on “gratitude-a-thon day 2096: Again

  1. The time for words has long passed… I find it incredibly hard to understand why the ban on other things in this country is so easy and accepted (that deals with a person’s right of choice) yet the ban on something that does harm has not been addressed.

    It’s almost as if they have deaf ears and REFUSE to budge on this issue. Usually, it would be said “How many Lives will it cost us?” but we have surpassed even that question. We are allowing innocent children to be caught in the crossfire of this and STILL we do nothing.

    What can WE DO!!!???

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