A man walks into a church in a small town and shoots 26 people dead.
Questions swirl–“Is he is mentally ill?” OF COURSE HE IS MENTALLY ILL. Nobody shoots innocent people unless they are mentally ill. You know, in case you were wondering about this, wonder no more.
We have become a nation where mass shootings happen, everybody offers prayers and thoughts, a week goes by and all is forgotten. Amnesia sets in. Nothing is done. The people affected are changed forever, and the rest of us all go on as if the event never occurred. And by the way, I include myself in this do-nothing crowd. You know why? Because I don’t know what the fuck to do. I don’t know how to make change here. I feel helpless to make a difference, because I know the almighty power of the NRA. I know that lawmakers can be bought and sold. I know the most this president will do about this situation is tweet about it. And the tweet won’t make sense, either. I know the pro-gun set is holding the second amendment in front of themselves like a bullet proof vest.
Kiss your loved ones goodbye everyday, and wear clean underwear, because there is no place that is exempt from the being the next mass casualty shooting.
I so badly want to be holiday-happy, celebrate that it’s going to be in the 50’s next week, that I’m having lunch with a friend today, that the plumber determined that the smell coming from my bathroom sink was not something expensive wrong with our pipes, and just sink scum that needed some Clorox and hot water (There goes my Good Housekeeping Seal).
But the latest shooting in California is wallpapering my brain right now, and I can’t think of much else. And when I do, try and think of something else, it’s the previous shooting in Paris. I am sitting in my office looking out at a pink sunrise, and wondering what I can do as one little person to help 86 “the new normal.”
I feel like I have said it all before, on this blog, blah, blah, blah gun laws, blah, blah, blah mental health help. But what can I do? Me? How can I rock the boat? There’s something seriously wrong when a room full of people at a Christmas party gets killed with the kind of firepower that should not just casually be hanging around one’s house next to the broom and mop.
This is my cousin’s idea–sue the government over the Second Amendment. I like it. The only arms I feel we need are the ones attached to our shoulders.
How about this quote nobody knows the author of, that I saw on Facebook:
Tell me what I can do, as one concerned citizen to help stop our bang, bang culture. If you have tangible ideas, please share them. I’d be grateful.
THERE HAVE BEEN MORE MASS SHOOTINGS THIS YEAR THAN THERE HAVE BEEN DAYS.
It has clearly become a thing, a trend to use a gun as a way to communicate your ideological fanaticism, to take out workplace grudges, or your sadness, depression, or isolation. Pick up a gun and shoot people who are just living their lives. This is what we do now. We’ve begun to stop feeling the impact of those bullets, because they’ve become so common. CNN has a permanent “Breaking News” scroll.
Fourteen dead. Seventeen injured. An entire community traumatized.
It’s happened again. And sadly and selfishly, I am immediately grateful it hasn’t happened to my family, to my friends, to my town. Of course, it could. Later today. Tomorrow. Who knows when?
We need to take action.
We’re all at risk. Worst of all, we’re all at risk of becoming immune to these kinds of headlines.
Is there even anything left to say about another school shooting?
It’s just another day in America.
I noticed that even the Facebook posts ignored this news, like it was just another stupid thing Trump spat out. (And btw, Donald, how ‘about you gather all the guns and DEPORT THOSE.)
It seems to be ok now to take out your anger/depression/lonliness/issuedujour with artillery on the campus of a school.
While our flimsy gun laws are part of the reason, there has to be something else at play, too. Have video games, where the object is to kill as many people as we can, de-sensitized us to the point of thinking this is a real answer to real problems? Is the stigma of being mentally ill so enormous and shameful that we do everything we can to ignore it? is getting help for depression so expensive and hard to come by that we just don’t bother to even try? ARE POLITICIANS TOO FUCKING DIVIDED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS PROBLEM?
For all the “We have a black president,” banter, we also seem to be on a killing spree of black boys and men across the country. The Charleston Church shooting is an abysmal reminder that racism lives lavishly right here in the U.S. of A. Shame on us. For all the progress we’ve made, we still seem to be walking up the down escalator. Martin Luther King must be weeping today.
Forgiveness. Is this part of the way out of the maze? When forgiveness, love and humanity beat out ego?
And when will we face the simple truth that guns are far too easy to get, that background checks are essential? We are shooting ourselves in the foot not to think this is part of our demise.
When is it that we will begin to truly believe that mental illness is a disease just like cancer, and not a lack of willpower, or a character defect, and start normalizing it so that the stigma disappears, and people reach out for help.