Wow, I’ve been gone a while. Well, things are very hard at work these days, and I come home too exhausted to even bother with writing. But current events and a quiet anger bring me back. Be warned, though: in anger, a lot of vulgarity may ensue.
Mass shootings. The cycle goes on. And as I said before, the names are already forgotten. Individuals: brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, are turned into mere statistics to throw around in the endless debate. That’s probably the most sickening part. That, and the whole “thoughts and prayers”. Fuck thoughts and prayers. Clearly those are working. I mean, what do people think? God, sitting on a cloud, thinks, “all right, I’m hearing enough of this. I’ll stop the shooting scheduled for Tuesday.”
These people need love and strength and support. TANGIBLE support. Signs that their loved ones’ loss maybe wasn’t completely in vain, or unheeded.
Any time I mention this on social media, of course, I get jumped on about gun laws. Here’s me on guns, to clear it up before more people jump down my throat.
Do I like them? Not really. But neither do I dislike them. I’m not interested in owning one. But I can see the draw. I like knives, and pewter figurines, and a variety of things I see beauty in. Likewise, guns have a certain eerie beauty, and there are designs and creations I can appreciate. I don’t particularly care about matchbox cars, either, but I have a friend who loves and collects them, and I can see how some of them are cool, and I respect that. So, hey, I’m not out to get anyone’s guns taken away.
Throw the Constitution around all you like. A moment’s thought, however, will remind you that it was written as we were trying to break free of colonialism. The vast majority of people needed a gun because they belonged to a militia. Hunting your food was much more common, as well. And enemy soldiers walked the land, so self-defense was a huge concern. The right to bear arms had a different relevance when it was written in.
But, quote it, dance around it, stitch it into a sampler and hang it in your kitchen. Engrave it onto your Glock. I’m really not about taking your fucking guns away, even if I really don’t see a need for it.
What causes these shootings, folks, isn’t guns, or mental illness, or slack security. It’s the combination of these things that allows this to happen. So instead of picking one and beating it to death, we have to look at preventing this combination of events.
A lot of people have guns solely for hunting. They will never harm anyone with them. A lot of people battle mental illness, which has an insane amount of varieties, and most of them will never harm another soul (and sadly, I also believe that a lot of the drugs we throw out there, to hide the symptoms more than address the problem, have a hand in these events, because they a. don’t help the actual illness and b. actually exacerbate instability). An occasional lapse in security is nine times of ten, not going to explode into tragedy. They missed taking my shoes off at the airport? Then my toe ring gets successfully smuggled to San Antonio. Or my 8oz hand lotion could be used to take over the world.
But when these things converge…someone mentally ill, who is either on drugs that don’t help, or is undiagnosed, or diagnosed but untreated because of our nightmarish health system, gets a gun, and gets it either legally because someone dropped the ball, or under the table by stealing it or using some unknowing pawn, and then security fails and that gun and person get into a place they shouldn’t….
There’s our problem. And I’m not saying I have the answers. I have suggestions, but I freely admit I don’t know enough about any of these to know how worthwhile they are.
Individually, these things aren’t the issue. Shut up with the thoughts and prayers. The only person they really comfort are you. Put your mind to better use and look at the bigger picture. And keep those victims in your heart, keep their memories alive, with action. Your prayers aren’t doing them any good, but some well-directed thoughts may.