This is not the way I would have liked to return to blogging. I would much rather post something funny and mildly uplifting making fun of the Mayan Apocalypse, but I can’t.
I just can’t. Because, like every other parent I know and most rational human beings, I’m in a state of furious shock at the events of today. I’ve been trying all day to find a way to say some of the things that have been running thru my mind without sounding pedantic, trite, or even political. And yet I’m not sure there’s a way to process any of this without either saying something that is one or all of those things or just screaming.
I am filled with horror at what happened in Connecticut today. As a parent, I’ve spent a good chunk of the day imagining how I would feel if I were in that same situation, and inevitably my heart starts to pound and I get panicked. For parents, this is truly the stuff of nightmares. The absolute terror of something irreversible happening to your child is only topped by the feeling of utter helplessness at the news. I’ve never had anything remotely as awful as what happened today happen to me, so I can only imagine, and I’m sure my imagination, for once, cannot compare to reality. My heart aches in my attempts to comprehend what the families of today’s victims must be going thru, and I wish I knew something that I could do or say that could help in any way at all, all the while recognizing the futility of such an effort. What can you say? There’s nothing that I can think of that would comfort me if someone dared to harm a single hair on my son’s head. If anything, it would most likely add fuel to the fire of my rage.
That’s what I feel most of all right now. Rage. I am beyond outraged that something like this has happened yet again in this country. I am beyond furious that it happened in a school to children. What I want to do most of all is punish the piece of shit who did this. At the moment, I neither know nor care about his motivations or his pain. He ceased to become a human being to me when he made the conscious decision to harm children. And I’m beyond furious that, for many reasons, I cannot exercise my desire for vengeance. And that’s what I want, because if this had happened to my son, I would not hesitate to destroy the filth who did it.
But it didn’t happen to my son. It didn’t happen to me. It is not my place to act on that desire even if it were possible. However, the rage remains, and there’s another side to it. I’m outraged that we continue to allow this to happen. We continue to make weapons easily available to people who should not have access to them. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, yes, but unfortunately it doesn’t say anything about learning how to use that gun responsibly. You look at gun control laws in other countries, and you can see that it does reduce the number of gun-related violent crimes and deaths, and you’d be a fool not to see the correlation. I’m not saying take away our guns – not at all. I’m saying that, if you choose to own a gun, you should accept responsibility for the fact that you now are capable of ending the life of another human being instantly.
Guns make killing people all too easy. It takes no more than the will to do it and the movement of a finger. Hell, I’m expending more effort to type this blog than it would take to pull a trigger and erase another person from existence. That’s an awesome responsibility. Before the existence of firearms, it required a supreme effort to take the life of another human being simply because you would have to do it with your own two hands, and you can bet that he was doing the same to you. It would seem to me that if you had to work that hard not only to try to kill him but also to stay alive yourself, you would understand the magnitude of the responsibility you would bear. But in our race to make life simpler and easier, we have made it simple and easy to kill. Just point and click. And we don’t seem to want to take responsibility for that at all. And that makes me furious.
Politicos and pundits are, of course, saying that now is not the time to bring the gun control debate up, but they’ve said that every single time this has happened in the last twenty years. It was only a few weeks ago when a gunman entered a movie theatre in Colorado and opened fire. We’ve barely recovered from that. It was only a few months ago that another gunman entered a temple in Wisconsin and did the same thing. THIS HAS HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES THIS YEAR. WHEN IS THERE GOING TO BE A RIGHT TIME? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
I don’t have an answer, but I know this: we need to take action so that no more babies suffer. It never should have come to this. If this is what humanity is coming to, then maybe having the Apocalypse around the corner won’t be such a bad thing. We seem intent on destroying ourselves in any case. We screw with our food, our water, our air, our genes, we allow corporations to make the worst decisions in the name of profit, and we encourage an attitude of selfishness and fear that makes it next to impossible to trust each other and makes it supremely easy to destroy each other instead. We seem either to take some perverse delight in our achievement at the cost of the suffering of others, or, even worse, we seem to be completely indifferent to it. We just. Don’t. Care. Why should we give a fuck about anyone else? What have they done for me?
We’re all in this together, people. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, whether you sleep with boys or girls, whether you’re a liberal or a conservative – we all love our children. We all want to see them grow up, laugh, cry, celebrate, mourn, live, love, have children of their own, do amazing, wonderful things. But there are twenty children now who will never do any of those things. Why aren’t we doing something about that?
I know that I’m saying what a lot of people are saying. I don’t feel any better for saying it, even tho I had to. I’m still just angry and sad. And grateful. Of course, I’m grateful, because when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll be able to hold my son and smile at his beautiful face. And I’m heartbroken that I can’t do more to help the parents who won’t.
Jesus, Newtown, I’m so sorry. And I’m angry for you. I’m crying and screaming with you because I don’t know what else to do.