I’m unbelievably sad. It’s been a very tough 8 months here in the northeast. Hurricane Sandy, SandyHook, the Boston Marathon – I’m speechless at the challenges that face us. The violence of nature, the violence of humans, the innocent victims, the unbelievable loss. I remember after 9/11, those 3 days of silence where it seemed like maybe, just maybe, the horror was great enough that humanity shifted. It seemed that we got jarred into reality and hit over the head with the fact that we are all one, that love really is the only answer, and that life matters, kindness matters. I remember the silence in the skies, the community on the airwaves, the weird sense that out of this unspeakable tragedy, we might just become better as human beings. That was a consoling thought but it didn’t last. The gratuitous violence as entertainment came back with new vigor, the shock wore off and a new normal settled in as that glimmer of insight about our humanity faded into background noise.
I’m unbelievably sad because I don’t get us --- us, the human race – us, Americans. What is it going to take for us to realize that we are all one? Don’t we know that we have a responsibility to take care of each other, our planet, our children, ourselves? We should all be wanting the same things – respect, fellowship, safety, freedom, hope and the occasional joy. Who doesn’t want that? I don’t want your kid to get blown away by a gun or a bomb or a drunk driver any more than you should want that tragedy to befall me. Have we taken leave of our senses? Do we need to riot in the streets to get the point across that common sense and public safety are our right? Do we need to have our political opponent’s innocent children ripped by bullets before they’ll get the point?
I’m not a gun owner and never will be. I have many reasons but chief among them are my two special needs kids who don’t have the cognitive skills or emotional maturity to be safely around such things. However, I’m FOR the 2nd amendment – always have been and always will be. My grandfather was an avid sportsman and hunter. My father grew up on a cattle ranch and knew how to handle a gun from a young age. Many of my friends are gun owners and seemingly all of them are in favor of background checks – they’re not afraid. If I were them, I’d be especially furious because it’s that constituent that is being most egregiously misrepresented. Most gun owners want a privilege they enjoy to be protected with checks & balances so their hobbies & interests are unimpeded and safe. They’re responsible people who understand that just like driving a car, or flying an airplane or getting a credit card or drinking a beer, privileges come with responsibility.
So how did we get here and why aren’t we marching in the streets demanding common sense from our elected officials? How can we passively sit here, the 90% of us who are okay with a background check, and let a special interest group misrepresent the facts, intimidate legislators and insult the families who’ve suffered the most unimaginable loss? Am I the only one unbelievably sad and disgusted with the mean, hurtful and irrelevant things being said to justify doing nothing? When the worst has already happened, over and over again, what will it take for us to figure this out before it’s too late? I shudder to think but am no longer willing to just sit by silently until the next horror unfolds. I demand of myself to care. I beg of you to care. I pray that we all actually hold onto that glimmer of connectedness and do something useful and lasting.
Please join me in signing this petition, making your voices heard and demanding that Congress do their jobs, not on behalf of the special interests but on behalf of us, their constituents who believe in the 2nd Amendment AND in the need for background checks on gun purchases so that we can all pursue life, liberty and happiness safely.