I have spent years in blissful ignorance, in peaceful complacency, in feeble excuses.
I remember Lori Dann, so many years ago in Winnetka. Columbine. Northern Illinois University. Fort Hood. Gabby Giffords in Tuscon. Aurora, Colorado, movie theater. Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Sandy Hook. Washington Navy Yard. Charleston church. Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. Just to name a very few.
I have sat by and watched silently while innocent people have been killed. Adults. Students. Military. Religious. Teachers. High school kids. Middle school kids. Elementary school kids. Just to name a very few. I’ve felt disgust and sadness and sat back and shook my head and shrugged my shoulders.
I’ve said nothing.
I’ve said, “I don’t think we need stricter gun control laws. They won’t do any good anyway. The guns are already out there. There’s no way to change what happens with guns.”
I’ve said, “Meh,” to anything the NRA says because they want to arm everyone, I swear. When a baby is born, take their footprints, determine their APGAR score, fill out the birth certificate, and get them their FOID card. Guns make a great baptism gift. Add a box of bullets to your flower arrangement for an extra fee.
I have been apathetic. And happily so.
But then San Bernardino happened today. And now I’m pissed and I’m tired of being apathetic and apologetic and level headed.
Fix. This. Now.
It is still too soon into this story to know if any of the people killed or wounded were developmentally disabled, but I don’t care. Three gunmen walked into this facility well prepared to murder and cause harm. This is a place that assists the most innocent and vulnerable of our world. These are people who have no concept of evil and do nothing their whole lives but love and depend on the goodness and kindness of others and exude kindness and love in return. The mere fact that someone has come in and defiled this space for these people, regardless of who was the target or who was injured or killed, has made me decide that I no longer want to be silent and apathetic and passive. Because all I see when I imagine what happened today is an image of my two uncles who are developmentally disabled and how terrifying and vile it is to imagine someone coming in to a place where they are and scaring them or hurting them.
I have sat back and let innocent people, including children, be murdered, and I’ve kept silent. But not anymore. Now I’ve decided it’s personal.
To the NRA, shut the hell up about gun rights and recognize that not everyone deserves a gun. Start to acknowledge that we have a gun problem in this country and it needs to be addressed. Use your power for good.
All you responsible gun owners, start to speak up loudly and forcefully about how horrific this is. Flood social media with your condemnation of irresponsible, reckless, dangerous, murderous use of guns. Advocate for responsible gun laws and responsible gun ownership. Acknowledge the fact that we have a gun problem in this country. Help make it stop.
I have always been one who said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” But I don’t give a damn about that sentiment anymore. People kill people with guns way, way, way too often and in way, way, way too many numbers. The number of people killed with guns compared to other murders is disproportionate. Acknowledge that. Do something. Make it stop.
We have a damn gun murder problem in this country. I am at the point where I don;t give a single damn about the 2nd Amendment. I don’t care about the right to bear arms. I care more about protecting innocent lives, especially the most vulnerable lives in our society.
I am tired of thinking about gun violence rationally. I’m pissed.
Make. It. Stop. I don’t care how. Just freaking do it.