Because all the cool kids are doing it - the random thoughts of father, husband and writer, Sam W. Anderson.
Friday, December 14, 2012
NOTE: I was a little late with my "Next Big Thing" blog post that was due a couple of days ago. With today's events, I'm postponing this until next week. My apologies to those whom I've tagged, but bad taste and all.
Where to start?
With emotion, I guess. Isn't that where you're supposed to hit a reader? And there's a myriad we're experiencing. Enduring, actually. Maybe just suffering through.
Numbness, sorrow, anger, confusion. There are a lot of different people affected by today's events. There's a lot of different ways for them to deal with their emotions, to react, to cope.
Two emotions dominate me right now. Not anger - because that's not strong enough. Rage, though. That's one. A rage that left me screaming in my car, punching the steering wheel. Rage at the asshole or assholes responsible (as of this writing, it's still not clear). Rage that we allowed it to happen.
The second emotion is disgust. We knew this was coming. What, there was no evidence? Aurora wasn't enough? Minnesota wasn't enough? Oregon, just fucking yesterday, wasn't enough. And I'm disgusted by all of us for our apathy. I'm disgusted with me.
But, somehow, it's never the time to talk about it. I understand many who are complaining that this is being politicized are trying to cope with their emotions, to simply put one minute after the other, make sense of complex events a little at a time.
I will not wait anymore to discuss this, though. I waited, out of respect, after Columbine (that happened less than five miles from where I lived at the time), and then it got too far in the past and wasn't the right time again somehow. I waited after Aurora (That happened about five miles from where I live today) and after Virginia Tech and after Arizona and after Minnesota and after - fuck it, pick an incident, because you can come up with five on your own. I waited and waited and waited and now we no longer have the luxury to wait. Now is the time to FUCKING ACT!
These events are so prevalent today, news shows have "go-to" people for massacres. How fucking sick is that? I waited, and we waited and what did we get? We got today. And I will not wait one more fucking second. I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN TOMORROW BECAUSE I DID NOTHING TODAY. It is time we act, we actually do something about gun violence, about massacres of innocent people now instead of procrastinating out of "respect for the victims." Let's not wait until the children are buried because maybe we have another story tomorrow. How about we act out of respect for possible future victims?
Honestly, when was the last mass shooting before this one? Think hard - oh, you don't have to. It was actually yesterday. At a mall. In Oregon.
This is it. Today is THE final fucking straw. Many of us have culpability. Many of us knew gun control, and let's call it what it has become and should be known as - massacre control, was something that needed to be part of the public discourse. Those in this camp ignored it. Ignored it because there was an election to win. Ignored it because it's a hot topic and might sway swing voters to vote for the other side, and in the end, the big picture would be lost. I let the "big" picture get in the way of the actual bigger picture.
I will be culpable no more.
It's been widely reported that the shooter used a .223 caliber rifle. The Aurora theater shooter had an M-16 with a 100 round barrel magazine and a .40 caliber semi automatic hand gun. The asshole that shot Gabby Giffords had a 19mm glock w/ a 33 round magazine. These are not weapons for hunting or self defense. These, the ammo used in them, are designed for mass assaults.
You want a handgun for self defense? I disagree, but I do think it's your right. A handgun, as in singular. If you want a couple of rifles to go hunting, I disagree, but I think it's your right. You want assault rifles and are clearly obsessed with weapons, then you are the exact person to not have them and it is no longer your right. One's need to compensate for the size of their penis does not grant them a right to have weapons only the military should access to. Where do you draw the line? The Second Amendment only says "right to bear arms." (And for the moment I'll ignore the militia provision to do this and the fact that the Supreme Court has consistently said that the actual right is only allowed to members of the National Guard.) Isn't a rocket launcher an "arm?" A nuclear warhead? Mustard gas?
There is a right to draw the line, and that line was drawn today. Those that have been complacent will not stand for this any longer. People who didn't even bother to vote in one of the most contentious elections in our history are calling their congresspeople and senators. Those who waivered for one second on gun control are looking at it again. The tide has turned because of today. Because me, and people like me, will no longer allow the NRA to allow this shit to happen. To lobby to almost ensure it will happen again.
And if you think today isn't the day to talk about it, if you think the NRA is not to share in this blame, then I point to dozens of dead kids who did nothing but go to school. Your argument is invalid.
My disgust is.
Make no mistake. I understand it's not simply weapons that led to this. There's an entire litany of shit that needs to be addressed. But we can no longer afford to deny that people with guns are behind these events. And those people need to be stopped.
Those who want to do something, call your representatives. House.gov.
Sign the petition for the president to open up debate and begin the ending of these events: Petition