We all have expectations. There is a picture in our head of our perfect life. Those are our hopes and dreams.
As we experience each day, there is a rhythm, like a song we hum in our head. It is our life moving forward as we planned it. Each day fits inside our plan with some minor variations caused by the unexpected. Those small bumps that happen but they are minor. Nothing too eventful. We make some adjustments and then the rhythm continues.
Until that changes.
We don’t plan for those significant events that can come crashing down on us. The nasty events that are part of life, no one plans for them. We acknowledge that there is always a possibility of something life- shattering to hit us and obliterate us, but no one ever thinks it will happen.
When it does,life as we know it is gone, changed forever. There is no rhythm, the song we hummed in our head is over, it is out of tune, and there is no longer any comfort in it.
As I was beginning to write today, I was drawn to this topic. I did not understand why. It was making me uncomfortable. There have been no tragedies or life-altering events in my life or anyone close to me. I had no reason to write about this, and it was off topic of anything I would choose to write.
I was uncomfortable enough that I was contemplating deleting what I had written and start over. So I decided to take a break. I went outside with my dog and cat for a walk.
When I came back inside, my feelings had not changed, so I made a cup of coffee and decided to play a computer game. I felt I needed to understand this. As I was casually playing the game, my thoughts were weaving in and out of this writing topic. Then it dawned on me. I can put a name to it.
Two mass shootings within 24 hours. One in El Paso, Texas and one in Dayton, Ohio. It is overwhelming, and I did not realize the impact it was having on me.
How do the families of the victims cope? I cannot get my head around it. How do you adjust to it? This tragedy takes me back to Sandy Hook and the disbelief I felt that day. I was awash with grief for the parents and the siblings, other family members, and for the community. Sadness and grief overtook me then and again today.
I choose not to offer ways to cope today for these families or their communities. There are better people than I to take on that enormous task. I can only offer you my grief and my love and depth of feeling. Words do not suffice today.
We cannot let this continue. It has to stop. It cannot become our “new normal” as I heard questioned last night on the national news.
How have we come to this place in time? Why is there so much hate? Why the urge to kill those we do not know? Why are some of us so intolerant?
We cannot eliminate hate, but we can soften it, educate and change some people’s perspective. There will always be killings in some form or another.
It is time for change, and it is up to us. It is our responsibility.
There is one thing we can do. We can demand, as is our right, to ban any form of an assault rifle in the hands of any individual. These guns were created and designed for use by the military. That is where they belong.
An individual does not need a mass killing weapon.
I firmly believe that all assault-style weapons should be made illegal and confiscated.
Unfortunately, our President and the members of Congress, in particular, the Republicans, have not accepted their duty to do so.
Mass shootings should not be a political issue, but they are. The politicians are a large part of the problem. Those with their hands extended, accepting the money from lobbyists, in particular, the NRA. It should not be a money issue, but sadly, there will be money made.
It is not a mental illness issue or a hatred issue. It is not a glorification of violence or about troubled youth watching video games.
This is a moral issue. It is a compassion issue and a love for humanity issue.
It is bigger than any one individual. This is about all of us.
By not addressing the ability of any assault weapon to kill multiple people very quickly, we are showing to the world that Americans have no moral compass. We can save lives. Why aren’t we? Pass the damn law.
Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon”. It’s much too late.
As always, thank your for reading my blog. Have an uneventful day. I wish you all well.