Shootings. And what to do.

The other day I posted a thing on Facebook.

It was right after this past weekend’s awful shooting in Texas. (Which- ha, is kind of a rookie mistake, since Facebook has pretty much become an insulated bubble where peeps preach to likeminded peeps and we all agree that we’re all doing a pretty great job. Which is nice, but ultimately not as far-reaching as one might hope.)

So, I’m sharing it here, where my hopes for further dialogue and answers (and maybe more questions) can be dialogued and answered and questioned.

(Important! As someone brought up to me, an AR-15 *technically* isn’t an “automatic rifle”. For sure. AR stands for ArmaLite, not the other assumed acronym. That said, anything that can be hacked incredibly quickly with incredibly accessible bump stocks can become incredibly automatic. So, like, miss me with any *winkwinknodnod* manufacturing descriptions.)


Here it is in it’s original entirety:

Dozens of people were shot and killed yesterday in Sutherland Springs, Texas. In a church, during a service, for absolutely no reason. A pregnant mother, three of her children, the pastor’s 14 year-old daughter. A community spanning generations.

It’s been a month since the Vegas massacre, you guys.

I have zero answers and every iota of the fear rationed to each human being. I know that nothing I say and do today on this platform will bring about immediate change.

All I know is that saying nothing— and carrying on with gratitude for things like the Starbucks holiday cup or rolling my eyes at the weird thing my kid just said— feels grossly disingenuous without the attempt at dialogue or awareness or direction.

Americans died. Horribly. Again. And, as so many have eloquently stated before me, hold up on the #thoughtsandprayers. They had thoughts and prayers. They were in a church, thinking and praying. That quota is full.

And as to the argument that all we need is “one good guy with a gun?” Well, here you go. There was a good guy with a gun, (who teamed up with another good guy with a gun to drive the truck) combatting the original bad guy with a gun. After the fact. After children and teenagers and adults had been slaughtered in mere seconds. (Hold your breath for as long as you can. By the time you’re done? So was he.) So, while the second guy with a gun’s actions were commendable, they were— and I hate to say it— not enough. Heroic, absolutely. But enough? No.

If your ratio of acceptable killings is one stopped bad guy for every 26 shooting victims (or more, if you look at Vegas), we’re gonna run out of people really, really soon.

I understand gun ownership. I do (mostly). I know and respect gun owners who have a myriad of reasons for keeping, collecting, and safely using guns.

I am not talking about those people.

I do not want anyone to take away “our guns.”

But no one has yet given a convincing argument as to why a civilian would require an assault rifle. Not one. (I am ready to hear it, if you have it.) Because, to my logic, the only reason to keep a weapon that shoots and reloads and shoots and reloads that ridiculously fast is to have the ability to massacre at will.

The owner of an assault rifle is not a militia of one, prepared to stage a coup against the U.S. government, should the situation arise.

The U.S. Army has drones and tanks. The owner of an assault rifle is not preparing to fight the U.S. Army.

The owner of an assault rifle is preparing to fight- and wipe out- whomever ticks him off on a primal level. The “whomever,” as we’ve seen this year alone, is an ever-changing group. As are the innocent bystanders. As are their families and loved ones who, to be honest, aren’t comforted by Twitter hashtags.

This is not a mental health issue. This is— yet again— an instance where an angry white man with a history of domestic violence and employment issues takes down an unbelievable amount of people. Don’t be distracted by the President’s proclamation of “mental health” problems or the voices clamoring for an answer as to why this lone wolf would do this. There must be a reason!

There is a reason.

It’s called accessibility to the type of weapons that citizens shouldn’t have, an accessibility encouraged by the states who were gifted manufacturing tax breaks, who in turn gifted lawmakers and organizations with money to promote something titled “the 2.5 Million Gun Challenge.”

Just a thought.

I have to believe that intelligent gun owners (of whom there are many, many, many) have the same fears as me. I have to believe that parents who have guns in their homes still do that thing where they squeeze their kids’ hands extra tight before school, quietly memorizing the color shirt they donned that day and taking a second to say “I love you”— and mean it.

I’ll say this much: the unexpected after-effect of so many national tragedies is that we’re all really, really in the present with loved ones.

So what do we do?

Because arming teachers and pastors doesn’t seem super viable, and having armed guards stationed by every public door smacks a little too much of Nazi Germany and subsequent occupations.

I don’t want that. Do you want that? (I can’t believe anyone would want that.) Is that what we remember from our childhood and is that what we hope for our future?

That’s not “greatness.” That’s lockdown.

We deserve better.

(And I’m honestly all ears as to how we can get there.)


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(And now, here’s this unfiltered pic of trees near me, because = beauty.)

Ready for more blog reading?

My pal Kelly has a great post about things you can do right now to end gun violence. Letters and contacting elected officials, yes, but also volunteers opps and ideas for things that will maybe/sorta start to cauterize the overwhelming flood of “what can I do?”

It’s a start.

It’s a really good start.



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