We knew this was coming. Right? We all knew there would come a time when it wouldn’t be enough to kill high school kids or college students or people in movie theaters. We know many of these shooters are aware of past shootings. They want to up the stakes. You don’t get remembered if you’re just one of the herd. And let’s face it, people who carry off mass shootings in America—they’re getting to be pretty big herd.
And what did we do about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Some of us wrote, some of screamed, some of us tried. But we didn’t get anywhere. It’s hard when half your government is terrified of the NRA and the other half’s on its payroll. It’s hard when the other side seems so angry. They’re ready to fight for their guns. They want to fight.
Are we ready to fight, too? I hope so.
Ever since 16 children died at Dunblane, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone hit an elementary school here. What I did not know was that it would be this close to home. That I would have a dear friend who, although the beloved children in his life were spared, would be going to several funerals this week. That it would happen near a bookstore where I spent a terrific afternoon talking to the kids of Bethel.
And I didn’t know that I would have a six year old son when it happened.
After Dunblane, the UK banned private ownership of hand guns. So have other countries who went through this nightmare. Despite the fact that the bans appear to be quite successful, I am assured that such a ban will never happen here. That we will never find a way to restrict gun ownership to the modest weaponry that will protect your home and get you venison.
Here’s one thing I don’t get. You like shooting paper targets? Rent the damn guns. Leave them at the range. That way, you get your jollies and more kids will get to grow up.
The “right” to own guns that can mow down countless people in seconds—how many of us really think that’s what the Second Amendment meant? You think it’ll protect you from the government of the most weaponized country in the world? That argument is not worth having.
Is our country so stupid, so negligent, so cowardly that we will fail to act again? That we will be held hostage by the thugs who insist their right to play with guns trumps our right to live our lives? Educate our children? Go to the movies? Church, mosque, synagogue? Hear our local politician speak?
People do pay attention when children die. When Emmett Till and Cari Lightner died, it mattered. Not right away. But things started to change. Because we’re not that stupid and we’re not that cowardly.
This time, we’ll scream louder than they do. It’s not President Obama who’s coming for your guns, ladies and gentlemen. It’s millions of enraged Americans who have had enough.