I don’t need to state the obvious, but I will. This week has been hard. What happened in Las Vegas is beyond comprehension… yet for the 59 families who are dealing with deaths, 500+ other families who are dealing with injuries, and the thousands of other families who are dealing with the repercussions of having been a first-hand witness of a literal massacre, it’s been a living nightmare. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I cannot express how much my heart is hurting for them.
I had a strong realization this week, that the question is no longer “if”…. it’s “when”. When will I be in the wrong place at the wrong time? When will this happen to me or someone I love? I’m not saying this to be dramatic… I’m saying it to be realistic.
Casey and I have talked about the fact that we have been so close to a few shootings in the last few years. I was working 5 minutes from the grocery store in Tucson (where I stopped by before/after work multiple times a week) where there was a shooting that killed 6 people and injured many, including US Rep Gabrielle Giffords. When we lived in Portland, we were 15 minutes away from the Clackamas Town shooting that killed 2 people. Again, I’m not saying this to be dramatic but to paint the picture that it’s happening right next door.
What is happening in our world is unacceptable. The simple fact that we can’t go to a concert… or to school… a movie… to church… a nightclub… etc etc…. without worrying about dying? How did we get here? I don’t know about you but every time something like this happens, I find it harder and harder to be optimistic about the future. At this point, we are dealing with daily mass shootings. It’s a fact that our kids are more likely to die from a gun than from a car accident. Our future seems so bleak (especially with our current “leader” ha) and so dark. It feels like we are in a crapshoot and there’s no escaping it. I just want to gather up my people and head underground. But even there it’s possible to bump into the armed Voldemorts of the world. There’s just no hiding from this reality.
By now, you’ve all likely read or seen the stories about the UK and Australia reacting appropriately to gun violence (if not…. here) and it just seems so backwards that our amazingly progressive country has yet to react AT ALL to any of these crazy horrific tragedies.
Which is why it’s so important for us to DO SOMETHING. To me this isn’t a partisan issue… it’s a moral issue. If you value human lives, you have to agree that something has to change in our country. Guns are certainly not the bottom line. And yes, guns don’t kill people…. people kill people. BUT the people need the guns to kill the people. And it’s too easy for them. It doesn’t have to be, we can make it harder. We need to make it harder. We need to take action to reflect our values.
Our children deserve better than living a life of fear. We all do.
I know there have been a lot of opinions regarding this topic. And I have essentially nothing new to say. But the point is that I have SOMETHING to say. It’s the not saying anything that keeps us from changing. So. This is me, holding myself accountable for my part in making a change.
Sending so much love to you all, holding my loved ones tight, and putting one foot in front of the other…
Here are ways we can help:
- Support the implementation of common-sense gun control laws policies
- Write/call your representatives and senators for gun control reform
- Donate to the Red Cross or the victims GoFundMe pages
- Donate blood
- Be an advocate for better mental health care policies
(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow.)