I admit that I am easily riled. I can get angry or excited pretty quickly. Yes, I’m very cocker spaniel puppy that way. I’ve learned over the years to slow down and think before I act on my impulsive feelings. Usually.
I’m not going to wait today. I’m going to get it all out because this is important. It’s important that good people start getting angry and active.
We need more restrictive gun laws in this country. We need them yesterday. And we need more access to mental health services. Yeah, I’m making that connection early in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy, but I know that these two things are related.
First, don’t tell me not to ‘politicize’ this today. I’m not. I’m personalizing it. I’m owning my anger and frustration and acting on it. I’m using these feelings to act and do my part. I’m mad. I’m anxious. I’m terrified. I’m sick to my stomach. And the only way I can do something is to voice it, to write about it.
Things I’m thinking about today:
1. “Guns don’t kill, people do.”
Yeah, that’s true. But you know what? People with assault rifles kill more people faster. Angry, drunk, or mentally unstable people commit rash acts that are only intensified with a gun in arm’s reach.
2. “Cars kill more people every year than guns, should we outlaw cars?”
No, we don’t outlaw cars, but we do have many restrictions in place to make them as safe as possible. Police monitor our driving and keep tabs on who is being responsible and who isn’t. And you know what? When it is warranted, we change those restrictions. Minimum driving ages have been raised since I was a teen. Why? Because as safety issues change, laws change. Well, for cars anyway, for guns we say, “No! Do not change ANY of my right to bear arms.” Listen, when our Constitution was written, guns took a lot longer to load and reload. Our founding fathers could never have imagined the power that modern weapons have. And that’s why our Constitution has provisions for change. Times change, and our morals and values do too.
3. “Criminals will find a way to get guns no matter then laws, why take away my rights?”
Drunks find a way to get behind the wheel too; let’s just forget about drunk driving laws. Or, we could keep enforcing the laws we have and maybe even tighten them if they are not strict enough. Criminals act against the law, but that doesn’t mean we abandon laws. That is ridiculous. Oh, my house was robbed? Crap, no use trying to make breaking and entering illegal then if people just do it anyway.
My main concern today is how to keep kindergarteners from being murdered at school. The only way I can do that is talking about ways to curb violence. And I believe one way is to put heavier restrictions on gun ownership. Will this inconvenience law-abiding citizens? Yep. Do I care? Nope. Add gun permit/regulation worries to that part of your life where taxes and the DMV live. I think it’s worth it.
I also think I need to do more to make my voice heard. And so do you. We need to be stronger and louder than the NRA. It feels like a mountain we can’t possibly top. I know. But, we won’t know unless we try.
Sick people kill children and teachers at school, but well people have a responsibility to learn from these tragedies and act.