Today marks one week since the Las Vegas shooting. The worst mass shooting in US history. Or dare I say ‘herstory’? Because what is happening in this world is happening to both him and her.
My heart hurts for the families and the victims of this unspeakable crime. I read through post after post about the heroic things that concertgoers, citizens, first responders, and tourists did during this impossible situation where leisure time became wartime. We are a mighty and beautiful people and I wouldn’t want to live in any other country than the USA. My freedoms here are amazing, and yes they come with a price.
I ran across this post by Caroline Chavasse, and I could not shake off the words that she wrote.
Her words rang in my ears, and I couldn’t un-hear them once I read them. Has ‘taking a bullet’ become our new normal? Yes, if I have signed up to serve in the military than that may very well become my normal. But the victims of this shooting and previous shootings didn’t expect to find themselves in a war experience when they went to a concert, or a nightclub, or to college. Most were not trained to manage the violence they suddenly experienced.
I believe it is a good idea to be capable of managing conflict and emergency situations. I have taken more than my fair share of fight training classes. I have shot plenty of guns. But I think something is wrong when we have gotten to a place where we expect to be shot by either terrorists or other US citizens in a casual setting.
I believe I understand the reason behind the 2nd Amendments existence. When the country was founded the land was vast. In order to protect their private property they would have to arm themselves. That makes sense to me.
Now that we have cell phones, 911, and even facebook live, one might think that we don’t need to arm ourselves anymore. However, the fact remains that each state has the right to defend itself should the federal government go rouge. It was a reality that Americans were interned during World War II. Sometimes the government makes poor choices, and I can understand that some US citizens want to be able to stand their ground should we ever experience civil unrest or civil war again within our borders.
When cell phones were invented, we figured out that we needed to make it illegal to use phones while driving. It took some time but we figured out a way to allow every one to keep their cell phones, but not kill others on a regular basis because we weren’t using them the way they were meant to be used. If I choose to drive and text and I kill someone there will be consequences.
I am open to keeping the 2nd Amendment while still creating laws that protect all of us in our every day lives. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have smart consequences or regulations regarding our use of guns. I can only focus on my own choices, because my actions or inactions have consequences and I have to live with that. In the coming months I will be making an effort to try to understand where we can bridge the gap for gun use and institute safer regulations; just as we have done for drinking, texting, internet use, pharmaceuticals…. etc.
Writing about the issue won’t be enough for me. Offering my thoughts and prayers isn’t enough for me. How about you? What will provide you with a clear conscious? Will posting on facebook be enough? Will leaving the laws as they are right now be enough for you?
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin to effect change. But I will begin, and I will contribute to the process so that my child, family, and friends have a chance to survive their next outing. Are we at war? It certainly feels like it on days like this. The time to wait for others to step in and solve my communities’ problems is over. It’s up to me to contribute to the process.