Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's On Us

It's been over a month since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, and I just able to sit down to try and make some sense of what transpired. I get angry at myself that I don't rage and rail when something like this occurs, but I think - I'm not sure - that I go into a state of shock every time a shooting occurs. It happened after VaTech, after the Trevon Martin killing, and after the Aurora Theater shooting...

I wrote once or twice already about gun violence in the United States and I have stated a few things that I thought were provocative:

  • We should not be surprised these shootings occur
  • Our culture accepts this violence when other similar nations and cultures would not
  • Easy access to certain types of firearms contribute to the epidemic of gun violence
  • We don't take responsibility to learn how to safely use, store, sell, and control access to guns
  • This will happen again

For the record, I'm a supporter of the Second Amendment. Simply, there is no political will to remove one of the original Bill of Rights; the Founding Fathers made it the second amendment in the Bill of Rights for a reason. It isn't going to go away, be overturned, or significantly amended, even if the historical reason the FF's put it in the Bill of Rights no longer applies.  Simply, this country is awash in guns.  Wishing them away is foolish, politically impossible, and practically unenforceable.  I support the Second Amendment because it is pragmatic to do so. I just pray we look at the words "well regulated" with greater scrutiny moving ahead, so some common sense laws at the state and Federal level can begin to reverse the trend we all seem to accept, even with horror and revulsion.

I write this blog with an attempt at anonymity and I began writing it originally to get some shit off my chest and out of my head. I try not to identify myself or those nearest to me, because my writing isn't intended to affect my circle of loved ones and friends. But one of the stories I've been working to get off my chest is very personal.

Eight years ago an angry man shot my brother in the face with a .44 Magnum at point blank range.  My brother was dead before his body hit the ground, and part of me dies every time I read or hear about a shooting.  Sure, I no longer visualize myself as my brother at his last moment, I no longer flinch when the phone rings, I no longer weep unbidden.  But when I allow myself to imagine the living hell the families in Sandy Hook find themselves apart of, I am cursed to know how they might be feeling.

I hope and pray no other live through what I have, what every family who has last someone to gun violence feels and endures. But honestly, I don't think we've turned the corner yet; I think we'll see a Sandy Hook again. We allow this to happen. We accept this. It's on us.