I could be writing about my writing life, but
I am too upset over last week’s mass shooting in Chicago (13 wounded) and Washington, D.C. (13 dead, 8 wounded) that I had to get these thoughts out. I know there’s other horrific stuff on the other side of the world, but this is America, the land of the free and the brave.
When it happens in a country across the ocean, like when someone decides to become a suicide bomber, not only killing himself but also innocent people, we think for that person, human life has no value. And yet, those that push against gun control laws in the USA, aren’t they saying the same thing? When over 30,000 die in the USA every year from the firing of guns and no one does anything to change the laws, aren’t lawmakers saying the same thing? That human life has no value in the USA.
Do the lawmakers care that 13 innocent people died in the naval yard, in Washington, D.C.? Do they care about all those sweet children and teachers at Sandy Hook, the nightmares and grief they’ve left behind? Do they care about the family members who died in Aurora while eating popcorn and enjoying a movie? Who cares about the shooting victims in Fort Hood? The people in power obviously don’t or else they’d turn their backs on the NRA, turn their backs on the money that buys their votes (arms makers and dealers?), turn their backs on the men who want them to keep playing the murderous game of gun ownership and do the right thing. They express their sorrow and their sympathy, but action speaks louder than words.
Why can’t there be limits? Why does anyone need a lot of guns? Why does anyone need an assault rifle in a civilized country? Somehow, the NRA and their supporters have convinced too many Americans that they will lose their freedom if they can’t buy as many weapons as they want. Freedom? How is it free to walk American streets, go to work, go to school, knowing someone, somewhere could pull a trigger at any time and shoot you dead?
And why is it, that every time there’s a mass shooting, the media plays it for all it’s worth until the next big story, and then the concern over mass shootings dies like all those innocent people. Quickly forgotten by all those whose lives weren’t touched. And nothing gets changed. Tomorrow there’ll be another one and another one and another one.
Why not take a page from Australia, or Britain, where the powers that be acted swiftly to change their laws after a mass shooting? Why not look at Japan and Canada, where incidents of mass shooting are few and far between?
I wasn’t surprised to read that Obama said. “By now, though, it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington. Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people.” It seems the harder he’s pushed for gun control, the harder his opposition has pushed back.
Like my husband said this morning, “Why are Americans worrying about Syria or other threats outside their borders? They should do something about their own back yard.”
- What Maisie Knew – A Modern Twist
- My Sabbatical