Take Me Somewhere Else
These are depressing times. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been away from the internet for a few weeks because I didn’t want to hear any more bad news. Whether it’s bigotry and hate from Drumpf, mass shootings in public places, or the police shooting black men and women. I come back to the internet this week to so much bad news. It hasn’t slowed down. It seems to have revved up more while I was taking the webcation.
I am not a gun advocate. I’m not anti-gun either. I believe we’re ALL adults who have the power to make our own moral decisions without the media (social or news) interfering with our right to bear arms. But – to be clear – there is no such thing as “a good guy with a gun”. If someone has a gun in their possession, there is only one reason they would have a weapon. And that’s to put a hole in something or someone. If you own a knife, you’re planning on cutting something – be it cheese, bark from a tree, or to stab someone. If you own a hammer, you own it so you can drive nails. If you own a comb, your intent is to beautify hair. So…if you own a gun, your intention is to shoot it and cause harm. Whether it’s in a pig, a fox, a bird, a deer, a can or two, some beer bottles, or a person. You do not own a gun to spread glitter in your surroundings. You do not own a gun to spread peanut butter on slices of bread. The intent is to aim and shoot. There is a trigger on every gun, you pull your finger and the anticipation there will be a hole in something ends in less than one second. We do NOT own guns for good intentions. There are no celebrations waged after a gun has been discharged, no parades, no certifications of accomplishment. Only severe sadness follows.
My voice is not resonant. My reach of exasperation doesn’t go very far beyond the walls of this blog. My depression and angst is contained in my own little world. But if I DID have a voice, and my reach could be global, and my depression quelled…I would do something to curb this insane gun violence we have in the United States of America. I don’t want to dodge bullets for the remainder of my days. I don’t want to sidestep words of hate because of what I am without anyone ever knowing WHO I am. I don’t want to apologize or feel regret because the color of my skin is different and is a feature I cannot control. Call me crazy, but I’m all for love. Love for everyone I come into contact with. REGARDLESS of what they believe, or who they worship, or the color of their eyes. I want peace. Peace for my fellow man – woman – child – human being. I strive for happiness. Because being angry causes health problems like ulcers, anxiety, headaches, and bullet wounds. I long for the days we all use common sense, because for every action there is definitely a reaction. If there ever was a time when we have to abide by the cheesy cliche “think before you speak”…now is the time. And now is the time we have to add “think before you shoot”.
Yep…I came back to the internet today only to the news that shootings are going on all over the place. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 7,088 deaths by gun this year alone. That’s 7,088 deaths too many. I feel helpless about it all. Tonight, I went to the Circle K corner store to grab some Coke (a cola), the black female cashier asked me if there was anything else she could get for me. I grabbed a Reese’s Fastbreak at the counter. I asked her if she wanted anything. She did. She requested a bag of chips because she was hungry. I paid for it all, and then she said “Be safe out there.” I looked her in the eyes and told her, “YOU be safe, too.” Never – in all my years – did I mean that sentence more than I did tonight.
It takes less time than a bullet piercing its target to be nice to someone. Words do not have to be laced with hostility. Intentions do not have to be soaked in venom. All we have to do is stop the madness. The only way to stop it is to start with ourselves. How you act to someone else will reverberate a proper reaction. If it doesn’t, then move on. There’s no reason a gun should be pulled out to end the confrontation. A change needs to be made. And very soon. Until we can vote out the Representatives backed by the NRA, we can start by being nicer online, to strangers, and to those you may not have been nice to in the past. Just be nice! That may not be an instant cure to all this violence, but being nice is a great antibiotic for what certainly ails us right now. And put the damned guns away. No one – NO ONE – should ever be so angry that they feel the urgent need to end another person’s life. If you do ever get that angry, then maybe you shouldn’t be a police officer. Maybe find another line of work where threatening conditions are less common. Like Librarian. Or Fisherman. Something that doesn’t require you to carry a loaded weapon. I haven’t heard about anyone perishing due to the Dewey Decimal System, or by fish hooks.