Since Sandy Hook in December of 2012, there have been over 1000 mass shootings in the United States.
As we approach the three year tragiversary, I can’t help but weep at what my country has become. Once a beacon of reason and democracy, we are now loonier than our looney-toon cartoons.
It’s too easy to blame the fringe elements who spend their Sundays stocking up on camouflage and canteens. These make up a group with IQs ranging from Daffy Duck to Elmer Fudd but they are not the problem and containing their extreme form of paranoia is futile so long as Fox ‘news’ exists.
The NRA’s [National Rifle Association] stance against safer gun technology and mandatory background checks is criminal in and of itself. One does have to wonder about an organization whose original mission was to help their members become better marksmen. I am quite certain the founders did not imagine the day the ones bearing arms would be children. Haven’t you heard? Guns don’t kill people, toddlers do.
Countless kids keep accidentally putting bullets in themselves and those around them. It isn’t that we are a nation rife with irresponsible gun owners but that Americans seem to have forgotten that all humans are fallible, even the most responsible ones. And the more guns you have out there, the better the odds that accidents will happen.
How do we solve this problem?
When faced with a complicated problem involving a number of factors, one should approach a discussion armed with facts, reason, and critical thinking skills. Only I am pretty sure we US Citizens threw out reason along with the baby and the bathwater when we decided that protecting kids with bullet proof gym mats was the solution to our gun problems. Facts have become confused with opinions and critical thinking skills have been reduced to guessing which bubble letter to #2 pencil-in.
This does not bode well for our nation. It may also be the reason why Americans believe that the United States are more dangerous now despite violent crimes plummeting in the 90s and maintaining the 20 year low.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, signing many petitions and posting much outrage at each new shooting when I realized that I was the problem. And you are the problem. The flip side is that we are also the solution.
We need to stop sharing memes and an endless stream of links of the most recent tragedies with outrage in status updates. This alone is not helping. Our computer screens are as effective as the bullet-proof gym mats. Hiding behind them is not going to change anything. We are expending so much time and energy on something with little impact.
Only our voice shouting over the gunfire has any chance now. Gun supporters are more politically engaged and make more donations than non supporters. You want change? Make your voice heard on the streets and to your representatives. Put your money where your mouth is. Until you do, politicians will continue to cave to the squeakiest and best funded wheels.
Many at home and around the world believe that the most tragic day in our recent heat-packing history was when those 20 six and seven year olds were gunned down along with 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary.
But the true tragedy was when we as a nation did fuck all about it in the days that followed. And fuck all has brought us over 30,000 more body bags in 2013* alone. It’s a tragedy with no end in sight until YOU and I do something about it.
Don’t be an accessory and take action now:
- For more information on gun violence and what you can do to help: check out Everytown for Gun Safety, a coalition of mayors, mothers, cops, survivors, and people like you and me pooling our voices for change.
- To find out who your representatives are government enter your zip code here:
- This movement is not anti-gun; it is about responsible gun ownership and laws. Don’t unfriend people who disagree. Keep debunking the myths and bombarding them with reason and kindness. Few minds if any were changed by someone hurling insults and anger at them.