I would not have a child today.
If I were young enough, no matter how much I wanted to, I would not have one.
I know the pain of infertility; I know the disappointment of not having that child. I also know the impotence of something happening to one’s child, happening right next to them. I know that stab of crying why without having an answer. I also know I was so very lucky in that the outcome was landed in my favor, and I went home with my baby.
He was right next to me. Someone tried to run off with him. I have had nightmares about that since it happened almost 39 years ago. I feel the panic, the nausea, and the pain…but I got to take my baby home.
In the years since, I’ve felt he was safe. I allowed him to go outside and play. I sent him to school without worrying that the worst would happen; I never felt that someone with awful intentions would breach the school and hurt him. I had faith that the adults in charge could protect him.
Every day, putting him on a school bus, I would worry. Dropping him off, I would worry. Is this the school in someone’s sights? Is this the day?
When the Boy was growing up, I always felt like I could keep him safe. He was damn near stolen from me, and yet I felt I could keep him safe. I always felt the schools could keep him safe.
I no longer feel that way.
Our kids are not safe. No matter how much lip service we pay, citing stats and theoretical likelihoods…they are no longer safe.
I would not bring a life into this world the way it is now. It's more than this; the reasons are many, but right now this is at the top.
Our leaders are not willing to do the hard things necessary to stop the violence; too many people are so attached to their guns and shout about the second amendment, they vote for the people who are happy to take money from the gun lobbies, and for what?
Because their guns are more important than our kids?
Every time this happens, every time there’s a school shooting—yesterday’s was #27 this year, and we’re not even 6 months along—some of the first reactions are “Well, now the libs are gonna try to take our guns.” Kids die, and they’re more worried that some ethereal liberal deity will swoop down and pull from their mostly untrained hands weapons that they don’t really need. That’s not an exaggeration; Ted Cruz immediately began spouting about how the left would use yesterday’s shooting as an excuse to take away guns. There were posts all over social media spouting rhetoric: well, this is why I always carry; no one’s gonna do anything like that while I’m around.
Yes, they will. And you won’t be able to stop them. Your notion of the good guy with the gun fails to take into account that they’re going to have a bigger gun, don’t care about you or your life, and will probably enjoy taking your life. It especially doesn’t take into account the fact that once law enforcement arrives on scene, they won’t know that you’re the so-called good guy. They’ll just see someone with a gun. And they’ll do their jobs, react as if you’re the bad guy with the gun. They don’t have a choice.
It’s only been a day, and the outrage over just the idea that someone might take their guns has people shoving aside the fact that 21 people are dead, 18 of them children. The grumbling is so loud that they’re not listening, but for once, maybe, shut up and pay attention to something other than yourself.
No one is coming for your guns. The “libs” just want some common sense. Registration of weapons. Training. Testing. All those things you’re willing to do in order to get a driver’s license.
A waiting period. No one needs a gun right then and there. If you can’t wait, you probably shouldn’t get it. And no, I don’t care if you feel like you need to be able to pop into Guns & Ammo to buy a rifle for that last minute hunting trip. Plan better. That’s on you.
If you’re one of those who clings to the notion that the left just wants to take what’s yours, if you’re more upset at the idea of losing those things over the deaths of people, your unwillingness to accept some gun control tells me so much about you.
You want armed guards in school before you’ll accept gun control. You want to arm teachers before accepting gun control.
You want to turn our schools into prisons before being willing to do the most basic things to protect those kids.
But we’re the United States of America and we have rights!
I’m guessing that won’t be for much longer.
I honestly don’t think that a child born in the U.S. today will be a citizen of the U.S. in twenty years. We’re imploding on so many levels, we’re regressing, we’re racist as fuck, we’re angry and lashing out, and gun violence is one of the symptoms.
We’re not safe.
Our kids are not safe.
And we’ve done this to ourselves.