Did that title grab your attention? I sure as shit hope so. Right now there is a maniac on the loose in Colorado with the sole intention of shooting up a school thanks to her obsession with Columbine. Pretty much all schools, daycares and kids programs are closed, and we all are sitting in shock wondering how an 18 year old could fly out here from Florida, get off the plane, buy a shotgun and cause statewide terror.
Luckily my kid is 3, so I thought I was safe from the horrible idea of having to explain why schools are closed. I’d hoped her age would shelter her from how disgusting today is. However her in home daycare is on lockout, and when we arrived and she saw all the shades pulled closed and the door was locked, she asked me while knocking on the door, “Mommy, why can’t I see inside? Why are you calling to get us to be let in?” Well, the honest answer would be that a crazy person is out on the loose with a pump action shotgun trying to shoot kids. Someone is potentially trying to shoot you sweet girl. Obviously I didn’t say that. I told her that “today is going to be a special day at Ms. Judy’s and that they’d be doing things a little differently. How exciting!” Let me tell you how hard that was to choke out in a positive tone. This is not a situation we should have to be prepared for, no matter the age of our children.
I know what you are all thinking. “Katrina, Judy’s house looks like a regular house. She’s not going to show up there.” I KNOW that. I also know that this chick is completely off her rocker, which means we can’t think logically about what she may do. I’m afraid for everyone today. She may pop off someone at the grocery store, or she may go to a playground. We legitimately do not know, and if the past 10 years have shown us anything nothing is off limits, especially in Colorado. Why is our state a hotbed for crazies with guns? We’ve had shootings at Walmart, churches, movie theaters and in schools. People have been randomly shot trying to drive their kid to the dentist. It can legitimately happen ANYWHERE. All of those people that lost their lives doing simple day to day things also thought it would never happen to them. But it did.
Since the dawn of time there’s been some simple rules ingrained in us as humans. We pop out of the womb with an innate sense of certain rights and wrongs. This ability to love, have compassion and be creative is what sets us apart from that that hamster you had as a kid that ate it’s babies. The inner desire to do no harm to children no matter what is at the top of that no no list. What has happened to our humanity? What has happened to these unbreachable boundaries that have been adhered to for thousands of years, even during the most chaotic times of war, famine and before we were even “civilized”? How have we undone something so built into who we are?
I remember sitting in class on April 20th, 1999 and hearing over the intercom that we all needed to gather in the school chapel immediately. That’s when I found out about the shooting at Columbine, and that 12 people in a high school, just like me had been shot. I couldn’t even wrap my head around it, and I wasn’t the only one. We were all devastated, and by an action that had happened half way across the country! The nation as a whole was overcome with grief and shock, and certain it would never happen again. The Washington Post has calculated that since Columbine 223,000 children have been exposed to gun violence during classroom hours. Now the news of a shooting doesn’t even cause us to even flinch most of the time as it’s so common place. It’s not even talked about in the workplace, and we definitely don’t close down. When I saw the news of all of the schools on lockdown around here yesterday I didn’t even click in. Why? Because it happens all the time. I’ve become numb to it.
Why haven’t we done anything outside of becoming numb for our own sanity and setting up active shooter drills and policies for our schools? Gun laws haven’t changed, and there’s still far from enough mental health support for those that need it. It’s time to take this thing by the horns and be more proactive instead of reactive. Will there always be evil people in the world? Yes. But good grief why does there seem to be a lot more these days than ever before? I don’t want to keep having these conversations. I don’t want to have to send my child out into a world that continues to have more and more inhumane situations happen. And I’m not going to sit at work and pretend like it’s not a big deal and that I’m not upset. Because I am. I’m fucking pissed. I sat at my desk 7 years ago crying listening about 28 babies getting shot at Sandy Hook while emailing JanSport about the status of a PO like nothing was happening and I’m not doing it anymore. Momma Bear has fully woken from her slumber and isn’t going back inside her cave until change happens. It’s time to bring back our humanity.
3 thoughts on “Because Someone is Trying to Shoot You My Darling”
I have been so so angry for about three years now. It’s absolutely insane to me that we KNOW THE SOLUTION that will create the best decrease in these terrible events and that we keep stumbling to get enough people to put data, human life, and recovery from over a decade of escalating collective trauma to the front of the line. It’s literally maddening.
And for me personally, the worst part is that I am so willing to be reasonable and to recognize that while gun sports or gun ownership are not my thing, I’m ok with them being other people’s things. I’m willing to say, again and again, “I don’t want to take every gun away from rational, safe owners!” Yet, discussion of any kind of increased safety measure has been equated, repeatedly, with me being a gun-illiterate, firearms hating, libtard. Yeah. I’m the extremist in this scenario. WHAT?
How is my right to go grocery shopping less important than your right to buy a continuously firing firearm for recreation? How is your child’s right to go to school, or our right to get dinner and see a movie less important? Why can’t we split some hairs and talk about training and gun safety education and mandatory waiting periods and closing the loophole on gun shows and other illegal sales?
I’m a combination of mystified and mad that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before because I refuse to be numb about the growing horror we’re all asked to repeatedly make space for with no good outcome in sight.
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Exactly! The comments on my Instagram post KEEP COMING. I finally said “where in my post does it say I want to take away your guns? Did you even read it? Well….no.” Ok then. BYE. I’m not here to argue or be right. I’m angry because I have a right to feel safe. For my family to feel safe. All of these trolls being such extremists and not being ok with the word “responsible” makes me wonder if at this point I’m not even ok with that! If these are what the nation’s gun owners look like then let’s just take guns away completely, because all of this ball swinging, uneducated crap they are spewing does not make me think that they will in any way be a responsible gun owner. I’m tired of wracking my brain for a solution to a problem I didn’t create and also wasn’t voted into office to handle. This shouldn’t be MY job. But someone’s got to do it, so get ready to see me get really annoying about it.
So, I’ve been thinking about this even further over the last few days. It’s not just that we have to choose to be outraged and anxious or numb. It’s not just the weight of the collective and continuing trauma.
I think what makes me feel so helpless and angry and hurt and overwhelmed touches on something else about this crisis that troubling to me. In many other crises, we’ve been able to educate and move the needle on saving lives through changing personal behavior. HIV/AIDS: I was in elementary school when we went from “sex ed doesn’t happen until Middle or High School” to “we start sex ed as soon as kids can understand what sex is because lives are on the line.” We made sure everyone knew the importance of getting tested and using condoms. Rates of infection dropped, the death toll dropped. We made it important, and then cool to be safe.
Drunk Driving: we educated parents to support their kids and not punish them if they ask for a ride home. We taught kids to value their lives and their friends lives. Fewer deaths. Fewer horror stories.
But with this, for those of us who don’t own guns or demand to recreate with continuous fire weapons or to buy weapons with the same forethought of buying Starbucks . . . there’s nothing we can do. We can gaze upon other countries that have more gun control and point to their stats. We can call our representatives and beg them to move this needle. We can ask for others to be reasonable and not shout that we’re stupid for wanting this or at least to talk about it deeply.
And then we can go about our lives wondering when this will touch us directly and trying to tell ourselves to go about our lives, to go see movies, to go to concerts, to go to the mall when we need to, to go to church and to school feeling totally helpless.
It’s crazy, right?