Today is a historic day. It is the first time in our history where rallies across the nation are taking place spurred on by the mass shooting generation. Since I’m traveling today, and am unable to walk alongside them, I couldn’t carry on without acknowledging their bravery, their passion, and their balls. I’m confident that real, lasting change is being made with the voices of the Parkland kids. How can it not? Even if we don’t see changes in the gun laws today, we will eventually. We will when all the young people who have had to live with the false reality that mass shootings are a normal part of life thrust upon them by a government that refuses to pass sensible gun ownership laws, become voting age.
I believe we’re all in the same place at the moment. Still in shock, and horror at what was another mass school shooting. But I guess that depends on what you consider a school shooting. Some are saying that the one in Parkland, where seventeen innocent fellow human beings, going about their days in a high school were murdered at the end of yet another AR-15 early into 2018 was mass shooting number 18. Meanwhile others are saying it’s only the eighth.
Can we comfortably say “only” when talking about seventeen people who will never again hear or say I love you?
I’m of the opinion that one mass shooting anywhere, let alone at a school, is one too many. And yet here we are again…having watched parents bury their children, from the sidelines. Feeling helpless, and hopeless while the people elected into office to protect the American people seem to be reluctant to do just that that.
Why is this? Some say it is because these officials have been bought by the NRA, the corporation that actually got them elected, by giving them the funds they needed to run successful campaigns. Others, usually the politicians with the blood of the innocent dripping from their hands, cry mental illness as the main issue as to why these people kill. As a Canadian, I happen to think it is a deadly mix of the two, and as Canadian mother, I can say it’s not likely to happen to our family. I say “likely” because do any of us really know anymore where we, our children, our neighbors, our loved ones might be the next time a person who has no business having access to a gun brings it to a movie theatre, a church, or a music concert, and starts to shoot? We don’t. I fear we never will be able to confidently say it won’t ever happen again until something changes.
But what? What can change?
If we say, “Tougher gun laws” people have the quick answer that criminals always find a way to break the law. You’re not wrong; I’m guilty of not always abiding by the posted speed limit. Even though I’m confident we can all confess to not always obeying the posted speed limit at all times, we cannot argue the facts. Once speed limits, and seat belt laws were put into effect, lives were saved. There were less deaths due to speed, and no seat belts being worn in cars. This is not a maybe, this is fact. Therefore, since we know that laws put in place to save lives do work, why the hesitation with sensible gun laws? If you have nothing to hide, if you’re of sound mind and body, and know that you’re never, ever going to use your gun to murder people then why should it matter to you one way or the other if they tighten the rules behind how you obtain a gun, and who is allowed to purchase one? The answer is, regardless of your stance: There is nothing for you to fear or worry about, therefore you should be for it.
In this case that translates to; if you’re not the murderous type then why wouldn’t you be for sensible gun reform? It seems like a no brainer to me. I don’t understand what it’s going to take to bring the change that America so desperately needs in this area. I wonder, would things start to change if not only the person who pulls the trigger is held responsible for the deaths and charged with murder, but if also the entity that sold them the weapon without conducting a background check? Or, if parents/caregiver, especially in the case of this latest shooter, were held responsible and also charged with being an accomplice to murder? Perhaps if more people had more to lose if somebody they knew had no business owning a gun of any kind were held accountable, mass shootings would quickly become a thing of the past? Especially since so often the shooter doesn’t live and never has to face justice. Imagine if parents of unsound people were charged for the crime? Or if the stores who sold them their guns lost their ability to sell any firearms ever again? Or if the dudes at gun shows, who often don’t ask any questions were charged with murder???
Things that make me go “hmmm” my friends.
I’m encouraged by the large US corporations who are beginning to feel the weight of this reality, that they are in some way complicit in madmen getting their hands on guns, in the way they’ve stepped up to the plate and made their own changes to policies. As we witnessed for the first time in the days immediately following the Parkland shooting, corporations, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Krogers took matters into their own hands. No longer waiting for it be “put upon” them by their government by standing up and creating in house standards, and mandates, for who they will, and won’t sell firearms to, along with what guns they will sell. This is a powerful step in the right direction. This is the community at large looking around and taking ownership for their part in these mass shootings, and boldly becoming the change they know the country needs in order to save lives. I for one am encouraged and inspired by these courageous and strong moves, not only by the corporations who stand to lose a great deal, by losing customers who are the very people who put money in their pockets, but also the kids who are receiving death threats yet continue to press forward.
I believe the children are indeed the future, and the way these young people are making their voices heard around the globe is no doubt going to bring on side wealthier, and powerful entities to support, and even force the change that needs to happen with guns in America. I’m finally, at long last excited about what the future holds for the safety of people all across that great country. Together we have much more power to make change happen than we ever can alone, and it’s incredible to watch these numbers grow each and every day. So even though I’m flying on a plane today, I want every single person marching today, that I stand with them!
POWER TO THE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THESE TEENS FROM PARKLAND!
AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!