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How am I feeling? I'm angry!

Though I have plenty to update about how the weekend wtih Tiffiny in town went, I feel like I need to address the elephant in the room first before all else.

Waking up to the news Sunday morning that 50 (now 49) people had been murdered at a gay club in Orlando was devistating. I wept. As soon as Andy woke up I confused him by just giving him this big hug becasue I needed one. Before it was time to meet up with Tiff, we were just consuming the news stories on line and I was crying a lot. Then we picked up Tiff and went on with our day more on that in a seperate post.

Monday I had off to relax and tend to the domestic duties we didn't have time for while Tiff was in town. On Monday I got entangled in an argument about gun control with some dude on Facebook. My dad made a post and some dude in Colorado, probably someone my dad knew from HighSchool or something, was making asinine arguments about how gun control would not have stopped this. It made me so mad. I felt compelled, I couldn't just let his false ignorant comments just sit there unanswered. Becasue I've been so upset with the political discourse has develoved into mere name-calling during this election cycle, I wanted to take my time and be as civil and respectful in rebutting this man, even though I think his attitude is part of the problem and in my mind there is blood on his hands for arguing we do nothing to curb these mass shootings. I spent a couple of hours on this reply, actually, and provided links to articles and studies to back up my claims. Rob chimed in and backed me up. However, despite my well sourced and logical argument, he still valued his love in guns over human life and we had to agree to disagree.

This argument kind of spanned thoughout the day and I'm quite proud of myself for remaining calm and not letting my emotions take over but I'm furious. Not just at this guy, but all the other "this guys" who think like him. How can you possibly deny that fewer guns mean fewer shootings where there are countries we can point to where gun control has worked? They're just wrong! I've seen it! I've lived abroad. It doesn't have to be this way. I'm angry! I'm so fucking angry! Why do we have to tolerate children being slaughtered in their schools, black people being murdered in their churches, LGBTQ people being laid to waste in thier nightclub safe zone? There are no safe zones! The second amendment yahoos think that their right to own military grade weapons, tools for nothing but achieve death at the highest capacity in hand held form, trumps my right to live my life in this country without fear of getting murdered!? How is this fair? How is that right? How can we let these mass murders happen and just shrug and move on. How can this guy argue that our hands are tied there is nothing we can do when THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THIS HAPPENS! THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!

I mean, I know that a line in the sand was drawn after Sandy Hook. When a man murdered a bunch of little white kids and nothing was done? I knew that it was not getting better. So I understand how impotent my rage is but I just can't shake it. That night I couldn't sleep. I was up all night just thinking "what would it take to change?" Would one have to speciffically target congress' children, their churches, their bars for them to stand up against the gun lobby and the NRA?

I'm frustraited becasue I can't understand the love these people have for tools of death. Guns have a limited function. They are a weapon. I try to put myself in shoes with a hypothetical that something I really, really, really loved turned out to be extrememly dangerous and killed thousands of people in this country. Say I found out that British Comedy somehow murdered people, I know it's a silly hypothetical, but it's something I love. Knowing that British Comedy kills, would I be willing to not buy any more british comedy, maybe turn it in so that it may do no harm, eventhough I really, really love and live by British Comedy? Yes. Yes I would. It might be hard, to never again hear the biting insults of Bernard Black or to only have Patsy and Eddies exploits by memory but lives ewere being saved. I could manage.

Or maybe a more apt example. I smoke. Second hand smoke is bad becasue it's my action effecting the health of others. Sometime in the first decade of this century it was decided that it's not acceptable to smoke just anywhere anymore, not even bars and clubs. I didn't like it at first but you know what. I accepted it. Now I'm used to it and am actually cool with going outside to smoke. I prefer not being all stinky after a night out and I'm a very considerate and polite smoker and try to keep my smoke from others. I'm not going to lie, if someone said, no more cigarettes, they're illegal now, i'd be very upset. I'd argue that if I keep my second hand smoke away from others, I'm really only harming myself and I have every right to harm myself if I choose. Guns (though they can be used for suicide, more on that in just a sec) i could argue are intented, their reson detre is to harm others. You shouldn't have a "right" to harm others. However, if the US ever did a buy back program and strike the second amendment, i will glady quit smoking. How's that? You give up your guns, I'll give up cigarettes in solidairty. I'm willing to make a sacrafice too.

I've also thought a lot about how these people so insistant that more guns are the answer. I can NOT believe that in a noisey, dark club that more people firing guns after the gunman would have been better. No, disorientated, confused , scared people firing more weapons would have lead to an even bigger tragedy. I also see things differently as far as having a gun in the home. Statisticlaly you're just more likely have have it pulled on yourself. My husband suffers from depression, sometimes I drink and get sad. The LAST thing I want in the house is a gun. Maybe if you're not from the Pacific Northwest, you don't think about suicide as much as those of us who do but the statistics don't lie. For every 1 "justifyable homicide" (wherein a gun is used to defend ones life) there are 78 suicides with a gun in this country.

I'm getting off topic. I know. I'm just thinking about this a lot. I know there is a lot more to this. There's the hate crime element, the terrorist element. Aside from the argument with the one guy on Facebook I'm trying to be a good ally and not make this about me or make it about guns and let my LGBTQ friends have time to heal and say their peace. But since this is the place where I work out my thoughts I've got to rant over here and say that I'm angry. I just can't allow this to continue, something has got to give.

I really don't want to live in this country any more. I wish I could go back and have stayed in the UK, even if it meant breaking the law. I wish Andy and I had a way out. I wish we could potition to some country that we just don't feel safe here any more and they'd take us in but it's not that easy. Sure if we were wealthy the national barriers would come donw but that is not the case. It's either fight or defect and I feel like I missed my ex-pat window.

As I write this, some Dems in the Senate are fillibustering right now for some action on gun control. I really hope this action yields results though I'm not so naive as to assume it will. But please. Common sense is all we are asking for. Please let common sense finally win out.

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