It's been a long time since I posted anything here, but it's time. I don't know if anyone will read it, or care even if they do, but...it's time.
Maybe you do or don't have children. Maybe you do or don't have nephews and nieces or grandchildren. But even if you don't, if you are alive and not living in a cave, you have watched children of the age of the 20 that were, literally, executed. You've seen them at school crossings, in the market, in parks, on television. You are their neighbors or at the least, they are in your neighborhoods.
For those of us who have experienced a close relationship with children this age, be it that they are our own children, our relatives, or those we've befriended via a myriad of ways, we know the charm of that beautiful age between 5 and 7. It is all about discovery, discovery of the world they live in. Now, language is mastered enough to ask the why's; why is the sky blue? Why is that woman in a wheelchair? Why does a tadpole turn into a frog? Why are you fighting? Why do I have to wear the green dress? The how questions; how will Santa get down the chimney? how did the lamps stay lit eight days? how do I deal with Janey laughing at me today? The when questions: When will I die, like Grandma? When will it snow? When will we go fishing, like you promised? When will I get a puppy? When will I be a big girl/boy?
Everything is new and real - beauty is more beautiful, fright is more frightening, the world is bigger than it all will ever be again. Adults are huge, shooting stars are giant, fireflies are magical. There is no science to explain wonder, there is no logic to explain horror. It is one of the brightest times of life, one of the most real times.
The above, just so you know, is why I am having this passion to eradicate - not once and for all, we've gone too far for that, I know - the potential for citizens to own semi and automatic guns in America. As something I read tonight put it, in chart form, we give more difficulties to one who would drive a car than one who would purchase and keep a weapon that was designed for military use.
You want to hunt, because you are hungry? Please do! I'm not against that, though sport hunting disgusts me. You want to keep a firearm in your home because you live someplace that keeping a gun could save you and your families lives? If you do that responsibly, you should have that right (though most police will say that the average civilian does not have the mentality to shoot in time; having a lack of the reality that the intruder does, who has nothing holding him or her back from destroying you, the average citizen thinks - no, this is irrational, we can sort this out - and that hesitation, lovely hope, will be the reason most home gun owners will be victims should the time come). Either their children will find the weapons and hurt themselves or other family members, or the weapon will be taken from them by an intruder and used against them, or it will be used wrongly, without justification. This isn't opinion, it's fact. Look it up.
There are those who are campaigning for more mental health outlets, and that is also, hand in hand, a valid need in our country. When President Reagan opened the doors to letting those with mental instabilities into the streets and subsequent cuts in mental health have left fewer and fewer opportunities for those with mental health issues access to help, the combination is, as we have seen all too clearly in only the last few years, deadly.
We have to fight on the fronts we choose. I choose gun control and leave it to my better informed and able brothers and sisters to fight on the mental health front.
The truth is, we all need to choose love and peace. I could just as easily choose violent video games, violent music. I could wave my lance at many windmills and they are all valid. The thing is, choose something. Choose something that matters, that touches your heart in the face of yet another insanity in our country. One is not better or more important than another, it only matters that you choose one and act on it. Talk is good, but action is better. That's all I know.