My Usual "The Day After a Mass Shooting" Rant
I know it is very unusual to get two posts from me in one day. And, we live in unusual times.
I wrote this rant several years ago after a series of mass shootings. For a while, I would share it on my blog / social media after every mass shooting.
I stopped because it felt like I was sharing it every day.
Here we are again. The shootings feel like they are more and more tragic, and coming on top of one another again and again.
Knowing *another* school has been shot up - and kids killed - is very challenging for me. I spend a lot of time at schools. And one of my favorites is Franklin Porter Graham Bilingue - the Spanish dual language school Justin attends. His school is full of kids (and staff) with bright brown eyes who speak Spanish. Kids like the ones in Uvalde, Texas. It is impossible not to hear about what has happened and think about the kids at FPGB. About my child. About OUR CHILDREN. Our children are being murdered. Generations are growing up under the threat of violence IN FUCKING SCHOOL.
And we do nothing.
The shooting in Buffalo got to me too. Maybe it was that the shooter drove for hours specifically to target black people. Maybe it was that he was taken in alive, becoming just another white kid who attacks black people and lives, when so many black people are killed by cops just for being black and alive.
Maybe it’s that an assault rifle was involved. Again. Maybe it was that things feel so hateful and so divisive right now and it just gets worse and not better.
Maybe it’s my own personal headspace.
What I know is that I am tired. And I am frustrated. And I am heartbroken. And it feels like all these feelings are happening all the time.
I know there is beauty. I know there is light. And I will continue to work to find them.
I just wish the children of Uvalde and the people targeted in Buffalo had that same chance.
So here it is. My usual “day after a mass shooting” rant.
1. It's complete bullshit that these things happen often enough I have an already prepared rant.
2. Mentally ill people are not any more likely to shoot up a school, workplace, or neighborhood than the average person. Stop demonizing those of us who struggle with mental illness because you are afraid to point the blame where it belongs --> young men (especially white men with a history of domestic violence) and the ready access to combat grade weapons.
3. I would venture to say that of the people reading this MAYBE two or three of you have seen what a round fired from a high power assault rifle like an AR-15 does to the human body. I have. Up close and personal. It is godawful. Weapons like these are designed to do one thing - kill people and leave a mess of a corpse. The autopsies of victims should become required viewing for all the people who choose to blame anything but guns when this happens. Maybe then they would get it.
4. Thoughts and prayers mean fuck all if they aren't immediately followed with regulation and legislation. The Gospels aren't four unique versions of how Jesus prayed to change the world. He actually did some shit. Go and do likewise, especially if you are gonna toss him up as the center of your life. If he is, then act like it. Or shut the fuck up about it already.
5. Be honest. Nothing will happen. We will bitch and whine and march and vote. We may even succeed. After all, the party of “gun control” has control of all three branches of government. Nothing has changed. We still have the same “thoughts and prayers” bullshit and nonstop excuses about what we can’t do.
Our country was born in violence and built on stolen land with slave labor. Violence is who we are. When we buried 20 six year olds after Newtown and did NOTHING then we collectively accepted this as the cost of being an American.
I will save this rant and wheel it back out for the next mass shooting. Statistics suggest it will just be a few days.