Literally within hours of the Sandy Hook massacre on 14 December 2012, some of my pro-gun Facebook connections started moaning about how libruls would use the tragedy to swoop in and take away their guns.
Really???? Really??? I told them: please, have some decency… can we wait at least a week before hearing you all crying about your guns. Twenty little kids… they were just little kids, and six adults have been murdered.
I didn’t see it at the time, but perceived later that most of us seemed to make the story about people killed by guns, gun deaths, statistics, and the guns don’t kill people, people do litany. But just maybe there was something deeper to understand… twenty little kids gunned down in an elementary school… what really happened to bring us to that sad and mournful December day?
Now another child, a baby boy, has been shot and murdered in his stroller in Brunswick GA. I still can’t grasp it: why the kids alleged to have committed this horrific act shot the baby in the stroller after shooting the woman in the leg… why didn’t they take her purse… and without witnesses, it seems to me to have more questions than answers.
And yet, with all of the strangeness of the story, those damned guns steal the spotlight. See, I think there are far more important elements in either story than the use of guns…
However, perhaps many people see it as this poster does:
for me, this case is about the baby killed by a gun.
Certainly, guns and gun culture are part of the story. But its beating heart seems, to me, to be the crumbling facade of our ordinary lives… that little league-marking-a-return-of-spring part of our lives being buried by acts of seemingly random madness, where babies are shot in the head by teenagers, or little kids are murdered in what was once a safe solidly middle class town. It would be easy if it were just the guns…. but something more is unraveling here… a dangerous uncertainty, a destabilizing of what was, before 11 September 2001 “normal”.
Now it’s normal to have our lives arranged around and controlled by the threat of terrorists, or lack of health insurance, and most assuredly, guns being wielded by madmen and aimed at our children. More and more, we allow those in charge to, in some way, weaponize everything around us in order to keep us “safe:” now we’re being told we need armed guards in schools. They’ve made us so afraid of cancer that we are willing to pay mortgage-sized premiums to weaponize us against what exactly??? We’ve weaponized our ordinary hand soap, mucked up much of the food and water supply to weaponize it against disease, pests, and then there’s fluoride in water to fight tooth decay.
No, this story isn’t about the guns. It is one of fear; it is trading freedom for safety and having neither. Those of your neighbors who want to keep hold of their guns are as afraid… of you taking their guns as you are that they or someone else will snap, grab hold of the gun and shoot kill you or your kids.
Our ordinary everyday life, where kids go to college and we retire to warm climates, seems further and further beyond our reach. We flail about trying to identify something solid, something tangible to blame it on… something we can easily understand so we can STOP whatever it is. I’m afraid it’s way more complicated than guns.
In fact, I think “it” is the gang of completely incompetent masters of the universe running the western world and they are too big to stop. There is no “truth to power” because they don’t care, they can’t compute the consequences, and besides which they won’t be affected (they think). We can’t fight them or change them. Voting Democrat won’t stop this landslide.
As far as I can tell, we can only walk away and start over again. Go back our school boards and town boards… think secular, find sane people who think differently than each other and are not threatened but intrigued and interested in different visions and ideas in solving problems. Start our own credit unions, get to know our local farmers. Do what we can to reclaim that which we all tried to make glamorous and would love to have back: our simple, not always sane, lovely ordinary pre 9/11 lives.
Photo from robertnelson licensed under Creative Commons