I wrote this a few days ago and I sat on the fence about posting it, because it is ultra critical of the current state of affairs regarding guns in the United States, however, I wanted to make it public because it's too honest not to share with the world at large, the only way change can happen is if all voices are heard. However, because this entry is so blunt and brutal, I'm going to place it under an LJ cut and if you want to read it you can, if not you can bypass it, it's completely up to you.
What I am about to say is more than likely going to be grossly unpopular, but I really don't care if it makes people uncomfortable or angry, moreover I won't hide behind "this is just my opinion" or "it's my LJ and I have a right to say what I want". I'm saying this because it's time we all took a hypercritical look at ourselves and figure out the root cause of why these mass shootings continue to happen. So let's piss off a few people, shall we!
Tuesday there was a school shooting in Florida (not near me, I don't exactly know where in Florida it was) and it left 17 people dead. I think at the time this happened it was the 29th mass shooting this year and it's only been something like 40+ odd days into 2018. And as per usual "thoughts and prayers" were offered, fingers were pointed, the rationale for why teachers should be allowed to carry guns in schools came back on the table, and pretty much the beat of the endless gun debate continues unabated.
All of this, I realize now, is useless. The root cause isn't just mental health, guns/ gun control, or any of that other stuff. The root cause is us. I think we've heard these debates and seen so many dead people that we're numb to it all. Dead children and women don't shock us anymore, I dare to say that we may even be comfortable with it. I say this because we continue to elect people who stand by those who seek to not only throw fuel on people's irrational fears of invisible boogeymen but also keeping guns plentiful and accessible, as well as their deep pockets lined.
Make no mistake, guns are a multi-billion dollar industry and the goal of any industry is to make obscene amounts of money (and in this case, it's on the backs of a lot of dead people). And naturally, when incidents like these happen, people get inevitably scared and run out to buy guns, which in turn causes their profits to rise, then helps them to afford a stronger cataclysmic "doomsday" message to their already hypervigilant hyper-fearful base. They will tell their base, "Well, "they" want to take your guns from you and you have a Constitutional right, nay obligation to protect yourself and your family. It's the patriotic and Godly thing to do!" Of course, those people, who are already at max volume in terms of fear and overzealousness are driven to an overload of freaked out and hypersensitive behavior.
Then they run to their congress person (who probably is already in the pocket of those spining the cataclismic doomsday senario) push the agenda they've been force fed, that congress person does nothing but support that narriative, and any rational debate about how to keep people, who just want to live normal lives, safe while co-existing with guns goes rocketing out the window; not to mention any changes to laws made during a time when this country didn't have a highly trained and organized military, let alone a gun that could fire over 100 rounds in a minute. But their tactics are something of evil genius, because bundling people's fears, anxieties, religious beliefs, and patriotism up in this debate, as well as paying those in power to do nothing, it just makes everything far easier for the gun industry to continue without any pushback from anyone.
Every time things of this nature happen I see a post about X congressperson or president is getting X amount from the NRA; and I use to have a problem with the NRA (still do actually), and while I know there is probably a special place in hell for those people, I can't blame them 100%. I blame the individual voters who support those X congresspeople and presidents; yet at the same token, I understand that those voters are just regurgitating narratives spun by said presidents, congresspeople, and the NRA. Heaven forbid people actually did unbiased research into things. I guess in a way, it's human nature to hear something and take it as absolute truth. But there is merit in looking into something and finding out the truth for yourself, instead of just taking what some paid representative says as true. I wish people took the time and care to research that which interests them or that which is important to them.
The root cause of this entire debate lies with all of us. If we continue to elect and support officials who do not represent who we are as a community or at a low, who don't share our idea of keeping our community safe, and only support them based solely on what idiotic animal they represent, then we do ourselves and our community a great injustice. Congresspeople should only be elected if you feel they have your community's best interest at heart, not because they are an elephant or donkey. And once in office, if that person puts the best interests of their party ahead of the community that elected them, then that congressperson should be unseated in the next election! The people voted for you to represent what they want, not the power-mongering interest of your party!
I've been saying for awhile, that I would like to see more inclusivity in government and I use my neighborhood as the example for this. I live in-between two families of Indian descent, across the street is a family from South Africa and Filipino family. Down the block is a family of white people and I think two doors down from them is an African-American family, then I'm in an interracial marriage, so yeah, if my neighborhood has this much diversity this is only a sprinkling of what the country looks like, so Congress should be that way too.
Additionally, we need to come to terms with being comfortable being wrong, understanding that the Constitution was made to change and advance as time does; that's why we have amendments people! People saw that slavery was abhorrent so we made an amendment to stop that. People saw women as human beings and not property so we made an amendment to allow them to vote and we thought prisoners shouldn't be subjected to anything cruel or unusual, so we made an amendment for that as well. We have the power to change the Constitution, but only if we choose to exercise that power.
Finally, we need to really understand that we as a nation have a lot of terrible relationships and guns are one of them. Let's be real, we have a bad relationship with food, sex, religion, politics, and guns in the US. But in all honesty, we have a bad relationship with guns because, as I said earlier, fear, religion, and patriotism have been tied up with the gun debate. I'm sure if you untied those things, the whole gun debate wouldn't be so divisive as it currently is.
However, as per the usual, I don't expect anything to be done, but I do expect many more people to needlessly and violently die, because it's easy to offer useless platitudes like "thoughts and prayers" than it is to say we're wrong (about this and many other topics) and take a deeply introspective look into being able to peacefully co-exist with guns. An oxymoron I know, but I don't honestly believe people want to take anyone's guns away from them. People just want to live a life free of fear. No school should have to have "School shooter drills" more frequently than fire drills, that's insanity! No one should have to worry if they go to a concert in a field is someone going to snipe them from a 32nd story window. All anyone could ask for is peace and a little sensibility when it comes to gun laws and I don't think that's asking too much.