This one’s not about running, but it should be.
This post should be about running because I should be super excited and happy that race week is finally here. Instead, I woke up to the news yesterday morning of yet another mass shooting.
Another tragedy of innocent mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, friends, lovers, people that mean something to someone, losing their lives for no good reason. They were just out for a fun night at a concert. They were just trying to see a movie premiere. They were just going about their normal day in elementary school. They were just going to class to get a college degree.
I am angry.
I am angry when I sign on social media and see people arguing against gun control because “Bad people will find a way to get weapons.” I am angry when I see people arguing against gun control because “Good thing drugs are illegal.” (By the way, our current drug epidemic is a result of legal drugs.) I am angry when people argue that it’s mental health, but have a history of posting against affordable healthcare because they “don’t want to pay for other people’s healthcare.” I am angry every time this happens and people somehow find it appropriate to say things along the lines of, “Well he didn’t get his gun legally, anyway” or “he passed all the background checks” or “that gun wasn’t legal, anyway,” when what they really want to do is act like a child on the playground and say, “I told you so! I told you so!”
A mass shooting caused by illegal actions is not a winning argument against gun control. It is a tragedy.
I am angry that people are pointing fingers. Name-calling. I am angry that people are arguing against proposed solutions, but don’t have any alternate solutions to offer.
I don’t want to hear on the news that families will likely wait days to know the status of their loved ones because identification is taking so long. I don’t want to hear that and then explain to my husband that I wear my Road ID to concerts, festivals, and other big events so that if something happens, my family doesn’t have to wait. I don’t want to go to concerts and stand close to an exit, figure out in my head what I would do if something would happen, have a plan.
I don’t want that to be the reality. But it is, and it will continue to be because we aren’t doing something.
I don’t know if gun control is the answer. I don’t know if yearly mental health screenings as part of a yearly physical are the answer. I don’t know if more affordable mental health services are the answer. Likely, the answer is a combination of things. I do know that wasting time arguing that someone else’s solution is wrong is not the answer. I do know that sitting around doing nothing is not the answer.
Looking for the helpers is nice and all, but I’m tired of that. I’m tired of that Mr. Rogers meme popping up every time as if it’s supposed to help us heal. A quote that I’m sure was meant for natural disasters, not man-made monstrosities.
It’s time to do something. If not Virginia Tech, if not Aurora, if not Sandy Hook, if not Vegas, then when? When is enough enough? When do we pull our heads out of the sand of “the right to bear arms” and “the right to keep my money in my pocket.” When does the “right to life” extend beyond the abortion argument?
Now. It has to be now. We have to try something. We’ve already waited too long.