Full disclosure – this post has been collecting dust in my “draft” folder for almost two months now. While I fully believe in the words I wrote, I have repeatedly hesitated to post out of weariness of backlash and negative comments. I am posting it today and exercising my right to free speech. As a human being who unfortunately lived through and was personally affected by a mass shooting, and now as a parent who only wants to shield my child from the bad in the world, I feel that there is no reason to hide my opinion any longer. While I’m sure those of you who have a difference of opinion on the matter are eager to jump on my post and engage in posting negativity here, I graciously ask you to simply read this with a grain of salt and move on.
If you’ve followed me for a little while now, you know I try to keep this space fun and lighthearted. I discuss superficial things such as recipes and decor, because well that’s what I like to write about. I know the world is a much more complicated place, and in no way is my lighthearted approach meant to diminish the complexity of the world we live in today. While I do not wish to engage in an online debate with those who do not share my view, I am simply writing this because this issue has been on my mind and I felt a strong desire to write my thoughts on it here. Please respect my right to pen my thoughts on this topic just as I will respect that you may not agree with me.
I feel the imperative need to speak on the one political issue I feel strongly about – gun control. I was beyond heartbroken to see on the news the other day that yet another shooting occurred in this country. The window of time between these occurrences is becoming smaller and smaller. Our gauge on the severity of these shootings is becoming numb. We sigh heavy sighs of sadness and ask questions like “was everyone okay?”, “how many were injured?”, “did they catch the shooter?”. We are no longer just in shock that it even happened.
As I grow older, I realize how small the world really can be, and because of this I find some truth in the theory of six degrees of separation. If you aren’t familiar with this, it is the thought that we are all connected by at least six degrees of separation. (For example, maybe your mom’s, best friend’s, niece’s, brother-in-law’s, sister, married someone you went to high school with.) It is because of this theory and the frequency of these horrific shootings, that makes me wonder at what point will we ALL be able to say we know someone affected. To further this, at what point will this theory come into play and effect the law makers who are funded by the NRA, so much so that they abandon ship and decide to take action? Why on earth are we as a country even letting it get to that point? It’s insane.
For those of you who love to play the “IT IS MY RIGHT!” card – you’re right, it is. But do you honestly know why it’s your right? Well if you can’t, let me enlighten you. Your right dates back to the colonial era. Colonists were considered militia at any given time, thus giving them the right to defend their homes from invaders. Tell me, when was the last time a British soldier attacked your house? Do you consider yourself part of the “militia” on a regular basis that warrants your need for your small factory of fire arms? No? Didn’t think so. Now I do acknowledge that you could argue that weaponry that was developed years and decades after the amendment was written is exempt to the rule. So if this is your rebuttal, that’s fine. However, at what point do you stop putting the value of your “right” to the value of human life?
I always have believed that if you are unhappy with something and want to see change, you simply cannot complain. Instead, come up with alternative scenarios to purpose in its place. Being a realist, I understand and am not expecting to abolish gun ownership completely, but this is what I propose. What if gun owners were forced to register their arms with a range in their county/town. Perhaps these registered arms were required to stay at these said locations, and owners were allowed to check out 1-2 at a time; and following proper mental health screenings, these businesses would have the right to deny access to the weapons, such as bartenders know when to stop serving a patron. While you cannot account for rule breakers who would simply not follow the law, it would cut down on the number of fire arms floating around the country. It would provide more obstacles for those wishing to cause harm. Additionally, it would provide an increase in job opportunities for towns.
America prides itself on being a leader. Well guess what? Other countries do NOT have this problem. We should take a step back and model after them. Instead of pushing to be the best on paper, we need to push to be the best in reality, and continual mass shootings isn’t part of that.
I fully understand that changing things in the eye of the law is not that simple. I am just believing that this country needs a change on this issue. We need to want it. We need to feel it’s necessity. We need to demand it. America, let’s make it happen.