I was working out today at the gym
(oh, I think I forgot to tell you guys how fit I am now)
watching The Today Show. I was getting bored with it because it was all, “Here’s how to stay fit and not slack and blah blah blah” and I’m already totally fit so I was about to change it when a special news report came on:
“President Obama Announces Executive Actions on Gun Control.”
I didn’t change it. I happen to genuinely like listening to Obama speak. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me, it’d be really weird for everyone to agree with everything, but it’s a fact about me. Also, I happen to think gun control is an important thing to talk about.
Finally. Finally we are actually going to move forward and try and do something about this horrible, awful, horrific truth about our country. Gun violence is a real thing. Right now, where we live, children are shot to death for no reason. People kill themselves with guns, making a split second decision that has devastating effects. Spouses and family members are killed in domestic violence situations by guns.
I’ve seen the devastation with my own eyes and felt it with my own heart.
Those parents of preschoolers (or elementary or highschoolers or college students) sobbing. I’ve seen it on the news and it’s hit me hard. It tells me a really horrific truth: our children aren’t always safe. Each time I drop off my babies at school, there is a possibility something will happen. I know, it’s tiny. I know, the possibility of it being gun related is even tinier. But the fact is, it’s still there. And I can almost guarantee the parents of those children who were killed weren’t scared that day that their children wouldn’t be coming home. It makes me second guess every single sleep over and playdate.
I’ve seen children and talked with children whose parents have died by suicide, gunshots. I’ve seen the devastation and the grief and the confusion and the tears. I’ve driven home from helping them in tears myself because what they’ve experienced is too much for their little hearts.
Do you remember the killings in the movie theaters? The ones that happened in our country? Every time I go to a movie theater, I check the exits. I position myself on the outside of all my kids because if I’m in the middle how can I possibly move them all to one side of me to protect them? It feels silly to do it and weird to admit it, but I mean, we have proof that it can happen.
I’m not stupid, (despite my verbiage in the opening paragraph, that’s just for giggles), and I know that the likelihood of all this happening to us is small. I know that not everyone who owns a gun is dangerous (duh). I know that some of these people who did these horrible things obtained these guns legally. I also know that if we make it harder for people with violent pasts…people with a tendency to make violent, rash decisions, people who have done horrible things in the past….maybe (just maybe) some future massacres won’t happen. If people have to go through background checks, pass them without a doubt, take that extra time and effort, maybe it will deter some. Maybe it won’t be quite so easy to go buy a gun for the sole purpose killing another person.
What our president’s speech is about isn’t taking away anyone’s right to own a gun unless a background check prevents it. You want to hunt? Great, purchase a gun. Pass a background check and purchase a gun. You want to simply own a gun because, ya know, you’re American and it’s you’re right? Wonderful, purchase a gun, pass a background check. I think people like to think it’s a plan to take that right away from ‘mericans. It’s not, friends. It’s a plan to make life safer. I have read so many comments from people whose argument is that tighter gun control will not stop bad people from doing bad things and therefore, it is all nonsense. This logic absolutely astounds me. Are people really questioning why we should take a deadly machine and make it a little bit harder to get and a little safer to own? Are people really questioning a plan to make our children safer? If it will not affect you, and you’re still able to obtain that gun you so desperately want, and you are not violent or dangerous and there is nothing in your past to prove that, why on earth do you care? Why do you contest it?
Can people really look at the situation and say, “Nope, there’s absolutely no reason to even try to attempt making this whole thing safer and smarter!”?
I don’t think this idea of gun control will end violence. I know horrific things will still happen, even things like gun accidents and drive by shootings and insane mass shootings. I don’t think anyone is claiming that, that claim is unrealistic.
But I think anything that keeps each other safe and happy and…weird…alive is worth trying. And shouldn’t we at least try?
I want my children to grow up feeling safe and knowing that the people around them want them to be safe as well. I think that is their right.