Why Do They Call This “Political”?


I spent today, like so many others, listening and watching as the news outlets covered the shooting in Virginia. Congressmen were shot, so the coverage was intense and constant.

I have to write down some what I’m feeling. Otherwise, you know, I’d probably explode in a shower of tear soaked sparks.

It was terrible. It’s a terrible, horrible, awful thing for innocent people to become targets for angry, sick, armed lunatics. When I heard the news breaking this morning I cried. I held my hand over my mouth. I shook my head.

It’s so awful. It should NOT be happening.

Now its a few hours later. I’ve been listening to the men who went through the ordeal.

These middle aged men, some of them military veterans, were on TV, fighting tears. They were talking about how surreal it was. How much they feared for each other, and for themselves. How they thought about their families, wanting to see them again.

These men, one after the other, are shaken, upset, angry and filled with the natural need to process all of this.

My heart goes out to them.

But.

This happens every day.

Every. Day.

Multiple times every day, someone in this country is faced with the surreal situation of being in the presence of an angry shooter.

I think about the children living in America’s cities who have been in their very own bedrooms when shots go off right outside their windows. I think about how horrified those little ones must be, every single damn day.

I wonder if those Congressmen are thinking about these kids?

This morning I heard one of the shaken Congressman saying that he felt like he was a “sitting duck” in the first base dugout. His voice was trembling, he was taking deep breaths as he told his story. I heard the sympathetic voice of the reporter, clearly feeling empathy for the Representative.

That’s when I really stared to cry. To sob, with the back of my hand against my lips. “Sitting ducks”, just waiting to be shot and waiting to die. My mind filled with the image of trembling, terrified victims, suddenly faced with a madman and his gun. Knowing that they were about to die.

But I didn’t see middle aged Congressmen. I didn’t.

I saw first graders. I saw kindergarten students. I saw babies, huddling in terror on the floor of their classroom, crying to their terrified young teacher. Asking her to save them.

I saw my students, looking to me for an explanation after Newtown.

I thought about all the guns, the tens of millions of guns that have flooded this country. I thought about all the times a gun has been used to massacre the innocent.

And I thought about those security officers. How they have to go to work every day knowing that there could be a shooter on any corner. In any building, at any event, on any day. They are surrounded by guns. I thought about how they must feel going to work. How their parents and their spouses and their children must feel.

So I am once again thinking, and praying, and hoping that at last we might see our lawmakers address the need to control our guns.

But if I bring it up, or if anyone does, we are told “this is not the time to politicize” this tragedy.

So here’s my question.

What’s political about wanting to be safe in my own neighborhood?

How is it partisan to think people should be safe at baseball practice? Or to want my grandchildren safe at the park?

See, I don’t think that controlling how many guns are out there is political. I don’t think passing laws about what kinds of weapons can be carried around our cities is partisan.

I think its time to question our obsession with outshooting the bad guys.

It’s not political. It’s logical.

 

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13 thoughts on “Why Do They Call This “Political”?

  1. I’m in agreement.
    I also don’t think it’s political to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental problems, people with a history of domestic abuse (even if they have never been convicted of it), and so forth.
    Those 2nd amendment “purists,” many of whom think that they harken back to the “Old West,” don’t even know that many towns in the ” Old West” had……wait for it…….gun control. You had to give up your gun to the town sheriff, and then you got it back when you left town. (Despite what the old Westerns tried to tell you.)

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    • They have also been lead to believe that the 2nd Amend was understood to include personally owned guns since it was written! Don’t realize how new this interpretation is.

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  2. excellent post…I’m glad to find that I am in good company in my thought process today. Even if there had been much greater casualties…thesse people STILL would not dare oppose the NRA.

    The single bright spot of the day was to hear late this afternoon that the investigation of Donald Trump’s involvement in the Russia Affair. My first fear today was that this outfit running our country would achieve another red_-herring. Does that make us cold and harsh? Not in this current fiasco which is still an iceberg submerged under a pile of dirty slush..

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  3. I’m a second amendment conservative who is all for reasonable gun control. Having lived through the chaos of a major hurricane (Andrew) where people began roaming around looking to rob those whose homes were damaged, I also have seen first hand how important it was for my husband to be able to protect me and our three little kids in its aftermath. (In our severely damaged neighborhood, people spray painted their addresses on the exterior walls so their insurance companies could locate them and also warnings about the homeowner being armed.) Andrew taught me that the line between order and anarchy is shockingly thin. Beyond guns though, I have also been deeply concerned with the hyperventilating press and its daily barrage of doomsday reporting. Between Kathy Griffin with the decapitated head, the assassination play in NYC, Reality Winner (the leaker) who is going to sit in the slammer for years, the kids rioting in black bandanas and this most recent shooter..I believe the press needs to take a moment to consider their role. We will always have the fringe (not the mentally ill, but the fringe)..on both sides. The question is how much of this daily media provocation is to blame for their actions? If this had happened a few years ago, and some Glenn Beck acolyte had opened up fire on a group of Democrats, the role/responsibility of the conservative press would be a topic of deep discussion.

    ***As a side note, my daughter did officially quit her sorority and in her exit paperwork made note of the fact that the girls’ constant state of agitation and political bullying was the main reason..(and my daughter would tell you she is a liberal leaning libertarian…🤔)

    At the end of the day..words matter.

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    • I agree with you on all counts. I live in a rural community (or at least, rural for Massachusetts!) and many if not most of my friends own guns for safety. But I wonder this: if we didn’t have so many guns around everywhere, why would we need guns to protect ourselves from each other? I just look at friends in Germany, France, Canada, friends who live in Tunisia, Vietnam, Oman…none of them own or want guns. None fears guns in their neighbors hands. I have a neighbor who legally owns several guns. He gets drunk on a regular basis and shoots at nothing. Those bullets don’t stop at the end of his driveway. How do I protect my grandchildren? Shoot him? I have looked at every side of this, over and over, and I can’t escape the belief that a nation where there are more people than guns is not a peaceful or a safe space. Sorry, I am very passionate about my daily fear of the guns around me! I’m sorry about your daughter! This nonsense, this nasty language in the press, in social media, and in Congress itself has got to stop.
      Sometimes I play a game where I listen to political folks on the radio and see how fast I can guess their party by how they speak. That’s really sad!

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      • I live in an extremely rural community in Western Maryland, up on top of a mountain.
        The police (and fire and ambulance) response time is close to a half an hour.
        We have two shotguns, a rifle, and a (legal, registered) handgun.
        And virtually all of our neighbors are similarly armed.
        Although, to tell you the truth, nobody has ever had to use their guns to save themselves from an intruder.
        Shooting groundhogs, yes. (Groundhogs are very dangerous to farmers who have tractors- if a tractor tire gets into a groundhog hole, the tractor can overturn and kill or seriously injure the farmer, and yes, this has happened.)
        Also shooting annoying rabbits who keep eating our garden produce.
        I have no problem with people owning guns, as you can see. But I also have no problem with some reasonable restrictions on who can own guns, and on background checks.

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      • Zorba, you know I love you. I just think that people have been taking out rabbits and groundhogs for ages with pellet guns, or similar types of weapons. I don’t want your do die an ignominious groundhog death. But I think when we look at the incredible numbers of people who commit suicide with guns, the incredible numbers of children killed by accident with guns, or the people who’ve been killed by nuts in theaters, shopping centers, malls, offices and God Help us, classrooms…..
        If something that I use and enjoy every single day was causing this much devastation, I’d give it up tomorrow to prevent another Newtown. Take my laptop. My TV. Take my oven. My camera. I’d give it up if I could prevent those losses.

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      • We have an air gun (pellet gun) and we have a CO2 gun, as well.
        They’re okay for taking out rabbits, but groundhogs are a bit harder to kill with them, you have to get really, really close.
        Personally, what we prefer to do with groundhogs is dump dry ice (frozen CO2) into their burrows when we find them. The CO2 kills them because it replaces all the oxygen down there. They go to sleep and never wake up.
        For the rabbits, spraying our plants and veggies with a combination of a little bit of hot sauce and a lot of water, discourages them, as it discourages the deer from eating the fruit from our fruit trees. Mammals have capsaicin receptors, and they really, really don’t like even a little bit of hot sauce.
        But, having said all that, we have had some home invasions up here, mainly drug addicts coming way out to the country to try and steal stuff they can hock to support their habit.
        I’m sorry, but if some stranger kicks in my door and comes busting into my house while I’m here, I’m going to shoot him.

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      • It’s a tough call..because honestly I don’t think we can turn back the clock and realistically somehow get all the guns “back”.. esp the ones the gangsters own-I grew up in Germany and it’s almost impossible to compare our histories and culture. Of course when I lived there we were terrified by the Baader Meinhof gang and it seemed there were so many airline hijackings back then as well.. the airports were practically militarized fortresses..used to mortify me as a kid when we traveled..so we were scared by other kinds of violence I guess. Now that the Stanley Cup is over, my husband and I actually cut the cable..so we are off the grid so to speak. I still read articles online of course, but the crassness is at least not audible. I was already not watching the garbage, but I was through funding it as well..these networks make a ton of cash of the chaos they help stir up. We actually played crazy eights the other night..haha- it’s like summer camp! 😉 As far as your neighbor goes, good gosh, I’d try to get his willy-nilly shooting-sprees recorded on my i-phone and show the authorities. That would freak me out.

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      • Good for you with the cable! I know I need to step back…….As far as my neighbor goes, the authorities know all about it; we all call them when he gets nuts. He still has his guns. THIS is what makes me crazy.

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