I try to write carefully on this blog. I try to be thoughtful, to be careful of what I say and how I say it.
I try not to be awful.
But I have learned a terrible, terrible truth today, and this post will focus on that fact. I am afraid that my words will not be chosen carefully today, because they are being lit by the fuse of this terrible truth.
I discovered today that if the circumstances were right, I could kill another human being.
I do not say this lightly. I have often wondered if I would be able to kill an animal if I had to do it in order to feed my family. I’ve never been sure.
I know that I could kill a fish, having done that more than once. I have no qualms about killing and eating a fresh, sweet clam.
If the dark days ever came and my grandkids were truly hungry, I think I could force myself to kill a duck or a turkey. But I doubt that I could ever, ever kill a deer. I can’t stand the thought of killing something so beautiful and so alive.
I see myself as a coward when it comes to taking life. I eat meat, and I don’t condemn those who hunt for food. Still, I have never believed that I myself could actually make the kill.
Until today, I was sure that nothing in the world could ever make me take the life of another human being. I’ve never served in the military. I’ve never been in law enforcement.
I’m a gentle, tender hearted, nurturing mother figure. I have been a teacher, a speech therapist for disabled children, a mother, a nonni. I rock babies. I cook nutritious soups. I capture spiders and put them back outside.
I hate violence of any kind. I won’t watch violent shows or movies. Other than mosquitoes, I don’t kill anything.
So today, as I sat rocking my 8 month old grandson in my arms, watching the winter afternoon drift by, I thought of myself as a giver of life. A giver of life and tenderness and understanding.
As I sat breathing in the sweet baby smell of my little Johnny’s hair, I didn’t expect the terrible truth to assault me the way that it did.
But the news was on.
And I saw yet another public school surrounded by swat teams, and armored vehicles and men in combat gear. I saw even more children running out of their classrooms with their arms in the air.
Another school shooting. The 18th in the past 6 weeks? The 19th? We are nearly at one a day!
“Again?!” I gasped out loud. “Again??!!!”
I held Johnny tighter. I thought about his mother, my daughter, my child. She is a teacher. She trusts me to keep her babies safe while she nurtures and cares for other people’s children. I am so incredibly afraid for her!
I thought of my former colleagues, at the school where I taught for two decades. I am afraid for them.
I am afraid for every child in this country who kisses their momma goodbye and gets on that big yellow bus.
And as I rocked my baby boy and cried into the softness of his silky hair, I was hit, hard, by the realization that I would happily, joyfully, gleefully blow the fucking heads off of those who have allowed this country to become a place where public schools are shot up every single week.
I tried to stop that thought. It goes against every instinct that I have to harbor such violent wishes.
But you know what?
Just once, just this once, I wish that I could use the complete lack of gun control to satisfy my own desire to protect our teachers and our children.
If I had the guts…..no, let’s be honest….if I had the opportunity… to be in the presence of Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA), any NRA lobbyist, or any of the members of Congress who have taken money from the gun whores of the NRA…..
I would happily take my legally obtained AR-15 and cheerily insert it directly into the open mouth of any one of them. I would pull the trigger with a sense of relief and pleasure. I would step over the ugly mess that their brains and skull bones made as they were spattered on the nearby wall.
Then I’d offer their families my thoughts and prayers and deepest condolences.