America Under Siege

I have procrastinated in every way possible today to avoid writing this post. I took a run, called my mom, my dad, horsed around the internet, but I just can’t seem to get the latest mass shooting in Sutherland Springs Texas out of my mind.

Maybe it is the fact that the incident occurred 2 hours north of my winter Texas home in Corpus Christi.

Maybe it’s the fact it happened in a house of worship.

Maybe it’s the fact that small children were shot at point blank range.

Maybe it’s the fact that I am very angry that very little is being done to prevent it.

Every mass shooting is a senseless tragedy. Every mass shooting leaves in it’s wake a trail of devastation for the families, friends, the community-at-large, and the entire country is called, yet again, to mourn.

And still nothing changes.

We keep hearing it is not the time to discuss gun control.

Please tell me American leaders, when exactly is the right time?

I do not hunt or target practice, nor do I live fearfully and feel I need to be protected in my home. I feel no desire to invoke my right to bear arms. I shot a gun one time in my youth with my uncle close at hand to teach me how to correctly do so. I didn’t enjoy the feel of the gun in my hand nor the jolt it gave me when I shot it. So I really never gave guns too much thought til the last few years.

Now I think about guns a lot. More than I ever wanted to. I should not be sitting here on a rainy and gloomy Texas afternoon writing about mass shootings. I should be writing about light-hearted subjects such as travel, cooking, wellness, things I love and enjoy.

Instead I sit here writing about yet another mass shooting, directly on the heels of the Las Vegas event, hoping it will release and heal the horrendous thoughts swirling through my brain. I am sickened by this cycle of violence.

My only weapon against the war on “homegrown terrorists” are my words. So with my words as my sword, let me slice through a few statistics for you.

According to the website everytownresearch.org

  • on an average day 93 Americans are killed with guns
  • On an average year there are 12,000 gun homicides
  • for every one person killed with guns, 2 more are injured
  • 62% of firearms deaths in the U.S. are suicides
  • In an average month 50 women are shot to death by intimate partners in the U.S.
  • America’s gun homicide rate is 25 times the average of other developed countries
  • background checks have blocked the sale of nearly 3 million gun sales in America

And here’s a troubling one, according to CNN, the 5 deadliest shootings in the US history have occurred in the last 10 years.

We need some answers, and we do not need to wait for more shooting to occur so we can again claim, “It’s just not the proper time.” That is pure bullshit, and the wimpiest response I have ever heard.

Waiting for a break in the action will not work because the mass shootings are becoming more common, and if we continue to wait until it is politically correct, there will be no break in the action.

I should let it be known, I am not anti-gun. Many of my friends and family own and enjoy guns responsibly. The are well aware of how to govern themselves around firearms. They enjoy hunting. I enjoy eating the fruits of their labor. The older folks teach the younger ones how to use the guns, care for the guns, and how to be safe with the guns. I am sure this is the way of most of our gun-loving citizens.

What I am, is anti-gun violence of any form be it gang violence, mass shootings, crimes of passion, or accidental shootings.

So you tell me America, when is the right time to discuss gun control? When the next mass shooting takes place? two weeks after? A month? Until it happens in your community? Your school or work place? (the two most likeliest places for mass shootings to occur), Your mom? your kid?

It’s not a comfortable topic, but we can no longer wring our collective hands, and say how horrible it is, and continue to do not a damn thing about it.

What is the answer? I am a common woman, I don’t own guns, I don’t pretend to know.  I certainly wish the people who are so adamant on protecting the right to bear arms would at least start to come up with some dialogue, hopefully, leading to solutions.

Burying our heads in the sand is no longer an option.

Because it is infringing on our collective right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And most recently, our right to worship as we wish.

Statistically speaking, during the composing of this essay which took me a couple hours with research and writing, 8 people in the US have lost their lives due to gun violence.

Are you ready to talk America?

I lay my sword down.