Breaking. Twenty-six dead in Connecticut, twenty of them young children.
Breaking. More to come. It won’t stop.
It won’t stop, and can’t stop, until we find a way to rout out the insane among us who thirst for notoriety, power and control. Until we deal with the culture of violence we have become.
It won’t stop and can’t stop, until we are better able to see the signs in the eyes of our children that something is very wrong in their minds, their homes and in their social groups, in their experience of themselves as outcasts or assassins living in a video game that happens to be other people’s reality.
And it especially isn’t going to stop until we stand up to the gun lobby and ban gun possession.
Yes. I stand by this. No private citizen, with the possible exception of those who insist on hunting and who use what they kill to feed themselves and their families, should have a gun.
We shouldn’t carry guns for protection. We shouldn’t have them stashed in a closet, or in a drawer by the bed.
This is, in theory, a civilized country. Every square mile is under the jurisdiction of a law enforcement agency.
Enforcement of laws is on law enforcement. Response to domestic violence is on the sheriff, the police. Among countries worldwide, we have the highest incidence of lethal shootings. Stats say that there are 300 million licensed weapons in the U.S.
But let me bring the point home, and tell you that like millions of others who otherwise seem like normal people going about the business of life, I am someone who shouldn’t have a gun.
I was reared by an aggressive and angry mother who incited me to retaliation when I was very young. Early on, I discovered that I could get her to stop hurting me by pulling the family knife out of the carving set in the drawer I could reach–at the age of seven.
Early on, when she was drunk and abusive toward my brother, my father and me, and as I became physically taller and stronger, I discovered that I could attack her, pin her in a corner, and grab a fistful of her hair.
To this day I have scant compassion for she who bore me and made me capable of monstrous thoughts and fantasies.
But I am an adult now, and I still don’t have a gun. And it’s too late to pin it all on dear old mom; she’s been dead for over thirty years.
If you saw me, you would say, what a sweet old woman. I am comely, with blue eyes and long graying hair.
Take a closer look. Help yourself to my record. When I am wounded and re-wounded, dissed, rejected, my boundaries ignored, I am often compelled to put my hands on the nearest available object.
Thankfully, I’ve been to hell and back; I’ve had enough treatment to open my eyes and to begin to be able to intervene in my own anger.
But if I had a gun, I would be afraid to be close to anyone at all, for fear that my PTSD would be triggered, and in a split second, that I would be put on the offensive and the defensive, in flight or fight mode or both, that I would pick up such a weapon and not hesitate to use it.
Who else out there could confess, could own, being well acquainted with his or her own capacity for rage? Who else knows the shame of losing it?
I stand with the thousands of veterans traumatized by war, who come home with nowhere to put the rage and fear, and in a state of shame at being ill and damaged, don’t seek help until it is too late.
It is far from cowardly to seek help, and first and foremost, a gun is a weapon. Its purpose is to kill. No one with poor impulse control has any business having access to a gun.
Every community in America now has the terrible blight of either a domestic dispute in which someone was shot or stabbed, or worse.
So it is that in a pristine Connecticut township this morning, there are twenty dead children and six dead adults, counting the shooter.
You who continue to advocate for the “right to bear arms,” which was originally meant to be paired with “in defense of home and country,” need to shut up. Just shut up. And search your souls.
And stop standing in the way of an overhaul of gun laws.
Reality, my friends, speaks for itself again today. Let it.