Like many people, I’ve been walking around the last few days on the verge of tears. I burst into tears on the way to the grocery store when I heard a Christmas song with a line about children laughing. I’ve been at a loss for what to say, what to do. I think Jonna summed up exactly how I’m feeling right now. Especially the part about how being a parent puts a crystal-clear picture in my head. Those kids were Matilda’s age. I’ve had to stop my brain 100s of times in the last several days from going there.
The sadness is being replaced by anger. Anger with how weapons that fire multiple bullets per second are readily available. Anger with the media for glorifying evil. Anger about violence as entertainment (a chicken and egg question – I know). A BLIND RAGE with anyone who is voicing support for more guns. I can’t. I just can’t.
So I’m doing what I can. Yes, I’m hugging and squeezing my kids harder and longer with this fresh reminder that it’s all so fragile. I’ve thrown money at it hoping that one of those families can feel the outpouring of love and support.
And yes, I’ve gotten political. I’ve always been in favor of more sensible gun control. I grew up in a house with hunting rifles. I shot our BB gun as a kid. I’ve trained on handguns and semi-automatic weapons during ROTC training (for the record, guns terrify me). I think having felt that power in my hands – having the kickback rattle through my bones – is part of why I think guns need to be regulated and controlled. So I wrote to all of the politicians in offices representing me: my Senators and Representative, my State Senators and Representative and Governor. In case you’re wanting to do the same, here is what I wrote. Feel free to copy if you want… I started with the letter posted on Daily Kos and added my own opinion. Did it make me feel better? Not totally, but at least I felt like I did something.
Dear Senator [Smith],
It’s way past time to pass reasonable gun control legislation. In the wake of the horrific massacre of 20 innocent children and 7 adults in Newton, CT, I implore you to work others in the Senate to enact sensible gun control legislation.
Specifically I would like to see:
– Ban the sale and possession of automatic/assault weapons in this country.
– Limit the size of large capacity ammunition clips, and create a database for all purchases of ammunition (similar to database used for the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing products).
– Require a criminal background check, mental health check and mandatory waiting period for anyone to buy a gun, eliminating gun show loopholes.
– Mandate spousal notification before a gun can be legally obtained (similar to Canadian gun laws).
– Institute a gun-ownership permit or license that requires the passing of a test and annual renewal (similar to drivers licenses and license plate renewal).
– Require legal gun owners to safeguard their weapons against theft and misuse.
People claim the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, but this is not an unlimited right. I believe we’ve let the gun lobbies and fear mongers exploit the Constitution to an absurd level. There is nothing in the document providing a right to possess assault weapons that can shoot 100s of rounds in seconds. We regulate everything from driving to drinking to buying cold medicine; it’s beyond time to regulate gun ownership.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to a response.
So, how are you doing? What have you done that makes you feel marginally better? If you need a place to vent any frustrations, grief or feel free to do so in comments. However: my blog, my rules – I will not debate my opinions on gun control. You will not change my mind and any comments supporting civilian possession of automatic or assault weapons will be deleted, as will calls for more guns. Fair warning.