Thoughts Of Love and Peace
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Yesterday as I was readying my post for today I kept hearing this string of sirens, later I was prompted by a facebook post to turn on the news. You may have heard there was a mall shooting here in Portland, someone with a giant gun wildly aiming at holiday shoppers; luckily it sounds like his gun jammed but sadly there were still 2 casualties before it did. After that my DIY round-up post seemed a little superficial to me in the moment. Events such as this make me feel terribly sad, makes my stomach turn and twist in knots. To know it was so very close to my home, and just being here, in my lovely, creative, progressive, peaceful and mostly passive city, during the holidays of course makes it more difficult to absorb - though no act such as this is worse or more devastating than the next. No matter where or what time of year, they are all equally horrendous. Truly things like this just shouldn't happen. My heart aches for the victims and their families, the witnesses who didn't know what was going on just out doing some holiday shopping or working to make ends meet; I can't imagine. So, instead, I just wanted to take the time today to send thoughts of love and peace into the world.
When I posted this a few days ago I felt sad and disconcerted that this happened, I also felt grateful that the gun jammed and more lives weren't lost. I also spent a lot of time hoping that this wouldn't happen again. Sadly, today, as we all know, it did - in an elementary school in Connecticut which is other peoples home state, their home town, in a school, where so many lives were lost, so many children. I am so deeply sadden for them, my heart is heavy and I wish that that meant I was carrying some of the pain for others but I know that it doesn't. This is an unfathomable event that no parent or community should have to endure.
Personally, I am also deeply saddened for our country and ashamed that real preventative measures continue not to be taken; when one of these shootings happen we are always informed that "this isn't the time to talk about gun reform" (or the lack of access to mental health care) seems to me it is exactly when we should be talking about it, better yet, enacting it. As Americans we have been dealing with war politics and terrorism and pointing fingers at other countries for their extremist and violent behaviors. Yes, suicide bombing is terrible and non-sensical but so is continuing to allow people to obtain military grade weaponry and shoot up theaters and schools and malls. That is also terrorism. This "right to bare arms" is terrorizing people just living their daily lives. I do not accept this. As an American, as a mother, as a human being, I do accept that these event keep happening. In fact I absolutely disagree with these high powered guns that can murder several people in a moment being touted as a "right." I think our right to be and feel safe simply trumps the right to have guns.
I never had intentions of using this blog as a platform for political debates because I don't want to alienate my readers. But if I alienate someone because they believe that it's more important to have a semi-automatic rifle in their possession than these families, and we, as human beings have the right to enjoy a movie, or attend a day of elementary school safely, or do a little holiday shopping without finding themselves facing a shooter, or the fear of finding ourselves in the middle of gunfire, or worse yet hearing that their loved one was lost for no reason at all, well, I am okay with that.
With that said and the events of today, it is a helpless feeling we are left with. What could have been done is being discussed by expert panels on news stations. As is why someone would do this. We may not ever know the real intentions of a person who obviously was not in a healthy state of mind, and in the end, I don't see how it even matters. But we can figure out what needs to be done to keep this from happening. If you are interested here is a petition that you can sign electronically to begin the process of enacting federal gun law reform. You can find it here and visit here. If you have any other petitions that you know of to help a movement progress towards preventing such tragedies in the future please link in the comments.