You know I try to keep things positive here in Muttville, but sometimes you have to look into the dark places and get mad, so.....
.........it’s Tuesday and I’m going to talk about the Orlando shooting. I know, that was like so 3 days ago, but you know what, for those people who are standing over the caskets of their loved ones, it’s today and tomorrow and the rest of their lives. There are mothers who will forever treasure text messages of their children’s last words. ‘He’s coming. I’m gonna die. Mommy I love you….’. How do you live with that? How do you close your eyes at night and not see those words and know there was nothing you could do about it. Your child died with words of love for you on his lips. He was murdered along with 49 others in the worst mass murder on US soil since 9/11. I'm beside myself with shame. How could we let this happen again and again and again?
Since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting there have been 998 mass shootings in the US. 998. Two shy of 1000 in four years time. For the record, Gun Violence Archive defines a "mass shooting" as "FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter." The organization defines "mass murder" as "FOUR or more killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter." It makes me a little sick that there is even the need to have specific definitions dividing “mass shooting” and “mass murder”.
Now maybe you’re a little like me and you’ve heard these statistics ad nauseam and maybe, like me, when your brain hears numbers it shuts the door and hangs out the “gone fishin’” sign, but even for those of us who want to live life with our ears and eyes closed, 998 is an obscene number. An ugly, horrible, disgusting number. Apparently, though, not disgusting enough to do anything tangible to make it end because it breaks my heart to say it, but in a few days, or weeks, that number is going to climb to 1000 and then 1001 and on and on until so many people have buried their loved ones that we hardly take notice and that will be when I begin to lose hope for humanity altogether. When your gun is more important than the life of a human being it is a sad, sad day. That day, my dear ones, is today.
I am a pacifist and proud to be one. I don’t think any person needs a gun for any reason and I won’t apologize for it. I understand the second amendment, but I don’t have to like it nor do I think it has the same relevance as it did when i was originally drafted. I abhor hunting as sport and killing of any kind. (No, I’m not a vegetarian, but it’s calling my name pretty loudly these days.)I take spiders outside and let them go. My grandchildren think that GUN is a bad word and I hope they feel that way for a really long time. Maybe long enough to be part of the solution when they get old enough.
I’ve heard all the excuses and rational explanations about the inability to make gun control effective. I’ve heard them say that it just can’t work and I say bullshit. You explain all your fancy reasons to the mother whose phone bears the last words of her murdered son and see what she has to say about it. I say that we can pray and love and talk until we’re blue in the face, but until we find a way to take the guns away it’s all pointless.
The number 998 says I’m right.
Below are the names of those killed in Orlando. I'd appreciate it if you could find the time to read every name and honor those souls as they pass into the afterlife.