For days now I’ve sat in front of this laptop, intending to write something with meaning. I’ve failed. I’ve failed because I’m a little at odds with myself. No more, I’m giving in. I’m going to write about something I’ve been avoiding.
For those of you who don’t want to read something ideological or political from the likes of me, then please, and with my blessing, skip this one.
I’m a Type 1 Diabetic. My pancreas is a raisin, it is utterly spent. But I’ve always been, and remain to this day, dedicated to the idea that I want my grandchildren to know me. I want to die many, many years from now with a new horizon laid out in front of me, and a million stories behind. So I take care of myself. Full disclosure, my last A1C was 6.4. For those of you who don’t know what that means, a 6.4 A1C is considered pre-diabetic. I’m quite careful.
I bring this up because I’m also on a government registry. Every year, two at the most, I get a letter from a government agency informing me that in 10 days or so my driver’s license will be revoked, unless a document signed by a physician is received within that time period.
And they’re right to do so.
It’s in the public interest to try to ensure our common safety. There have been incidents of diabetics falling into unconsciousness and crashing. Not many, but some. So something was done. Was it comprehensive? Will it ensure that it never happens again? No. But if it prevents just one…
One of Bill O’Reilly’s responses to the Vegas mass murder was that it’s “the price we pay for freedom.” No, it’s the price we pay for negligence and political cowardice. To our elected leaders I say try something, try anything. This is America. We innovate, we try things. If it doesn’t work, we try something else. But do SOMETHING. To those who say that government regulations wouldn’t work, that the answer is in mental health care I say okay, let’s try that too. Let’s do SOMETHING. Though I think the mental health angle is a little disingenuous because if a new law wouldn’t work, how exactly would mental health care have stopped what happened in Vegas, or Sandy Hook for that matter? But you know what, if it prevents just one…
Sean Hannity clutched his pearls and screeched about the “politicization” of the issue. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was too soon to talk about gun violence. Countless people cried out on Facebook about disrespecting families by having that discussion too soon. So I wonder, how long did they take, silently pondering the horrors of 9/11 before they spoke out? To honor the families. To Sean Hannity and those who think like him I’d say speak for yourselves. For my part, if someone close to me was a victim of gun violence, I’d hope that We The People would stand up at that very moment and scream “NO MORE! NOT ONE MORE!” Because, again for my part, every death by mass shooting that occurred after that would be another heartbreaking, insulting reminder of the meaninglessness of the death of my particular loved one. So if by screaming out over the bodies of fallen loved ones prevents just one more…
For eight years we all listened to talk of how Obama and His Democrats were coming for our guns. In their tyrannical grasping for power, jackbooted agents of The Government were coming for our guns. Didn’t happen, never was. Now there’s a new government in DC, one that “honors” our right to bear arms. So who’s The Villain now? The Violent Left. We now need to arm ourselves to protect our families from mask-wearing leftists. It seems to me that there are those with a loud voice that need us to be afraid of something, afraid enough to buy more guns. Yesterday, “the left” was used to imply beard waxing, skinny-jeans wearing, tree-hugging sissies. Now they’re insidious insurgents coming to do bodily harm unless you’re appropriately armed with the latest people-stopping technology.
We The People and our elected representatives have the responsibility of doing something, of trying anything. And then trying the next thing, and the thing after that. When it comes to responsible gun legislation, we seem to have absolved ourselves of responsibility. We’ve allowed others to frame the argument as having no middle ground, no compromise, no nuance. We’ve allowed some voices to say the only answer is a Good Guy With A Gun. We seem to be saying, “Well I pray it doesn’t happen to me or mine, and I’ll pray for you when it happens to you. But there’s nothing else I can do to prevent the next one…”
Some people respond to discussions of gun control by saying that a knife is deadly, as is a baseball bat or a rock. They can be. And when someone kills or wounds more than 500 innocent people in 15 minutes with a rock I’ll be asking about legislating responsible rock ownership.
Some would ask “where will it end?” It’ll end where we say it ends. We deal with what’s in front of us, and what’s in front of us is that there have been over 200 hundred mass shootings so far THIS YEAR, and the one in Vegas killed 58 and wounded almost 500 in the span of 15 minutes. We have to try as many things as are necessary. What we are doing right now is nothing, and we should be ashamed.