As long as we still have the right to bear arms…

“The most powerful nation on Earth. The most disruptive and the most disrupted. We don’t know how to be adults. We are confused children with big guns.” – Tom Being Tom

Tom Being Tom always has a way of saying what I can’t about a subject that enrages me to the point where I can’t see straight enough to type.

His post, Fueled by American Rage, is as eloquently written as it is poignant.

I’ll let him have the stage, but I will say this:

We have problems- horrific, unbridled American problems. And they are so rampant and seemingly insurmountable that we feel paralyzed. So we polarize…even more.

I can admittedly go there politically, but this goes way beyond politics. It’s how we function as a society, as communities, as families. I’ve become acutely aware of this after living in different countries, both developing and developed.

We are checked out, utterly distracted by trying to climb the ladder to have more. But more is never enough. So we work harder, climb higher…to get more. We aren’t present for our kids or parents or neighbors or friends.

I know it’s more complicated than that. Even if we want to be present, we are distracted by just trying to get by. Cost of living is virtually impossible for lower to mid-income families- healthcare, our student loan nightmare, housing costs…shit is just broken.

So yes, there are absolutely loving parents and healthy families and supportive communities out there. But I’ve also been on the receiving end. I’ve experienced a good dose of what fuels the anger of these kids. I don’t have the anger gene, not one I could direct outwardly, but I understand where it comes from…more than I’d like to.

Our kids feel isolated and sad. And they are angry.

I don’t have children. I am not a single parent or couple struggling to support their kids. I am not a teacher or coach or counselor who is overworked, underpaid and has little to no resources. And I can’t sit behind my computer and claim to have the solution.

But my god, how many more times does this have to happen before we stop prioritizing our guns over trying to understand why our kids are using them.

Let’s focus on the issue at hand, though: we need to preserve our right to bear arms; and make sure the industry thrives; and work ourselves into the ground so we can have more of them than our neighbors. We can’t be bothered with finding the time or resources necessary to take a closer look at why our kids are desperate enough to kill.

We are failing them and we are losing them.

We are confused, angry adults handing over loaded guns to confused, angry children…whom we’ve abandoned.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot and killed 10 people. Why? We don’t exactly know. But there were signs, blatant signs. We just weren’t paying attention…

I do want to offer this disclaimer. I am by no means an expert on the various factors contributing to gun-related deaths. But I did find this article in the NYT by Nicholas Kristof to be insightful, offering a well-rounded perspective from various angles…worth a read. How to reduce shootings

 

Texas School Shooting Victims that we lost Friday, May 18 at around 7:30am: 

Jared Black, age 17
Shana Fisher, age 16
Angelique Ramirez
Kyle McLeod, age 15
Sabika Sheikh, age 17
Christopher Stone, age 17
Christian “Riley” Garcia, age 15
Cynthia Tisdale, teacher
Kimberly Vaughan
Ann Perkins

72cde5b5-4ab8-4a95-a760-6f8a39c26dafcynthia

25 thoughts on “As long as we still have the right to bear arms…

  1. Such a beautiful, heartfelt response to such a senseless, unnecessary tragedy. Brooke, you made what I said better when you said: “we are confused, angry adults handing over loaded guns to confused, angry children…who we’ve abandoned.”

    That’s exactly what’s happened. A co-worker asked me today, “why is no one talking about the income inequality in all this?!” Well, you are. You just did. We have to work twice as hard in this day and age, just to make ends meet, and our benefits are all dried up. When we have kids we don’t have time for them. So they grow up, disenfranchised. And then, of course, we give them easy access to weapons that kill and no real hope for the future. It’s almost amazing this doesn’t happen more.

    But that’s okay. We’ve got a billionaire president with his own golf course. As long as his wealth and power grow, and the wealth and power of the other “leaders” grow in unison, America doesn’t really have a problem. At least, not one that they have to care about. 😠

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Wow, Brooke. Of course, what you wrote is brilliant and necessary, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that you had to write it at all. Or that Tom had to. I spend a good portion of my days shaking my head at what is unfolding south of the border. And my heart breaks for all these parents who have to bury their kids. I see go-fund me campaigns littering the Internet, all the same, to raise money so that someone can keep living because only the rich have access to health care. I watch the news in horror because people are killing each other at an alarming and terrifying rate. And I seethe with anger every time I see that despicable morally bankrupt orange piece of shit open his mouth and spew more hate. I can’t imagine living in constant fear like so many are. I feel so very blessed to live where I do. Our country isn’t perfect, but even the assholes get taken care of here if they are sick, we don’t pick and choose. And we aren’t killing the shit out of each other; we just apologize at an unacceptable rate. Fuck. Anyway, now I need a beer. One day soon, I hope to see the change you guys so desperately need.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Enough is never enough.
    Too much is not in our vocabulary.
    Yeah but what about (insert name here) is always the comeback.

    Since when did the concept of divine fucking right take hold of this country?

    I better go back in my den before I turn ugly.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. In most European countries, you can get anything you want in the black market, the difference being, it’s ILLEGAL and ‘intended’ for the criminals, not kids.
    There are enough firearms in the States to arm almost every citizen. So there’s a problem of availability, exposure and the economy. And yes, the gun lobby. It seems it all boils down to money instead of ‘the God-given right’ to protect yourself. Amen!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I continue to be at a complete loss as to why so many people in the States (and even a few in my own country) value a hunk of metal over the lives of children. I’ll never understand why the “right to bear arms” is entrenched in the American constitution and the right to health care is a throw away. The one thing I DO know, based on precedent, is that this massacre, like all the others, will fade away, and nothing will change. And that breaks my heart more than anything.

    Liked by 3 people

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