Point, Aim & Shoot (but choose your weapon wisely)

I decided it was finally time to break through the cobwebs of “A Gypsy’s Tale” to make sure you’re still out there and to assure you I’m alive and well. And I am, which is what I planned on writing about (a welcomed change for all of us, I’m sure)

But then this bullshit happened, and I’m pissed off. And acknowledging it seemed a bit more important than telling you where I am on the spectrum of well-being.

I’ve been checked out of politics and what’s happening in the world for quite a spell, for survival purposes, really. But this isn’t the time to check out…because too many innocent people are not surviving.

We have to fight back, all of us, but not with weapons that kill. We have to disempower the perpetrators with weapons that disarm- ALL of the perpetrators: those who supply, those who demand, and those who kill.

My weapon of choice?

writers.are.dangerous.quote

Quote by Nikita Hill

I pose this question with acute trepidation: What will it take? What will be the tipping point to make “our leaders” take immediate, severe action to stop this?

In 2017, we experienced a record number of gun-related death, in 2018, another record high. As of today, there have been 251 mass shootings in 2019 alone.

We are on day 216. (Do the math)

*Released by CBC quoting non-profit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the country.

More than 90 gun violence incidents have occurred this year in our schools, and 3,200 youth and teens killed or injured by a gun.

Yes, these statistics vary in accordance with what is being measured, i.e. some do or don’t tease out exact numbers of suicides vs. homicides vs mass shootings.

But that’s not the point.

The point is, our country is plagued with gun violence, and innocent people are being persecuted and murdered…and it’s horrifying.

Equally as horrifying is the fact that “we” are the perpetrators. Our nation has proudly demonstrated that we value “the right to bear arms” over the inalienable human right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Nazi ideology can be defined in four parts: expansion, racial purity, power, and militarism.”  (Nazism: Definition, Facts & Ideology)

Be clear, I’m not taking the stance that all guns should be banned or that everyone who owns one has malintent. My weapon is pointed at the lack of gun regulation and assinine justification for selling automatic weapons in our country.

The only reason anyone “needs” an automatic weapon is to kill on a massive scale.

And who wants to kill whom on a massive scale in the United States? Ruthless, fucked up, racist TERRORISTS targeting innocent people they label as “intruders”, minorities, or fill-in-the-blank “deviants”.

So, here’s the pivotal question: why are we still selling automatic weapons and producing firearms at such an alarming rate, and to what end?

Well, we know why, don’t we? Guns mean money, and money “trumps” lives… especially with Trump at the helm.

But “to what end? This has yet to be seen, with no end in sight.

But what has become very clear is this: the founding principle of our country meant to be the essence of who we are as a nation is simply not true.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

   – The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

And this- the denial of the inalienable rights of American and global citizens- is the very reason I’m mortified to be a citizen of the United States.

 

human-rights-blog

 


Stats

“The United States has the highest gun ownership rate [in the world] with about 101 guns per hundred Americans [latest estimation rose to 120]. Serbia is ranked second in the firearms per capita with a rate of 58.21 guns per 100 people. Yemen has the third highest gun ownership rate in the world with a rate of 54.8 guns per a hundred people.  (World Atlas)

“Guns killed nearly 40,000 people in the United States last year.”

“In 2016, a study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that Americans were ten times more likely to die as a result of a firearm than residents of other high-income countries, as classified by the World Bank.”

“A 2017 survey estimated that there are three hundred and ninety-three million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, a rate of 120.5 guns for every hundred residents, twice that of the second-highest nation, Yemen.”  (The New Yorker]

“From 2009 to 2017, there were at least 173 mass shootings in the U.S.

“In at least one-third of mass shootings, the shooter was legally prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting.”

“Mass shootings that involved the use of high-capacity magazines resulted in more than twice as many fatalities and 14 times as many injuries on average compared to those that did not.”  (Everytown for Gun Safety)

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Point, Aim & Shoot (but choose your weapon wisely)

  1. Thanks for caring Brooke and standing up with your voice and your words. Clearly, we have a systemic problem driven by money, greed, fear and more. I don’t really know the solution, but certainly stricter gun laws and eliminating assault weapon sales to the public would be a good start. And getting big money out of politics, and electing leaders who believe in peace, inclusion, and justice for all would help address the social causes. And more talking with each other instead of talking about each other. Just some random thoughts. May peace, sanity, and action prevail.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Went to bed last night heartbroken, and woke up this morning stunned by the news of yet another mass shooting only hours later. It’s unimaginable to me to have to live in a country where I would fear going to school or to church. You have a tyrant who is spewing hatred and inciting violence from the highest office in the land and putting targets on the backs of innocents. He is a terrorist. Unless many speak up and take action, I fear this is only the beginning of unimaginable suffering and the end of the United States as we’ve known it. Democracy isn’t something to take for granted. It’s incredibly shocking to watch it crumble at the hands of a narcissist and his enablers. The 2020 election is certainly the most important of my lifetime, and I know the world is watching and praying that your country gets it right. 🙏 I do believe though that Good will win the battle over Evil. It has to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is shameful that Canada and Mexico are being acutely affected by the destructive actions of the man running our country. And while I agree with you- he is spewing hatred and inciting violence- excessive gun violence has been happening for decades.
      We have to dismantle the underlying causes, which are directly related but not reduced to just the absence of effective gun control. Our society is infected on a systemic level: our priorities, marred, our values, hollow. And it’s killing our souls.
      I think the vast majority of us are desperately seeking familial bonds, community, support, and identity attached to something more meaningful than our titles and possessions. This is an epidemic, and it’s killing us off, one by one…or perhaps on a mass scale is more accurate.
      I believe good will prevail as well, but not with thoughts and prayers. The onus is on us to take action, each one of us. Period.

      Like

  3. You have had a gun problem for decades, and Sandyhook should have been the end of it. Certainly not saying you don’t. The majority of Americans want gun control, and equality for all. But you have lost your government to an alt-right ideology that is now encouraging the hunting of minorities. You have also lost the Supreme Court through corruption. It now caters only to the elite white man. So I will keep praying for all of you, from my corner of the world, that the election is a fair one and that the voters can overcome gerrymandering and suppression, and succeed in bringing back the decency the office used to hold so that everyone who lives there feels safe and welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The end of the republic is nigh.

    The chasm between the rational and the radical deepens and widens daily. The number of followers of the IBI in office (incoherent bloviating imbecile) show that at least 1/3 of the country are effectively unfit to be called U.S. Citizens. Yet here they are. In control. Holding the rest of us hostage. I cannot see how this ends peacefully. 100 million radicalized “‘mericans” have found their footing, their podium and oddly enough, commiseration in other peoples of the world.

    I suspect that this effect may be due to a simple concept: resource contention due to massive over-population. It’s tribalism at a global scale, driven by a dark Malthusian undercurrent. Only it’s not food that we fail to provide the masses, though that will come. Rather, it’s psychological space for multiple ideologies—and loss of self-directed agency. And of course struggles for actual, physical resources.

    To quote Shrek, the ultimate racial pariah, “Can’t we all just get along?”
    No. No we can’t.

    Like

  5. Hi Brooke,

    Thanks for drawing your virtual pen on this issue.

    To me the current gun violence is just another example of the psychosis of this society. The genocide of Native Americans, slavery, numerous wars, and the destruction of the planet and the current gun violence show a very long-term addiction to all kinds of violence. Gabor Mate, renowned addiction expert, believes that addictions originate from early childhood trauma and emotional pain.

    I believe that our society does not provide for our basic need for connection and feeling loved, accepted and belonging. Some people turn to substances and destroy their lives while others turn to power and destroying other’s lives to try to numb and distract themselves from the emptiness inside. It is going to take courage to face the reality of what we have done, to be vulnerable and compassionate to apologize for our past and to heal.

    To answer your question, I am not sure what it will take. After the Sandy Hook shooting I wondered if we hit rock bottom and had the courage to face ourselves and what we have done and are doing, but apparently not. I do know that Mother Earth is yelling that she has had enough and is pushing back harder and faster than we realize and we seem as deaf as ever.

    What do you believe, are we closer to dealing with all this or is this just another warning we ignore?

    Liked by 1 person

    • So sorry, Brian, this was pending approval for whatever reason, so I didn’t see it until now!
      I 100% agree and have heard a similar case made by Eckhart Tolle. It makes sense, as sad and fucked up as it is. When we grow up with violence or abuse- whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental, at home, at school or by our coach, that kind of behavior and treatment becomes normal. We learn it as a way to control our situation…and others. We become desensitized to it, because it’s all we see- on TV, in the news, movies, video games…on and on.
      People argue that watching violent shows or video games doesn’t affect us, but how could it not? How can it not numb our emotional capacity to empathize with people who are being beaten, raped, or killed in our own living rooms. But their “not real”, right? But the fact is, It’s hardly a leap for our brains to process the same acts of violence we see on the news in the same way- “not real”. So is it really that far of a leap to react with the same lack of empathy and compassion for people we encounter in our “real lives?” There is a reason why the Sierra Leone rebel group, R.U.F, made child soldiers watch Rambo over and over again…
      The same applies to wars abroad, the destruction of our environment, the extinction of our wildlife. If it doesn’t disrupt our regular scheduled programming, then it’s not our issue and we can’t be bothered.
      But it IS our issue because it’s OUR fault, as is the rampant violence, unprecedented rate of addiction and suicide rates of epidemic proportions. We are literally unraveling at the seams, and it’s terrifying to witness…kinda like watching a horror film.
      It just blows my mind that we choose to ignore what is so blatantly obvious. If we take the time to give a fuck- look at the statistics, question why this level of dysfunction and destruction isn’t happening in other countries, where family and friends are still the most valued part of people’s lives, where governments protect their citizens- provide adequate health insurance, comprehensive childcare, and quality education that doesn’t financially ruin them for life before they even have a chance to build one.
      The American dream has become a nightmare.
      I know, could I sound anymore negative and cynical? I am. And I’m also a relentless optimist. Change is happening at a grass-roots level. Compassionate and concerned (and petrified) global citizens, in our country and beyond, are taking action to counter all this madness. But it’s going to take time and there is so much at stake. We needed serious backup before we had a ruthless monster at the helm, with his hand hovering over the red button.
      This is what it’s going to take: we have to start giving a fuck. We have to talk to our kids, love the shit out of them and tell them so, teach them tolerance, compassion, generosity, empathy, and social justice by practicing those things ourselves. We have to stop numbing ourselves and ignoring the warning signs and brushing aside the issues that make us uncomfortable. WE have to take action and stop waiting for congress or activists or the police or Big Business to change things. Each one of us has to arm ourselves and dive into the trenches. We have to join forces and refuse to take part in any act that perpetuates the hate, violence, discrimination, and injustices plaguing our country. It doesn’t matter if it’s attending a city council meeting, volunteering for an organization, or taking our kids to see a meaningful documentary. We have to get off the fucking couch and DO something. That, Brian, is what I believe to be our only hope.

      Like

      • Hi Brooke,

        Thanks for the reply. Maybe I am on a watch list, I will find out on Sunday when I try to get on an airplane. I am sure I borrowed some stuff from Eckhart, a lot of wisdom in his teachings.

        I have felt depressed and deeply worried about climate change and biosystem collapse for years. For a long-time I took it personally. I have been practicing acceptance and non-judgement of what is, and trying to get my head around the idea that this is the way that consciousness is evolving. Maybe this is what it takes to enlighten some of us, and others will need harder lessons.

        At the core of what you are saying about people not feeling violence on others and the environment is “not real” to them is a lack of the core of consciousness, that we are all one. Our civilization is based upon the false belief that we are separate from the other beings we share this planet with and we are separate from each other. What we are seeing is not symptoms of a system out of balance that needs a tweak here or there, they are features of a system built on false beliefs. A system built on the belief that we are separate for each other and everything else ignores our basic need for connection and belonging.

        I think we are seeing this system of living we call civilization collapse. The so-called leaders have obviously run out of ideas how to fix the multiple problems facing society. Many people are apathetic, in part due to them not believing that anything will change or that doing something will work. I also believe people are overwhelmed with the number and scale of the problems, especially when they are in survival mode themselves. This quote by Daniel Quinn in Ishmael, “You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live.” kind of sums up the situation.

        In my opinion those of us on the conscious path and called by our souls to be of service need to come together and start telling a new story of how humanity is supposed to live in harmony with all beings. Those consumed with fear and ignorance I believe want to be free of their pain and most want something better, but they don’t even know there is an alternative.

        Change is happening, I went to a meditation retreat recently and collective consciousness seems to be growing, mostly with women.

        Dream about a future where we are healing ourselves and Mother Earth and living in harmony and WRITE YOUR HEART OUT!!!!

        Sorry, this is a long and disjointed mess of a reply.

        Liked by 1 person

      • God, sorry for the ridiculously belated response and your reply isn’t too long or disjointed at all!.
        Our beliefs are very similar. I admire you, that you are learning acceptance and non-judgment. I’m not there yet. I still get so overwhelmed, I sometimes do feel paralyzed. But I will never be apathetic. I’m just not programmed that way. I take do take the intolerance, injustices and destruction we are causing to our planet personally. And I believe it is up to every one of us to be accountable, take action, and encourage others to do the same. It’s the only way we will evolve.
        But I do understand what you are saying. If we try to take on everything, we will become paralyzed and apathetic. These traits are the biggest threats to our evolution and the survival of our planet. And I simply won’t live that way.
        That said, I do think change is happening. I think there is a substantial amount of our younger generations who are waking up and taking action to change the injustices and destruction. I’m forever the optimist and believe in the power of one to inspire others to tackle these issues.
        Write my heart out, I will. That is my most powerful weapon and one I hope will make a difference in some capacity.
        You keep working toward self-actualization and offering us your wisdom. That is also making a difference in the lives of others, whether you realize it or not. 🙂

        Like

  6. I don’t have a lot to say about this as a Canadian to whom American gun worship is just bizarre. I used to have no problem travelling to the States, but ever since Trump, I won’t do it–it’s just too scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is so scary. I suppose “they” are accomplishing their goal then…keeping all you ‘thugs, rapists, intruders, etc. off our territory.’
      It’s beyond tragic. We WANT our neighbors to feel welcome and safe, to enjoy all the beautiful things our country has to offer. But who wants to come to a place where murder, racism, discrimination, oppression, and children being ripped away from their families and locked up in cages is acceptable and ongoing.
      Soooo, can I come hang in your territory instead? I promise I’ll leave my automatic weapon at home. : – \ . Big hug to ya, girl.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s