Dear America, Are We Tired Yet?

To all my readers, (my Berliners, my Angels, my lovers of romance), today is a day of mourning.

I don't wish to delve into politics because I don't feel that saving lives is political. It is human. It's what we all strive to do in moments of tragedy no matter where we happen to be, no matter who is in need. In Las Vegas last night, a lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert goers from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. It doesn't matter what motivated him to do it. What matters is that he did, and that in a matter of moments, one man was able to kill 59 people and injure (possibly fatally, we do not yet know) over 500 more. There was no warning. The crowd, unable to identify in the panic where the bullets were coming from, bolted in all directions. A danger in and of itself.

There is no scenario here in which a "good guy with a gun" would have helped. It happened too fast. The gunman was well-positioned, protected, and until smoke from his own weapons set off an alarm in his room, alerting hotel security, no one knew where he was. Despite this fact, today, gun sales spiked. People, fearful of others with guns, set out to buy their own or add to their collections. Fear rules the day, but it never solves anything.

We continue to do the same thing every time a mass shooting happens, nothing. Absolutely nothing. And it's not working. Can we finally admit doing nothing is not working? Dear America, are we tired yet?

The very definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. We are truly insane, but we don't have to be.

You know, following a mass shooting in 1998, (I believe), Australia banned guns. Just outright banned them. They offered a buy-back to gun owners and destroyed the weapons that the government purchased, and you know what? They haven't had a mass shooting since. The United Kingdom also banned guns. Their police officers do not carry guns. Imagine that? Guess what? They don't have mass shootings either. Their deaths by GSW (gun shot wounds) are so negligible next to that of the United States that it's laughable -- almost, if it weren't so tragic. The point is, it works.

And we don't even need to go that far. I know people are uncommonly attached to their 2nd Amendment rights, and generally, I have no problem with responsible gun ownership. I bet you don't either. We just need to exercise some common sense, something that will never happen while the NRA owns a majority of congressmen/women (or as Jimmy Kimmel put it so succinctly tonight, has "Congress's balls in a money clip.")

Owning guns is a right, but also a privilege of living in the U.S.A. Nowhere else can you walk into a Walmart and purchase a weapon with such ease. And with privilege comes responsibility. It's all of our responsibility to make sure we are not letting mentally ill people own guns, that people aren't stock-piling weapons, and if they are, that they're flagged and investigated by law enforcement. It's our responsibility to recognize that the right to bear arms doesn't mean everyone should be able to purchase weapons of mass destruction, which is what automatic rifles are. These types of guns are not for personal protection and self-defense, they are instruments created to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. They are weapons of war, not peace.

Today, after hearing the news, I couldn't even respond right away. I felt immobilized. I wanted to respond, but it just felt like this had happened one too many times with all the same actions, all the same inactions, all the same empty, ineffective words. I just feel numb.

I had a short conversation with a dear friend on Facebook who lives in the Netherlands. He knows me to be a fighter for just causes, a person with a voice, and a usually indomitable spirit, and yet today, it just wasn't there...

He posted this, a share from someone else.

"From NEWSWEEK: "In Nevada gun owners don't have to have licenses and can open carry their firearms without a permit. Nationally, the House of Representatives is weighing legislation that would ease up on rules concerning gun silencers, which law enforcement officers argue could make it harder to identify the suspect during mass shootings."

Michele Gwynn: A world gone mad. But we continue to allow it, apparently. Until everyone wakes up, pulls their heads out of..well, you know, this will continue.
Marc:  America's biggest enemy is itself. All we foreigners can do is watch its build-in fatal destiny unfold.

Michele Gwynn:  I can't even muster a good rage anymore, Marc. I'm just tired.
Marc:  Understand completely.
Michele Gwynn:  It's like watching someone you love going down a bad road, like a drug addict who won't stop shooting up. You yell, scream, cry, trying to save them, and then finally, you run out of steam and all you can do is watch them die...
Marc:  Yes dear, but you're a talented writer and you can't give up now.
Michele Gwynn:  I just need a breather, a moment to mourn for those who lost their lives.
Marc: Of course!

Marc:  🌹

Michele Gwynn:  I'd like to share our conversation if that's okay.
Marc:  FB is for sharing. ;)
I guess I just wanted for one moment, to break away from the fiction, and address our current reality. I write about characters with guns, both good guys and bad guys, but it's fiction. It's the only place I want to see bad things happening because it tears my heart in two when I turn on the news and see so many innocent, wonderful people gunned down. It's senseless, violent, painful, hurtful, and worst of all, ...preventable, if only we'd stop doing nothing. 


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