Wednesday, June 04, 2014

killing time

today, as i type, this memorial sits a half a block from our house.

it sprang up this weekend for molly conley, a girl who will never turn 16.

molly no longer lives in the house across the street from us, because she was shot and killed one year ago. on her birthday.

we never met her, but we know her mom, a smart, plucky woman who is, at once, unblinkingly dauntless and utterly destroyed by the loss of her daughter.

she takes her place next to the father whose son was shot and killed a couple weeks ago in santa barbara; the loved ones of three people shot and killed in myrtle beach two days later; and those of seven people shot and killed in chicago last weekend.

over the past several years americans have been conditioned to fear many things, most of which are statistically little or no threat. but because people are afraid, they do dumb things ~ like buy more guns.

it says here that more than 450,000 people in washington state have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. over 100,000 of them are women, and the growth rate for women getting those permits is double that of men.

the refrain among those quoted in the story was the same: "i'm taking responsibility for my safety and protecting myself and refusing to be a victim."

which is to say, they've drunk the NRA kool-aid.

the fact is, more guns equals more shootings and more deaths

and women who carry guns for "self-defense" actually increase their odds of being shot.

yay, logic. yay, fear.

americans are outrageously susceptible to well-funded propaganda. if a story supports the cowboy image we've cultivated for generations, by god we believe it. if we're told that guns make us strong and safe and personally responsible, we rush out and buy tens of millions of them.

so we can kill each other (and ourselves) to the tune of 32,000 gun-deaths a year.

ignorant, fearful, and indoctrinated is a toxic combination that has poisoned the american well.

and we just can't seem to stop drinking from it.

"Picture any bragging, gun-wielding gang banger, swaggering cowboy, mafia kingpin, big game hunter, vengeance-seeking action hero, open-carry doofus or would-be mass shooter you like. Now remove the gun from the picture. What do you have? That’s right: Another nervous schlub standing there, looking lost."


Maria Tadd said...

I vote for having more nervous shlubs - and maybe we can find compassion to help them find their missing parts, to help them deal with their anger and disappointments as everyone on the planet finds ways of coping and dealing with life's challenges. The NRA likes to believe that people kill people and not guns. Well if that is the case, then why don't we send our military into conflict without guns? Actually hand to hand combat would be far less dangerous and we wouldn't end up with hundreds of thousands lost lives as well as mentally deranged vets.

spaceneedl said...

i'm all about compassionate help and keeping people from doing something that can't be undone. right after we disarm them.