* Now we have snipers killing police officers during a peaceful demonstration in Dallas and two more black men killed by police. We need to stop this madness.
For the most part, I don’t spend time in this space writing about political or social matters. I write poetry.
But this last slaughter of innocents in Orlando has pushed me to the point that I need to express my horror and frustration at the gun violence escalating in our country.
From Columbine to Newtown to Charleston and now Orlando – not to mention the day to day slaughter in Chicago and the underlying racism associated with the response or lack of. Apparently it doesn’t matter as long as black children are killing other black children. There doesn’t seem to be the will or heart to find a solution to that.
All of these situations have a common denominator – GUNS.
It IS the readily available, legal guns killing our children, our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and coworkers. And the idea that more guns are going to make us safer is one of the most ludicrous arguments ever fomented.
NO, I do NOT feel safer knowing everyone I come in contact with could be armed and every situation I encounter has the potential to escalate into violence and potential death.
Any fender bender in the grocery parking lot, a sudden stop on the road, a remark misconstrued, an innocent look taken the wrong way – all of these situations that may have been unpleasant or shrugged off, now has the real concern that the other person may be carrying a weapon and will do me harm. Not to mention just putting gas in the car, walking across a store parking lot or working in an office or at an office holiday party – all of these places can be ‘just the wrong place at the wrong time’.
A small group of radicals have fed the country an outrageous story that the Second Amendment of the Constitution means guns for all, no matter who and no matter what. And that is just not the case. Instead, the laxity of gun laws and the accessibility of assault weapons has helped arm mentally ill people, domestic violence offenders, drug lords, gangs, and terrorists. It is hurting our citizens and our country and not making us safer.
We are not better off when everyone is armed – this is not the Wild West. Even the old cowboys stories show the marshal demanding the guns be turned into his office to make the town safe for everyone.
We must demand gun control, an outright ban of assault weapons, a rescinding of conceal carry laws, an enforceable permit structure. And I am not saying that all guns should be banned – but there is a limit to what is good and necessary for self protection and hunting.
It is time to change – it is time to stop gun violence – it is time.