In some sense, this is probably the most energizing event that could have come our way. My phone, my email, my Facebook are lit up with outrage. Big Cuter says that "Patty really needs to be the poster hero to disprove the nonsensical NRA jingle that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". I'm pretty sure this was the case of a "good grandmother with her gumption stopping a bad guy with a gun".
But that's trying to find the silver lining in what is a very dark cloud. I overheard this today, and, though it's crass, I can only hope it's true: "If the image of twenty, dead, white, six year olds isn't enough to move them, this is not a group that can expect to be reelected."
I can barely formulate coherent thoughts. I spent the morning on the phone with Senate staffers. Ayotte, Coburn, Flake, Heitkamp.... they all heard my spiel. Standing 10' from your Senator's former colleague.... holding the hand of my 9 year old friend.... our shooter's information was never entered into an accessible data base.... if you have the strength to vote your conscience it will be remembered at election time.... we are not going away. Most of them thanked me and hung up the phone.
But some of them were really listening. I could hear the intake of breath as I told my story, quickly, tersely, pulling no punches. Those staffers got the second tier: Gabe Zimmerman was doing your job that Saturday morning. Now, he has a trailhead, a bust, a room with his name on it, and a headstone.... while you have a career. Ask your Senator to look you in the eye and tell you why she won't vote for a bill that would have kept Gabe safe.... that will keep you safe.
Was I hitting below the belt? Big Cuter, often my sharpest critic when it comes to others receiving an unadulterated dose of his mother, paused, and said, with a rueful laugh, "really, though, it's all true and they need to hear it."
Yes, they do.
So that no one else's son ever has to post this on Facebook:
If you are represented by any of these Senators, and believe that the world would be a better place if my mom had never been shot, I'd ask you to vote your craven, bought and paid for "representative" out of office when next given the chance