... it all comes down to guns.
Big Cuter called from San Francisco as we walked in the door. "Just wanted you to know that I wasn't at the UPS facility today.... though I was on my way to the grocery store right near there when I noticed the streets were closed."
Auntie M sent a thinking of you email which I read as we were talking.
Gabby sent a copy of her official statement, talking about Congressional service and American values.
Moms Demand Action and Americans for Responsible Solutions and my Survivors Network all sent take care of yourself today emails, reminding me to check in with my emotional barometer, warning me about the 2 minute cell phone video airing on all the networks, replete with the sounds of the baseball field shooting.
The sounds.... I was okay until the sounds.
Thinking back to six and a half years and one week ago, I remember the eerie silence. There is no screaming in my memory. There is quiet, an unearthly quiet, a quiet defining an absence of sound because the sounds preceding the silence were just awful.
On the radio this morning, a bystander reported hearing the noise of the bullets as they moved through the air; he called it whooshing. I heart a bang and then felt the rending of the air as the bullets that struck Gabby and Judge Roll whizzed by me. I can still feel it at my elbow, now, typing to you, safe and secure (I imagine) at my desk.
I wonder what the 10 year old hiding under the dugout bench, hidden behind his father's legs, will remember when he is 16. It's an awful image for a grown up. I can't fathom what a child will make of it.
And so it goes. My son checks in with his college roommates, one living a few blocks from the SF UPS facility and the other living in Alexandria. What are the odds, he wonders, and then answers his own question: with 154 mass shootings thus far this year, those odds are probably equally depressingly high.
Does a man with a domestic violence complaint (she never followed through and filed charges) and a visit from the police for discharging his high powered rifle into the woods behind his residential neighborhood really have permission to possess an automatic weapon? His friend said he was a nice guy, always laughing. Probably not always, I'd wager.
Children and educators are slaughtered in their classrooms. A Congresswoman has her brain shattered. My little friend died. Clubbing kids are mowed down while dancing. Legislators and lobbyists are attacked on a YMCA baseball field.
In the end, it's all about the guns.