Friday, September 5, 2014

My Issue

It used to be education.  To my na├»ve heart, equal access to quality instruction seemed the obvious solution to all the world's woes. If we understood how things worked, if we saw the historical path which led to our current situation, if we held philosophers close to our hearts, peace would reign.

Oh, to be 15 again.

In college, reproductive rights pushed schooling aside.  I was enjoying freedoms, but there was a dark cloud hovering overhead. Birth control was available, but abortion was do you know someone and how much cash do I need?  Then, as now, I was appalled that men in positions of power deemed themselves worthy of deciding how my body should spend nine months.  No one asked the father of the unborn to carry that same burden.  It was that unfairness which spoke loudest to my late teen self.

Crossing the threshold into adulthood and self-support, the minimum wage begged for my attention.  Sexism in the workplace reared its ugly head, and, once again, my need to get involved was aroused.  Aroused, but not enthused.  I had a salary putting food on our table, TBG had loans which enabled him to finish his MBA, and health insurance came along with my job.  We were young, healthy, and safe.  I concentrated on my career, then my young family.  Sports and schools and aging parents held my attention; joining the political fray was the furthest thing from my mind.

Living in Marin County, my vote was a rubber stamp. Any opinion was acceptable, as long as it was a politically correct opinion.  Since my politics leaned in the general direction of the rest of the county, I was one of the crowd.  I could raise my voice, but it was joined with others. That was comforting.  It was not earth shattering.

Moving to Tucson, we landed in a purple state.  We had a female, Democrat Governor, a centrist, female, Democrat Representative, and a maverick Senator.  With California's economy imploding, we were on the front edge of a wave of westerners moving to states with friendlier economics.  We were bringing our liberal politics along with us.

Then President Obama took Janet to Homeland Security and a bullet took Gabby out of the House of Representatives.  Closer to home, it took Christina-Taylor away from her family and friends, and left me on the couch for 14 weeks, reviewing my life and making a plan.

I joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  I joined Americans for Responsible Solutions.  I joined Moms Demand Action.  I send money to support their efforts.  My Facebook page is awash in their advertising.  In the last two days, it's all gotten very real to me.

Pat Maisch, the citizen hero who grabbed the magazine from our shooter as he tried to reload, has her face all over Dr. Randall Friese's glossy mailer, which is still sitting on my desk after being included in yesterday's post.  She's become a good friend, GRINning with me when her work schedule allows.  She's a generic, white haired extra in the photographs... to every one but me.  To me, she's a goddess. Had the shooter been able to reload, I might not be here, typing to you.

It's enough to make you stop for a moment, isn't it.

Carol Gaxiola, the Director of Homicide Survivors, Inc, was on tv last night, sharing her personal story of loss and sorrow.  The ad was paid for by Americans for Responsible Solutions, with some of my dollars adding to their ability to air it.  Her story is poignant and true and real.  The lessons she learned from dealing with her own tragedy were generously shared with those of us who survived January 8, 2011.  Her story is my story; she tells it so well.

It's the look on her face at the very end, staring at what might have been, knowing that it can never be.  This issue has its hooks in my heart and it's not letting go.

And then there are the Kroger ads.  Facebook is awash with them. It took me a couple of tries before I saw the point.  
No shirt,
 no ice cream,
  no skateboards.
.... but bring on those assault weapons, please. 
Guns and grocery stores are about as personal as it gets for me.  Once again, I'm a one issue voter.  It's a personal thing.


  1. I will watch the video when I get home. I know I will be a sobbing mess. :(

    I don't think of you as a one-issue voter. And if anyone has a right to feel pissed-off, it's you and everyone else being confronted with the endless gun violence in this country. You are not just fighting this because of what happened to you, but also so no one else has to go through what you have. I cannot tell you how much it still pains me to think of that day. I look at my 12 year-old daughter and always have this whole in my heart thinking of CT. Damn it, she should be here and in 7th grade. She should be able to fall in love and grow into a beautiful woman. Instead, we all have to fight for those who have been denied that right to grow-up.

    Then you have companies like Kroger who refuse to do the right thing. Why is the gun nut's rights more important than mine or my family's right to feel safe? These companies really make me angry. I talk with my friends in the UK and they just don't understand the gun fetish in this country. You then have people here saying, "Well, the UK has stabbings". My take on that is you have a much better chance of surviving a stabbing than you do bullet.

    You know how I feel about this. I wish ALL businesses would ask for guns to remain at home. There is no good reason for someone to have an assault weapon to go grocery shopping. Even typing that out, sounds so utterly ridiculous.

    Will watch the video later on.

    Sending massive hugs,

    Megan xxx

    1. I used your massive hugs all day, Megan! Yes, it sounds ridiculous to type assault weapons and groceries in the same sentence.... but apparently not for Kroger. Can you imagine what a mess I'd be if I turned past the melons and bumped into an AK47?

      School has started and CT's bus is, once again, going past my window. I have that same (w)hole in my heart <3 <3

  2. that should say, hole; not whole. Uggh. Sometimes I'm typing too fast and hit post before I go back and read what I've written.


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