To get them out of the way, first.
I never thought about them very much before one catapulted me into the limelight. After all, short Jewish girls from New York don't get shot..... do they? Until my body intersected with bullets, I knew no one who had ever been shot. Since my perforation, though, my world is peopled with such individuals.
We are old and young and every color of the rainbow and every variation of belief system and we all believe the same thing - some people should not be wielding weaponry.
We come to that conclusion from a variety of political perspectives. There are liberal Jews and Conservative Christians who agree that being excluded from the military for mental health reasons should be sufficient evidence that one's right to bear arms should be abridged. After all, if an organization created to use weapons of death decides that you should not be around those weapons, even within the confines of their institution, why should the rest of us allow you to walk around, armed to the teeth?
Yes, I know that making and creating that list raises the hackles of many, but the same kinds of lists exist for drivers' licenses and marriage licenses and pet ownership and, somehow, the world manages to revolve on its axis, skewed neither left nor right by the maintenance of a registry of those who live in connubial bliss or drive atop our (crumbling) infrastructure or take Pooch to the park.
If Second Amendment supporters cannot agree that the military knows more about weapon safety than they do, there is truly no arguing the point. It seems pretty straight forward to me - if the Army doesn't want you, Cabella's should sell you a gun.
There are lists and registries and procedures in place, but the funding is lacking, the reporting sporadic, and so shooters like ours stroll into and out of the gun sellers with impunity. Ours, like so many others, was a preventable crime, if only the existing rules had been followed.
That fact alone makes me crazy.
I don't believe that our shooter had the mental capacity or social skills to acquire an illegal weapon; he was barely able to manage his activities of daily living. And then, there were the bullets. There were two, legally mandated, opportunities to thwart his rampage; the system failed and Christina-Taylor died.
Are we really that much safer in the ten years since the assault weapons ban was not renewed?
Extended magazines give bad guys more bullets than law enforcement; where is the logic in that?
If the Marines start marching down your street, do you honestly believe that you and your stockpile of weapons can stop them?
I signed up for a monthly donation to Gabby and Mark's Americans for Responsible Solutions, because their strategy works. I will create an easy to find list of my representatives on the state and local levels, on paper and on-line. I am wearing my orange American flag pin on my sweater today, and I will wear it every day from now on. I am conquering my fear and making a stand.
What will you do?