I want to write to you today, because I hope in a couple of years when you're old enough to understand, you ask, rightfully so, what did I do after the Las Vegas shooting?
Today, we are reminded that we never know when our dying day will come. We could be living our best lives, enjoying a concert, going to a movie, attending what we thought would be a normal day at school. I was telling your Dad yesterday that we can be the lucky ones, never getting a terminal illness, never getting injured, making decisions that for the most part keep us safe, but then in a second someone can take our lives away from us with a single bullet. Our country currently values people's ability to hold these weapons, hoard them even, more than they value the lives and rights of it's countrypeople to live without fear of a shooting at any moment. Don't for one moment think that someone can be pro-life and anti-gun reform at the same time. It doesn't exist. If one values a fetus but does not value the mother, they cannot call themselves pro-life. Why do I assume they don't value the mother? Because most of the mass shootings in the US are committed by men targeting their partners and were willing to take other victims in the process.
Equally as important, what I want to tell you today is that people that I love and agree with on gun-reform and control are not going to fight because they don't believe they can win. This to me is one of the hardest things to accept about people I care about. To me, it doesn't matter if we have a chance of winning I don't even want to know what the likelihood is statistically speaking to pass a gun control measure, I know it would involve a miracle. Here's what I know. My heart and core tell me that my country is sick, it has been sick for a while. Some are ok with letting it continue to waste away and get sicker and sicker. I am not. I need to fight to make it better, because of you.
I don't want you to grow up in this world where you could be living your best life doing anything and have to worry or god forbid fall victim to a mentally ill (or not) person's drive to kill others for whatever reason they justified to themselves. You are too precious and smart, and I want your worries to be about how you're going to solve bigger issues in the future, work towards a more just society for all, be a good friend, a dog owner, whatever you decide to be. I refuse to let this country be one where we're all supposed to be arming ourselves, making our exit or run and cover plan every time we leave our house.
I want you to know the important lesson and value in not just fighting because you know you'll win. You fight because you know you have to. You fight because you know it's the right thing to do and you have the ability and others may not. Winning isn't the only success. Changing any hearts and minds along the way is success, uniting people who care about the same cause and don't feel so alone is success.
My dear son, I will be able to answer your question what did I do as your mom after the shootings in Las Vegas with this: I fought like hell to make this place better for you. I didn't let a republican controlled house, senate and president make me afraid of losing, I'm much more afraid of dying from a mass shooter than that. I love you and I'm sorry for the state of our country today. I have to hope it's still capable of changing for the better.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
We'd play a little and laugh and then I'd stare off into space or your Dad would get a serious look.
What's wrong, mom? You said in your sweet little voice.
You could hear the tone in your Dad's voice when he read a tweet aloud or sighed out of frustration.
The truth was our country's sickness was again brought to light.
The truth was a man decided that he was going to kill as many people as possible before taking his own life.
The truth was I fear that one day you and I and your Dad are going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and be victim to this country's sickness.
How did I answer your question, "what's wrong mom?" I didn't know how.
I just said "something really bad happened today my love."
How do I tell you that sometimes you can make really great decisions for yourself like to go to school, go to a concert that you've been really excited about, you can just live your life in a good positive way but at anytime someone can make a terrible, devastating decision that they want to kill people and our country will do nothing to stop them?
How do I tell you that I continue to raise you in this country where there are more guns than people? That every single day a mass shooting happens and innocent people who did nothing except live their lives died? Not in an accident, not by making the wrong decision, but only because our elected officials continue to make the worst decision possible: do nothing, keep that moment of silence going for a while until everyone is hoarse from yelling, CHANGE THIS NOW! Spread fallacies about good guys stopping bad guys, keep their gun erections hard and we'll continue to just leave our flag at half staff because everyone is dying all the time in the most preventable death possible.
How do I tell you this, my sweet little love?