Wait….WAIT!!!! WAIT!!! Before any NRA member goes off on me, read the words I wrote: Gun C-O-N-T-R-O-L. Not B-A-N. Which is usually what 2nd amendment lovers see when they see “control”.
It’s 1:27 am currently and I cannot sleep. I’ve rotated between sleeping in my 3 year old’s bed and going into my almost 2 year old’s room and taking him out of his crib and rocking him and then back to my bed and back into the boys room. Forty parents are not able to do that tonight. Forty. Twenty babies lives were taken today and it has shaken me to the core. The Clackamas Mall shooting happened just mere miles from my house but this tragic event that took place 3000 miles away has hit me harder.
There are a couple of points I want to hit that are just racing around in my head, so hopefully I can actually go to sleep tonight.
1.) If this is not the time to talk about gun control. I’m not sure when a *good* time is??? Since Columbine, there have been 31 mass shootings and I know some were left off the list. So let’s talk about it. Please.
2.) Banning guns is not the answer. If you outlaw them, then only outlaws will have them. Meth, cocaine, crack and heroine are illegal, right? And how many addicts do we have in the country??? Hell, you’d think it was legal! Make guns illegal, criminals can always find them and then regular ol’ citizens have no self defense. Banning is not the answer.
3.) Control: check, manage, inspect. This is what needs to happen. I looked up on the interwebz today what I would need to go and get a concealed weapons license in the state of Washington. Pretty much all I needed was a clean record, be 21 and have $52. That’s it? Really? To buy a WEAPON. Let’s talk about cars because those can also be seen as a weapon, but obviously are not marketed as one, whereas guns only marketplace is as a weapon, I mean it’d be awesome if I could also shave my legs with it or set it as an alarm clock but guns really have no other purpose. Cars are firstly a mode of transportation BUT with the wrong person behind the wheel it MAY be used as a weapon. Could you imagine if at age 16 you just….got your license? Because that’s about how it would be if I got a gun license with no instruction. Holy hell, I could not imagine! Why is that to get your drivers license you need to be educated, pass a test and then hold liability insurance? But for something that is solely a weapon you can just buy? The equivalent to me getting a gun license is -NO JOKE- giving my 3 year old their drivers license. It’s not even an exaggeration. THAT IS SCARY, PEOPLE!!!!
4.) My solution: psychiatric testing. This would be GREAT for two reasons. One being the obvious- you keep guns out of the hands of people that are most likely to be not mentally stable enough to own a gun. Two being the less obvious of if these people fail tests- they now need to seek treatment. This is the REAL issue here. The mental state of America. Let me tie a little motherhood into this post. If 18 months ago, I was sold a gun with PPD, Lord help us all. But I would have been easily diagnosed, denied a gun and sent to treatment. I just finished (about 2 hours ago) the documentary on death row, do you know that they go under a psychiatric test before they are “cleared” for the death chamber? If they fail, this somehow makes them unfit for death??? I don’t get it. But we don’t psychiatric test people before we give them a weapon that -if used inappropriately- would land them on death row….AND THEN we’d get them that psychiatric test. What?!?! How much sense does that make?! NONE! I also have a history of sleep walking and cleaning out the fridge and waking up in the morning and not remembering a damn thing. That right there makes me NOT FIT to own a gun! Denied and send me to treatment. If America wants anything to get any better, we need to take a good look at this country’s mental state for not only gun control but dozens (maybe even hundreds) of other reasons.
5.) “If we control guns, what about knives, bricks and baseball bats” “Today in China, a man stabbed 20 people with a knife”…..AND THEY ALL LIVED!!!! Did you forget that part of the headline????? Isn’t that the most important part of the headline? Let’s compare apples to apples please. Now let’s pretend you are stupid for a minute while I explain something to you. Picture the events in Connecticut today. Now picture what the scene would have looked like if it had been a knife in his hand. We would have had *maybe* one fatality. Maybe. Someone would have taken him down because the only way to kill someone with any of these other objects is from six inches away. In order to kill someone with a knife, bat or brick, they need to be within arms reach. And how many people do you think one could kill with a baseball back in 7 seconds? One…maybe. Let’s change that to a semi-automatic gun, it boils down to how fast they can pull the trigger and how good their aim is. And forget the option of simply outrunning the attacker, you cannot out run a gun. There are just so many reasons why guns stand about against the rest of these potential weapons (see…potential is also another key word….knives are for cooking…bats are for baseball….bricks are for building….guns are for curling my hair but like the others, they can also be used as a weapon when taken out of context….wait….what?) Does anyone else see how foolish those statements are?
If you made it all the way to the end of my rant, congrats. I’m always open to others opinion because I feel that is how you can learn best, so after reading everyone and their brother’s opinions on facebook today, I decided to form my own after much thought, consideration and reading of others opinions. Surely guns are going to be stolen still and used as murder weapons but I guarantee this country would be a lot safer with guns in the hands of mentally stable people AND getting more American’s the mental help they need because that is ultimately the issue here.
I feel it’s hard for people to put themselves in the shoes of the parents that will be planning their baby’s funeral tomorrow. Try, for two seconds, to put yourself in their shoes. You packed your kids lunch (complete with juice box and PB&J) , put their Curious George book in their backpack and kissed them on top of their head because they still only come up to your shoulder and sent them off to school…..and they never came home. Ever again. I’m serious. Think about it. What happened today (and all the other days there have been mass shootings), what happened is not okay. It’s MORE not okay that American’s second amendment rights being more controlled. Wouldn’t you want that safety for your own child? Why wouldn’t you want it safer for other people’s children too? This becomes a whole ‘nother ball game when innocent children are involved. And unless your suggestion is for LL Bean to start incorporating gun holsters on all model’s of their kid backpacks, we need another solution to keep our kids safe at school. Before I even knew that this shooting had occurred, I was at the museum with my boys and I broke out in a cold sweat and thought, “someone could come in here and shoot this place up” to only get back to our car and find a text from my husband that 26 people had been killed at an elementary school earlier this morning.
Thoughts and prayers to the children, adults and families whose lives were forever altered in this horrendous act. No parent should EVER have to bury their child, ever. My heart will be heavy for a long, long time for these families.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
~ Mister Rogers