I feel a tiredness and ache taking up space within my shoulders that tightens as I struggle to find a way to articulate what I feel about the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. And I notice it’s because I cannot rationalise the violence that happened over the weekend, and nor do I wish to.
Simply put, rationalisations become excuses, and I don’t feel comfortable normalising terror and trauma. The stories coming out about those lost to this violence is both harrowing and hauntingly familiar. I wept as I read about Jordan and Andre Anchondo who used their bodies to shield their 2-month old son — an act of pure selflessness and love amongst so much hatred that ultimately saved his life. Jordan and Andre, sadly, didn’t survive. And theirs is not the only example of all that’s heartbreaking about these tragedies. There are so many others. I just cannot shake the feeling that we failed them. All of them.
Despondency is a lonely reflection so I hold onto my inherent belief in the goodness of my fellow [wo]man — that there is more kindness and love than there is hate and brutality. And even though that belief gets tested in times like these, our capability to create positive change and use that to heal and bring forth more of what is good about our humanity is what stops me from thinking that we are lost.
I still feel that we have a long way to go before any real change will happen because there are some elected officials and lawmakers who won’t address White supremacy and domestic terrorism. And there are some that won’t even mention guns when debating gun-violence. Ohio State Rep. Candice Keller even went as far as to blame the massacres on trans people, homosexuality, fatherless families, marijuana, kneeling during the national anthem, video games, and a few other things not remotely connected to the root causes of this type of violence. We must all speak up loud and clear against this dangerous, bigoted rhetoric — be it from elected officials, family and friends or those we encounter online. It’s exactly this type of warped sentiment that fuels the hatred that drives people who have easy access to guns to target specific groups for attack.
America doesn’t have a monopoly on racism, sexism, other kinds of bigotry, mental illness, or violent video games. All of those things exist in countries across the world, many with much less gun violence. What is unique about the US is that it makes it so easy for people with any motive or problem to obtain a gun. Via Vox
I know that coming up with gun reform will likely prove difficult, if not impossible because there are quite a few factors to consider when looking at exactly how to stop mass shootings, but I can’t believe that the American people cannot come together and pave a way for progress.
Ways To Help El Paso & Dayton:
Demand action, find an event/protest or donate towards ending gun-violence via Moms Demand Action
Contact your elected officials asking about what they’re going to do in the wake of this event and/or demand action here
Thank you for reading my somewhat disjointed thoughts, and thank you to anyone who, having read this article, steps forward to help.