Yesterday I vomited, barely getting to the bathroom on time. As a gun violence survivor I have had various reactions (none good) to the numerous mass shootings that plague our nation. The most visceral reaction that I had was after Sandy Hook. I was on the phone with someone when I started sobbing uncontrollably. I saw my shrink and sobbed some more.
The image that I could not get out of my was a large exit wound from the body of a diminutive six-year-old. I live with that image today along with the image of my zipper-like scars from various surgeries. The entry wound scar from a .45 is about the size of a dime. The scars from the stippling of a point-blank discharge have faded.
A six-year-old blown to pieces (in part by our own stupidity) presents a distinct, if not obvious, form of horror. Is a college kid less innocent? Is an adult just trying to see a movie any more deserving of being maimed or killed? Nearly 100,000 citizens have died from gun violence over the three years since Sandy Hook.
I have pretty much stopped getting frustrated by my elected representatives. It serves no purpose. My junior Senator, Marco Rubio, voted against an extremely watered-down background check bill in 2013. He refuses to meet with me and I have exhausted my means of communication by snail mail, email and fax. Combined with his abject homophobia, Rubio is a schmuck.
I don’t know if any form of background check would have prevented yesterday’s tragedy in Oregon. However, I am pretty sure that at least Sandy Hook and VA-Tech might not have happened. Perhaps, with some common sense, yesterday’s event could have been – would have been – unique.
Later today I will undoubtedly get very angry. In addition to my general frustration, some gun nut will make matters worse by suggesting that the solution is more guns; classrooms full of kids armed and dangerous. Sure. Obama has all but given up. I suppose that if we are not going to react to six-year-olds getting lit up then we are probably not going to react at all. Yet I would argue that it is the job of President Obama (and I have voted for him twice) to cause us to react. He has the loudest microphone in the nation. Acceptance of gratuitous gun violence should not be an option. Later today I will call the White House, get routed to some staffer and express my displeasure at President Obama’s lack of action.
Returning to our regularly scheduled programming I’ll have a brief post about Bradlee Dean shortly. I welcome the diversion.