Another day. Another mass shooting; the largest mass shooting in modern US history.
A part of me doesn’t even have the energy to write about this anymore. But I just scrolled through Facebook and Twitter, and saw that the wasteland we call social media is once again littered by people sending their well-wishes to the victims and families of the Las Vegas tragedy. While words of comfort are a sweet gesture, they are spent. We have all, collectively, become content typing a couple of sentences into a status bar, continuing about our day with heavy hearts but nothing to show for it.
We need to start doing something about the issue of gun control.
Please, don’t roll your eyes. This isn’t a partisan issue—this isn’t blue lecturing red or some feminist with an agenda trying to take away all of the guns. I refuse to let us make this politics—because when we do so, it gives us the opportunity to shove this conversation under the rug, because somewhere along the line we have been conditioned to think that having a real debate about a sensitive subject is rude, or taboo.
While positive sentiment broadcasted into the ether may provide good energy, it does nothing to stop the next Las Vegas. Or Newton. Columbine. Killeen. San Ysidro. Austin. Edmund. San Bernadino. Washington DC. Aurora. Rosenburg. Charlston. Chattangooga. Colorado Springs.
Updating your social media to tell your friends that your “heart goes out to the families” or that you are “feeling sad”, as displayed with your three crying emojis– this does nothing to prevent the next mass shooting. It has become a way for us to placate ourselves into thinking that we have done something…that we aren’t all just sitting here, helpless, while countless lives are being taken. But you haven’t done anything.
I haven’t done anything.
I sent my five-year-old off to school this morning and I cringed in anxiety. I looked back over my shoulder multiple times to get another glance. My children should not grow up in a world where they are afraid of something that is preventable—we don’t live in a worn-torn zone where rebels and infidels are killing our children.
We are doing it to ourselves.
I am no better than you—I’m sitting here on my computer expressing my outrage that this happened AGAIN and I do not have a plan that will end this blood lust. But I think that the solution lies with more action, and less status updates. It will be found by demanding stricter gun control and being adult enough to have a real conversation about how we can stop this from happening again.
We need to get off of our collective ass.
Wouldn’t it be great if every status update, every tweet– every good intentioned wish was accompanied by an idea? Or a petition? Or a time and a place for local meetup to discuss gun control further, where everyone, from both sides of the aisle, would be encouraged to participate?
What if we started holding each other to higher standard?