Gun Regulation Now
“I am not smart enough to know what needs to be done to enact change or enhanced safety for our nation's children.” This is a thought I tried on this morning while really sitting with all the articles, opinions, grief, and bewilderment shared in my newsfeed and in the media about the latest school shooting.
Because why does it keep happening? For a moment I truly believed in this temporary conclusion, fueled by my own bewilderment and my own inclination to have empathy and listen to differing opinions. Then, logic entered and put its arms around this naive thought, and reminded it of a simple, POSSIBLE action—to make assault weapons more difficult to obtain.
How is this conversation still happening? I don't understand, and sadly I understand all too well. I've listened to people close to me complain about the left trying to take away their right to bear arms, as if anyone is leveraging these national tragedies to advance a mere political agenda. This is an agenda about keeping people alive. So I've been reading about all the stalled efforts to pass new legislation that will protect us a little bit more, control the situation a little bit more. And yes, I am convinced that we need more gun control. How could anyone not be?
Today I hold an intention in my heart to hold everyone's experience with presence and care. I am not angry at either "side". I write that in quotation marks because of an obvious understanding that we are all on the same side, ultimately. We are all trying to live in this world with as much safety and joy as possible. We are all forging as much connection and meaning as we can, given that we are flying through space and no one really knows what's going on at the end of the day. The mystery of life is universally enigmatic. Our basic need for safety is not.
The lack of action against these reoccurring school tragedies is certainly enigmatic. I'm not angry about all the thoughts and prayers, though I completely understand why everyone would be. Because we are beyond "enough is enough". So many are hurting, and I am interested in healing the roots of the wounds that cause people to commit violence. I am interested in removing the stigma around feeling our feelings and sharing those feelings with others. I am interested in cultivating more gentleness and space for the pain people feel. I am interested in engendering a deep shift in our culture's emotional and mental wellbeing. On a more immediate and actionable scale, I am interested in more gun control now.
This isn't about political strategy. This isn't about taking away someone's rights—a touchy subject, apparently, for those who cling to a stilted construct of "freedom" so often wielded as a deflective shield in these conversations. I also demand freedom. This is about creating a safe environment for children to learn. This is about being able to go to the movies without visualizing someone walking through the exit door and opening fire. This is about so much more than anyone's "right" to hang an assault weapon on a mantle and crow about it with chums who come over for dinner. Until we are willing to try the next right action together, more preventable deaths will happen.
Let's worry less about protecting people's right to bear arms and worry more about our children getting an education without being gunned down.
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