Tuesday, June 14, 2016

“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.”

What do you say?
Everything you can say about the routine mass murder of innocent people seems rote. Empty. You lose the will to even say it when you realize how little comfort it gives and how little weight it carries in a country where this is normal. The outpouring of grief and support for Orlando is remarkable, but it was with San Bernadino. It was with Sandy Hook. It was with Columbine. It was with the dozens of other mass shootings that have occurred in this country. I was 6 or 7 when 'going postal' was how we described this. One post office shooting after another. I was watching the local news one night at home and they played a 911 recording of a woman, a post office worker, barricaded in some room as a shooter stalked through the building murdering her co-workers. I don't remember all of the tape, which seemed to go on forever, but I remember the last thing she said. 'I think I'm going to die.' And she did. Liz Mathis told me so, and then she moved on to the next story. We've been moving on to the next story my entire life.
When will it end? 
When will our outrage and grief be enough? How many dead will be enough? How many dead children? Certainly not the 20 that were butchered in Sandy Hook 3 and 1/2 years ago. Will we be outraged finally when we realize our own leaders voted to ensure that people we won't allow on an airplane can buy still buy weapons of mass destruction? Apparently not. When we realize that America is the world's leader in... deaths from gun violence? No. When we realize it's not really about personal security or 2nd amendment rights but that the feckless, shameless exploitation of the preventable deaths of innocent men, women and children isn't about your 2nd Amendment right, but a major corporation's bottom line? No. This is a country where we value stock over children. Where we value guns and bullets over children. Where we value the assumption it will never happen to us over children.
Isn't it?
We sigh and we shrug and we say never again and we go on checking for updates on Facebook and then it happens again. We should be embarrassed and ashamed and terrified and we're not. We should care more about our children and our future than the irrational need to own weapons of mass destruction, but it seems we don't. I want to be wrong. I should be wrong.
Am I wrong?