In offense of "defense"

Trying to fight hopelessness with hope has been a challenge these last few days -- weeks -- months -- year... decade. I did a search in my archives for "gun control" and "shootings" and so many pieces came up, it would take the entirety of this post to reference them. I don't even know what to say anymore. Do I repost? Find and replace "Newtown" with "San Bernardino?" "Aurora" with "Colorado Springs?"

Will this ever end? Is America too far gone to even HAVE  a reasonable conversation about gun control? Are we at war... against ourselves?

I would like to think most of us are on the same side of the gun control issue. Most of us believe that background checks should be FAR stricter. That those on "no fly lists" shouldn't be able to purchase military grade weapons and while I do not want to discourage anyone from fighting tooth and nail to demand change on gun control, I also believe that the people of the USA are products of our government -- and that our fundamentals are the REAL problem here.

I look at the above graph and feel that REAL CHANGE can only come with a cultural shift. A naive sentiment, perhaps, but one I feel is important to put out there because we live in a violent society and are products of a violent nation doing violent things. Shootings happen ever day and they do not surprise me.

But they should.

They're supposed to.


Color me naive, but as long as we're spending MORE THAN HALF of our federal budget on defense.... (which also means "offense," let's be clear) we cannot expect ordinary citizens not to do the same. "Do what I say, not what I do," does not work, as most of us parents can tell you.

I'm gonna be like you, Dad. You know I'm gonna be like you... 

If it isn't clear, I hate guns. I always have. I abhor them. I abhor ANYTHING that was created for the sole purpose of KILLING HUMAN BODIES but I also realize that I live in a country that is historically and notoriously violent.

Between the shooting at Planned Parenthood and the shooting in San Bernardino, I feel discouraged and angry and overwhelmed by the war that is happening here in America.

Because, indeed, we are at war. Pick a side because there is no gray area when it comes to issues pertaining to human rights. There is no room for nuance when a terrorist opens fire in a Planned Parenthood, killing three.

In the past when I've written about gun control, I have been assaulted by an onslaught of pro-gun trolls -- who, I will admit, are pertrifying. Standing up to gun enthusiasts is essentially pissing off people with guns. Which is pretty scary. The only time I have ever had to close my comments on my blog in 10+ years, was when I wrote about gun control.

That is what we're dealing with. That is what people in power are dealing with. I cannot imagine a more frightening and convincing lobby than the NRA but there is. And it's called KBR/Halliburton:

Since 2001, U.S. taxpayers have effectively shipped hundreds of billions of dollars out of the country to build and maintain an enormous military presence abroad, while major Pentagon contractors and a select group of politicians, lobbyists, and other friends have benefited mightily.

It's trickle down intimidation. And it starts with our government and ends horrifically in our terrorized communities. We are at war against those who stand in opposition to a woman's right to choose. And a child's right to go safely into her school. We are war against those who put their right to own military grade weapons before their neighbor's right not to be accidentally shot by one. We are at war against those who suggest we close the borders of OUR IMMIGRANT NATION to immigrants. 

You can read my post in its entirety, here...