most of the time I avoid talking about political things on this blog because I like blogging to be lighthearted and semi-neutral and relaxing to write and to read. However, my mama heart is aching because of gun violence in our country, and as it relates to motherhood, I really feel called to write about it – if for no other reason, to get it off my chest.
First off, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I’m a liberal who is married to a gun owner and I do not hate guns. But I do hate violence. I REALLY hate violence.
Gosh it breaks my heart to read articles about guns taking peoples lives. When we lived in Chicago it was all the news talked about. Actually, the news actually stopped talking about shootings unless an unprecedented amount happened over a short period of time. Gun violence was (and is) so normal in the city of Chicago that no one is shocked when someone dies, even a little kid. How sad is that?
And now we live in Seattle (although obviously we did not move because of gun violence in Chicago) and the local news is generally free from reports of gun violence, but the national news is saturated with stories of mass shootings. Daily mass shootings.
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
I want to know who is going to protect my babies.
I’ll just bullet point some of my thoughts (as I tend to do when I know I’m not a good enough writer to form an entire cohesive essay on gun control).
- I really want to know… who is in charge of protecting my babies, if the government isn’t going to do anything about it?
- Am I really supposed to start carrying a gun at all times to protect my children and myself? Is that the expectation? I don’t want to carry a gun. I don’t even think it’s responsible to have a weapon around small children. I would not be the fan-favorite at playdates if toddlers went into my diaper bag and pulled out a gun. I know that it’s not a likely scenario, but seriously, how do I protect my babies if I don’t carry a gun myself? And how do I protect my babies if I do carry a gun all of the time? What is a mom to do? Am I supposed to expect other childless good samaritans to protect me? Are police supposed to be everywhere?
- I don’t think more ‘good guys’ with guns are the answer. Everyone who wants a gun already has a gun and it isn’t solving the problem.
- I ‘get’ the second amendment, and I still don’t think that it’s everyone’s right to own an assault weapon. I think there should be restrictions to the freedoms we allow people when it comes to violent weapons and our babies. As long as children are dying (even at schools!) I will not be thinking ‘well gee, at least we didn’t violate the shooter’s second amendment right!’
- It is my very strong opinion that those people on a terror watch list should not be allowed to purchase guns. Sorry people-on-the-list-accidentally, I really hope you get yourself off the list and clear your name, but I would rather err on the side of safety than allow every could-be terrorist to have a gun.
- I recognize that it will be hard to confiscate guns. I think we should try it anyway.
- No, not guns used for hunting. I’m talking about assault weapons.
- I recognize that there is no perfect screening system, I say we should implement a better one anyway.
- I know that if someone wants a gun they will probably be able to get a gun, but I think we should try to protect ourselves anyway because I know that someone else will be thwarted and maybe that will save lives. I mean, our airport security is imperfect, but we still have it. People can still get their hands on drugs, but they’re still (mostly) illegal. We know criminals may not care about laws but it’s still important that we have them.
- Oh the NRA and their fear-based propaganda… I just have no words.
- I’m a big supporter of increased mental health services in our country. Are we going to raise taxes to support this? Fine with me. I don’t think it’s enough to solely focus on mental health to fix the gun problem, but let’s certainly increase the services offered to the most vulnerable members of our society. But we’re going to need to pay money to make it happen and I know that’s not usually a selling point for Republicans.
- I don’t believe we should stop immigration for people (especially for women and children) who are trying to flee terrorists and who have already gone through an extensive screening process. The Bible says we are to welcome immigrants and the poor and the needy and we are to love one another and I fully support that message.
- Other countries do not have the same problem we have. Yes, they have some mass shootings, but it is extremely rare. Here it’s a daily occurrence. We need to figure out and accept the most likely causes of this and then change it.
- Heck, no system is perfect, but not doing anything is not working. It is time for us to try something different.
Honestly, at the end of the day I just want to know what we are doing to protect our kids and ourselves. I want politicians to take some responsibility and stop offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ while refusing to do anything to attempt to prevent the same things happening over and over again. I want someone to be held accountable for inaction and a promise that we, as a country, will do everything we can to do better in the future. For our kids.
I want Clara to grow up in a country (this country, specifically), that does not accept that gun violence is inevitable, especially mass shootings. When she asks me how she should feel safe, I want to tell her that our laws our designed for her protection and that while bad guys are out there, the good guys are in her favor and are doing everything they can. I want to tell her that our country and its leaders care about her and our family and our safety and its citizen’s well beings and that she can sleep safe at night knowing that we (as a society) are doing the best we can for her and her generation.
I want someone to do something about this. We have a mass shooting just about every day in this country and I’m tired of people
saying implying that it’s okay because the second amendment is more important than our lives. If gun control isn’t the answer (and maybe it’s not), then someone tell me what is.
As a sidenote, I do not consider this a solution.