No, it is the guns

As most of America is still reeling from one mass murder and bracing for yet another, I find myself wanting to do little else than scream in outrage to not think at all about the epidemic of gun violence that dominates our lives. Not thinking is winning, mostly. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on that crystal clear December 14th morning in 2012 I felt certain that change would come about, that we did not want to be a country where children would be valued less than profit gains for weapon’s manufactures, but as failed law after failed law dissolved into shameful inaction, part of my belief broke. Government has failed to fix this problem here in this United States of America. Thanks to the NRA and their fully weaponized lobby, much policy is run on greed by the ultra-rich who foster illusions for those they disregard. But this is old news. There is no new shaming news left for our Republican Senators to shine on us: we know them by their own voting history which has earned them high NRA ratings and burgeoning cash rewards. But there is always a new twist on who or what to blame coming from their media spots and I am sickened by the garbage they spread.


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Facing It

How does fear take hold? When does it grab at you? Where can you feel its tug? Can you feel it altering your sensibilities? Hard to imagine a time when fear did not dominate our headlines and lives, but even in the hold of fear I can remember a more fearless me. Standing up and demanding regardless of outcome. That late twenty-something me who seemed to defy gravity. Just reaching for it. Of course I can also remember a timid me too. A frozen and quiet me, creeping around high school, falling into black holes. But this today me, who has built a solid foundation on steady outcomes, this one now wakes in the still-dark dawn and has to talk herself into calmness through deep breathing, just to return to the school building yet another day; this me is struggling. They want us to arm kids with heavy shit, barricade our classroom doors, and teach them to strategize their way to safety despite the AK-15 aimed in their direction. Fear has entered the curriculum, but I suppose, as long as the NRA controls our lawmakers, I need to find my bravery.

As always I move through metaphor: As Without So Within. What’s my first step? Strap on downhill skis (first time in a decade) and send myself straight down the mountain. Well, after heading up first.

downhill skis

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Are you a gun owner?

When I was in high school there was a smoking room in my boarding-school dorm. Back then people smoked everywhere. Doctors smoked in their office. The dentist smoked between drilling and filling. Adults smoked in living rooms and cars, even while reading nite-nite books to their toddler. Every restaurant, tavern, and airplane accommodated smokers. Yet now, there are whole cites that have banned smoking in all public areas. Why? Because of the simple fact that tobacco smoke, even second-hand, kills you. Yes, that’s a real fact. So how did this highly-funded-lying-lobbying industry lose its voice? “The lobby began to lose power as the industry lost credibility, Brandt said” (Keck). In hindsight change from lies to truth seems simple enough, even a lie with sex-appeal and allure, once we stop believing in it.

tree in dawn

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