I'm still trying to wrap my head around the heartbreak this mother must be feeling. The helplessness she must have felt while texting with her son while he was dying, trapped in a bathroom while a gunman ensures that those texts will be his final words to his mother.
Perhaps it is harder for me to read than others. My son was in the Aurora theatre June 20, 2012. It was hard listening to that horrific night. A night he can barely bring himself to remember or talk of. He had to crawl over bodies, through trails of blood, past crying victims to find a way out of a nightmare I hope no one ever has to go through, ever again. I am thankful, everyday, that I was not this mother. I still have my son. The hours of waiting to contact him, to hear his voice, were the hardest of my life. But I did hear his voice. He is still with me.
And back to reality. Here we are again with the familiar right vs. left, pro-gun vs. anti-gun rhetoric. A few days, a few weeks will pass and nothing will change, again.
I am puzzled by this. We are America, right? The greatest country of them all, right? Nothing we can't do, right? Yes, except for this. We are told we can't fix these tragedies. Everything else in the world, America the Great can handle, can overcome, can succeed. But not this.
Somehow, we can't even agree that we have a problem, let alone begin a discussion on where to go from here. Our hands are tied. Nothing can be done but more candle light vigils and mourning.
Well, I don't believe that is true. I believe there are things we can do. Not any 1 magic wand, but steps towards reducing this violence. Step 1, admitting we have a problem.
Step 2? I'm not sure.
It could include a restriction on gun purchases to people under investigation by the FBI, people on no-fly lists, people known to have had contact with terror groups. It is not being done right now. Seems reasonable.
Funding to the CDC for gun violence so we at least have a better understanding of the problem. Not currently allowed but it seems reasonable.
A ban on assault weapons? Seems reasonable.
Mental health background checks? Seems reasonable.
Better access to affordable mental health care? Seems reasonable.
More education of equality and acceptance. Seems reasonable.
I do not know the answers. But I do think there are things we can do. Some very reasonable things we can do. I'm certain there are many more things we can do that are reasonable and many more people better suited to suggest them. But we have to open a discourse to hear those ideas.
Will we ever be able to put an end to violence? Probably not completely but we certainly will never be able to reduce it if we never even try.