Before I left the museum I used to be on the team that planned MIX, one of the largest regular events CMA puts on. The first Friday of every month I was there with a thousand-plus other people, all packed into the atrium dancing, drinking, making art, going on tours, having a good time.
Every time there was a mass shooting, I thought how easy it would be to target that type of event.
Guns are technically not allowed on the premises but were someone to wear a long-enough coat or baggy clothing, it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to hide a weapon or two. Especially in the crush of people coming in during the busiest points of the event. Who'd notice? There aren't any metal detectors.
They could easily get into the crowd. Or even go upstairs without buying a ticket and stand on the second-floor walkway overlooking the atrium and point down.
They wouldn't even have to aim to hit people. Just pull a trigger.
Bang, bang, you’re dead.
I’m so tired of this.
Words no longer feel like they matter when it comes to guns.
I’ve contacted my elected representatives over and over again on this issue. It doesn’t seem to result in anything but form emails or empty platitudes. I’ll go vote tomorrow, and maybe it’ll help a little, and by "little" I mean the way a grain of sand helps erode a mountain of granite. I’ll throw a few bucks at some advocacy groups, but what I can afford won’t mean squat when it comes to the fundraising power the NRA seems to command, and it won’t match the sway they seem to hold over our body politic.
I’m so sick of this game of “thoughts and prayers” and equivocation and blaming mental health and politicizing the issue too soon. (Why wasn’t it too soon to politicize the deaths in New York, hmm? Because it was a car and Muslim, not a white guy with a gun?)
Here’s what I don’t get: how is a human being worth less than some hunk of metal?
Gun owners, I feel like that’s what you’re saying to me. Your right to BUY A THING, an inanimate object, overrules someone else’s right to EXIST.
I’ve tried hard to empathize and your point of view. I’ve tried to understand why people who own guns would feel the need to have them. I get that a lot of gun owners are hobbyists or hunters, who are responsible and understand the need to safely stow and secure their weapons against accidents or other people using them. Or that they’re people who feel more secure against threats with a gun. Or that they appreciate the mechanisms or the decoration or whatever.
I still don’t get how that makes it worth owning an instrument of death. I just don’t get it. I have tried and tried to wrap my head around it and see the other point of view and all I can see is that when there’s a gun, whether it’s an AR-15 or a pistol, there’s a possibility of someone dying. Guns are made for death. Go take your “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” bullshit and shove it. People USING guns kill people and no clever bit of rhetoric will change that.
Your hobby, your sense of security, whatever reason you have for owning a gun, meant that every month I got to show up to my job afraid someone might come in and unleash hell on an atrium full of unsuspecting people. It means people who only wanted to enjoy a night of music or a dance at the club or go to school or church might DIE. It means kids have to worry about active shooters coming into their classrooms and killing them.
And don’t you fucking scoff at me and tell me how unlikely any of this is, especially not this week (or this year, or even this decade). It's NOT actually that unlikely and you know that as well as I do, no matter how much of a sensitive liberal snowflake you think I am right now. And it's probably not going to be some phantom radicalized Muslim terrorist either, like you'd like to believe. It's probably going to be a white man who gets talked about as "a nice guy" afterwards, whose neighbors and families say things like "we're shocked, we'd never have expected this," and who purchased all his guns absolutely, completely legally (but oh, it's our mental health system to blame, not our poor wee machines of death!).
I don’t get it, and honestly, I don't really WANT to get it. Not anymore. I'm tired of trying. So don’t bother trying to explain. I’m not really sure why I’m posting now, either. Maybe because however slim it is, I’m somehow holding out hope that the sheer mass of words condemning these endlessly repeating tragedies will finally reach a tipping point. Someday it will be enough, though today I can barely believe that. Maybe because someone will read this and think, okay, enough is enough, and get rid of their gun. I don't know. I guess it's something, at least.
Speak up for what you believe in, even when you think it'll do nothing. It's better than being silent, I suppose.