The Diary of an Average Nobody: Day 46

See the change in title?

But today is nothing to celebrate.

There was another mass shooting in the US yesterday. Unfortunately, it’ll likely be added to the constantly growing list of mass shootings that have all been preventable but still allowed to happen.

When you hear lawmakers say that the US is the only country in the world in which these shootings constantly happen, it’s true. When you hear lawmakers say that the US has a gun violence problem no other country in the world faces, it’s true. After every shooting lawmakers will send their “thoughts and prayers” to the families affected and after every shooting lawmakers will do nothing to prevent the next mass shooting. After every shooting you’ll hear people say that the most recent shooting shouldn’t be politicized.

What’s political about wanting to save innocent lives? Tell me. If you can answer that question, I’m all ears. But you can’t and neither can anyone else. In this country we simply accept that gun violence is the normal we live in. But I say screw that logic and anyone who buys into it.

Think about this: What comes to mind when I say Aurora or Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech or San Bernardino or Orlando or Las Vegas? In this context you know these are all sites of mass shootings. And this is far from an exhaustive list.

The very simple truth is that Americans are obsessed with guns. Not for hunting or for home protection or for any reason besides the need to own them.

Anyone who really knows me has probably heard me say I think cigarettes and alcohol should both be illegal. As “crazy” as it sounds, I stand behind that. Because we have outlawed other drugs that negatively affect people who use them. And guns are no different. They should be illegal for civilians to own. And what happens when I say that? People will just make excuse after excuse about why that’ll never happen. My message to them is simple: You’re right. Civilians will likely never be outlawed from owning guns in this country, but the next mass shooting WILL happen. And more will follow because nothing is being done.

The problem is that people only look at mass shootings and say it isn’t a large enough problem to start making radical changes to gun laws. But gun violence kills tens of thousands of people a year in America, it is so much more than just mass shootings we’re talking about. The problem isn’t solely that guns will likely never be outlawed, but that nothing whatsoever is being done to stop the next shooting.

Advertisements

Saturday Selects: Christina Grimmie

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month outside the general bookish theme of the blog. This will actually be my second of the month because of current events.

Christina Grimmie was well known on YouTube, and later on NBC’s “The Voice”. She was 22-years-old. Just a few hours before her show in her hometown of Orlando she posted a video on Twitter inviting her fans to attend.

But unfortunately it would be the final performance of her life. A man approached her after the show during a meet and greet and opened fire. She was struck three times before her brother tackled the shooter. The shooter then committed suicide. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died a few hours later.

Her death will receive attention because she’s a known celebrity, but her story is a common one in today’s America. Young people in cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA, and more are victims of gun violence every single day in this country. But nothing has been done to combat it in recent months and years on a federal level. I imagine her death will spark another conversation about gun violence, but unfortunately I don’t see any real change coming about on a national level.

This all comes back to what YOU want. Do you want to keep reading stories like this one in the future? Or do you want to enact some change?

The shooter’s identity has not been released publicly, but he was said to have two handguns, lots of ammo, and a knife on him during the shooting.

We can tweet and post and continue talking about gun violence but if we continue to vote the same NRA-backed members of Congress into office, then you can be assured nothing will be done.

This man clearly had no business with a gun in his possession, but I bet it’ll come out in the coming days that both guns were purchased legally. And that’s simply unacceptable. It’s well beyond the time to demand real change, but we always need more people making the demand.

Also, I’d like to note the venue had no metal detectors and security was not armed. This venue can hold 1200 people. I think metal detectors will be installed very soon, and I believe Christina Grimmie’s family will ultimately file suit for not doing enough to protect the young singer.

My only hope is that more people decide that enough is enough and refuse to accept the ongoing gun violence as the new normal.

Rest in peace, Christina.

22-years-old is too young to die, but there is no appropriate age to become a victim of gun violence. ALL victims of gun violence are too young to die.