I'm mad tonight.
Like superfreaking MAD. I know that's not a word, but I don't want to spout the bad words, so at this point I'm making them up.
On Saturday, 49 beautiful souls lost their lives. No, I didn't know any of them, but I could have. They could have been friends of mine. They could have been relatives of mine. They could have been anyone's brothers and sisters.
I've spent the last few days shedding tears. I've unfollowed and unfriended people on Facebook and Twitter for some of the heartless things they've posted. I've been in mourning for people I don't even know.
But somehow, in the past several hours, I've suddenly seen that grief turn to anger and I'm pissed.
I'm pissed that my children have never known a time when school shootings were not commonplace.
I'm pissed that my children had to have emergency drills at school for active shooters.
I'm pissed that my children and every other child in this country might be going to bed tonight feeling a little less safe than they did before Saturday night.
Mostly, I'm pissed because the man who committed this unbelievable act of terror was allowed to have a gun that let him do it!
Why does anyone need a gun that looks like this and can kill 50 people in moments?
(No, this is not the exact gun used and the one he used may be a little different, but this is an AR-15.)
Why does anyone need a gun that can shoot 30, 50 or more rounds before requiring it to be reloaded? This is way beyond personal protection. These are MILITARY style weapons. These guns put our own law enforcement officers at risk because when they come upon someone with a weapon like this, they are out-gunned.
In 2012 when 20 first graders were killed along with their teachers at Sandy Hook, I really thought our country would do something about gun violence. It didn't happen. We were told it's not the guns. We were told "it's too soon" when we tried to talk about limiting guns. I watched these brave parents beg our congress to do something to stop this senseless gun violence. I watched them talk about their beautiful children and their lives that were stolen in an instant. I saw their grief. I can still see their pictures. I still know their names. Their faces haunt me.
Nothing happened in 2012. Congress said "We don't want to penalize responsible gun owners by making them get background checks or subjecting them to other forms of sensible gun control."
Last year, the senate voted down a bill that would have kept people on the no fly list from being able to get a gun. Republicans(and the NRA) said this was WRONG. They didn't want to keep "law abiding" citizens from getting guns, because you know, quite often, innocent people wind up on those lists and just because you're on a list doesn't mean you're a criminal.(End sarcasm.) So that bill failed and it turns out that the Orlando shooter was know to the FBI and he was still able to legally get a gun.
The key word is legally. He bought his guns legally. He walked into a shop and walked out with these guns and all the ammo. Maybe he wasn't on a list, but the simple fact is that those on terror watch lists are ALLOWED to get guns pretty much every time they want.
HOW CAN SOMEONE ON A TERROR LIST BE ALLOWED TO DO THIS?
In no reality can this be right. In no reality can this be OK. In no person's reality can they truly believe this is acceptable.
I keep reading how those "damn liberals" want to take away everyone's guns. Well, I'm one of those damn liberals. I'll be honest and say I hate guns. I'd like to have a society where we didn't have them at all, but that's not exactly reasonable. In all honesty, I don't want your guns. I know that most people who have guns are responsible. I know that they aren't going to go on a killing spree. However, when we can't even get our congress to agree to universal background checks and that people on terror lists shouldn't be able to get guns, there's a problem.
Let's start with that. Let's say that you don't need to be able to buy a 30 round clip. Let's reinstate that assault weapons ban. No one wants the gun you keep for protection or the gun you use to hunt with. No one wants to go door to door and take away your guns, but let's be reasonable. We have to do something. The moments of silence and the prayers are not working.
Let's start with that and see if lives are saved. Please?