“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?”
Believe what you want about guns and rights. Believe what you like about President Obama, the Second Amendment and the NRA. I am not going to try to change your minds. I won’t.
What I want is not to lose any of you to gun violence. I don’t want to see a Facebook update about how you were gunned down last night.
I don’t want to get a call that you were murdered while seeing a movie, going to church or being black.
I don’t want your family to mourn your death. I don’t want you to be a loss your family commemorates. I don’t want you to be reduced to a memory and a grave stone or a sprinkled pile of ash.
I want you to be alive. I want you to be well. I want you to live and breathe and make the most of your life. I want you to enjoy the life you were meant to lead. I don’t want you to die.
I don’t want to die. I like going to the movies. I used to regularly attend church. I drive my car and use public transit. I don’t want to get gunned down as I go about my day.
And I want the same for you. I don’t want you to get killed. I want you to live a long and full life. And I want to enjoy the same.
I own a gun. I don’t think about it. It’s not a part of my life. I have the right. But I don’t need to carry it around and keep it on my person at any given time. I understand those who feel the need for a firearm for their own safety.
But I am not that person. I don’t feel unsafe. If I walk outside and I meet a gunman and it’s my day to die, then so be it. I don’t believe if I were armed I would stand a better chance in living through the encounter.
I write this as a I watch President Obama’s talk on guns tonight. I know he’s a controversial figure and anything he says will draw fire from all sides.
He is not coming to take our guns away. He is not trying to infringe on our rights as Americans or gun owners. He is asking why we allow gun violence to be a daily problem in our country.
Watch President Obama Share the Steps He’s Taking to Reduce Gun Violence.
“Maybe we can’t save everybody but we can save some.”
It seems like a reasonable idea.
The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.
Part of the President’s plan has nothing to do with guns themselves. But to invest in treatment for people with mental health issues. These issues can lead to homicide, but also suicide.
I fully support helping people with mental health issues get the care they need. This will take the guns, pills, cars and knives out of their hands and allow them to live a happy and healthy life.
Let’s keep people safe and keep them alive. I support life. I support people getting the help they need. I support making it just a bit harder to get a gun immediately. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind. I’m not trying to. I watched this talk tonight with tears in my eyes as I thought about all the children, parents, teachers, and friends lost to needless violence.
I support less death. I support trying to do something about gun violence. Doing nothing is not the answer. And I don’t know what the answer is. But what we’re doing now isn’t working. So it’s time to try something new.
The Virginia Tech shooting will always be a part of my life, as long as I live as my wife was a student at Tech when it happened, and I covered it for our college newspaper. The pain of a death doesn’t end at the day of death.
Header image from Flickr: Young Cardinals fan and a machine gun