When i first heard about the Boston Shooting, i am certain i went through what most Americans did. When we are attacked… by anyone… we tend to circle the wagons. It’s part of our social contract.
i protect my tribe and my tribe protects me.
Once i reasoned past the knee-jerk reaction that had me looking skyward for planes, i slipped into information-gathering mode. i wanted to know who and how and mostly i wanted to know why… why?
Soon after, i changed my fet profile pic to reflect the sentiment that revenge was not the best course of action because i know myself and i know my country. i understand the human desire for someone to be responsible… for someone to pay.
i would resurrect that profile pic once more, on the day they arrested the second suspect.
Initially, i kept my mouth shut on this subject because i didn’t want to be divisive and because i didn’t wish to speak in a way that might reflect poorly on the Master of my tribe. i wrote to Him instead to tell Him why i was struggling with my feelings… why i wished to express those feelings:
i felt my silence could be perceived as assent to the voices that were raised.
i saw the rush of folks to start brandishing their weapons of choice, noticed the posting of pictures, and read people’s reactions to those images. Most comments made me sad beyond belief. This is not about kink. This is about the arming of humans for the purpose of killing other humans.
i have experience with violence and with guns. my father, brother, and ex-husband were all military men. i have respect for people who are willing to die for their beliefs and ready to kill for mine, though it brings me no joy to say so, and i struggle with that knowledge.
i grew up in a house with a father who is missing fingers from an “improvised explosive” that he created while in the Marines. i helped my father at his reloading bench and learned to shoot as a very young child. i have owned guns, both legal and illegal. i have taken a loaded weapon in hand and i have leveled that gun at another human being when my family was threatened. And, i have had a Luger – loaded with hollow points – leveled at my own head by someone who said they loved me.
There are responsible people who arm themselves for a variety of reasons. i know some of these people. Still, i am saddened by the eagerness with which some people amass weapons and by the culture here in the states that glorifies those weapons.
In my note to Sir, i asked, “Why is this sexy? Why are we encouraging this? Would it be sexy if it was a pressure cooker packed with explosives, nails, and ball bearings?” And it was a serious question. How is that weapons are sexy when we are the ones holding them?
This goes beyond the issue of guns and the rights of some and responsibilities of all. At the heart of the issue – in my opinion – is our willingness to devalue the other people and value ourselves above all. It’s about our willingness to raise an army to fight for certain rights while we ignore others.
Five people are dead in Boston, one suspect, four victims. Hundreds are injured. It’s horrible. It was a despicable act which we may never fully understand. During that same period of time (In the United States) more would die from accidental shootings. This doesn’t even include the suicides and homicides involving guns.
That’s not sexy.
i am unapologetically liberal. i support bans on semi-automatic weapons in the United States and tough gun control legislation. i also support your right to NOT support such things. That’s the beauty of America. i can disagree with you on this and still call you friend.
What i cannot do is support vigilante justice or a call to arms – particularly when the motivations are revenge or greed or simple hate.
What i cannot do is remain silent if my silence is interpreted as agreement to what is being said by so many.
And since others are posting sexy images of guns, i found some that are worth seeing. The Peace Art Project: Cambodia used seized and surrendered weapons to make everything from bicycles, to chairs, to art.
Now this -to my eye- is sexy: