Every time that a shooting is sensationalized over the news, I feel a mixture of pure rage and utter soul-crushing despair. Some of them hit closer to home for me, such as the Colorado Springs nightclub mass shooting that flooded my newsfeed and interrupted my usual Sunday morning political TV news.
As Ann Hood states in her poignant book, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, “Grief makes me heavy. It makes me slow.” I feel this in my bones. As I attempt to accomplish menial tasks after the news of yet another mass murder, due to our obsession with guns in this supposedly free country, my body is unable to move at a normal pace. (Well, I suppose normal is relative, since I do tend to outpace most people thanks to high levels of adrenaline and caffeine constantly pumping through my body.) My brain is clouded by a fog that doesn’t lift for hours or days, sometimes weeks.
Today is National Transgender Day of Remembrance. This recent attack on the queer community – on MY community – is yet another demonstration of the hatred and aggression that has taken over this country since #45 instigated an army of white cisgender homophobic xenophobic scoundrels. They likely specifically targeted the nightclub that they shot up because the club was planning a drag-show brunch to raise awareness and funds for our transgender community.
As I drove my youngest son to his swim lesson after hearing the news, my mind reeling, I forced myself to try to appreciate the beauty of the season. I looked out my window and witnessed the freshly lain snow on the tree branches, breathing in my appreciation for my life and my family. This quickly led to sorrow as I thought about the families of the victims in CO, who will be unable to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. They may be unable to celebrate anything for the rest of their lives. Gun violence leaves a giant gaping hole in our lives that we can never get back.
So no, I am not OK. We are not OK as a nation. We cannot continue to live like this. With the recent elections changing the makeup of the legislature, I can only say this. No matter who is in office, Democrat or Republican, this is a human issue. This is a public safety issue. This is a matter of life or death. I don’t care what your political stance is. I don’t care if you own guns or not. We can all agree that enough is enough is enough is enough. We must do more.