I find myself remarkably un-worked-up about the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon. It is not that I do not care. It is not that I do not grieve. I do care, and I do grieve! I am just not sure how to turn my grief into outrage. Outrage about this sort of thing used to come naturally for me. Now I hear a news report, see the pictures of grieving students and families, sigh, and curse. I just have no idea what to do or if anything can be done, really.
After the Sandy Hook shooting, I thought to myself, “Well maybe now something will change. Maybe now.” I mean, Children! Little kids at an elementary school just before Christmas! I thought about those parents with the presents that may already have been wrapped. What were they going to do with gifts that could no longer be received? I am a parent of young children. Maybe that was why it moved me so much. I thought about my own children terrified in a closet in a classroom while the teacher tried to quiet any small sobs that might give them away.
Or maybe I am just giving up. I don’t know. When a prisoner stops trying to escape from Alcatraz, is that giving up, or is it just the only sane thing to do? What is the saying? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I guess maybe I have grown in my views a bit since Sandy Hook. I am still a gun owner who is totally for gun control. I just think that maybe gun control isn’t the real problem here. The problem is that we just aren’t a democracy anymore. The majority of American citizens favor gun control legislation, but the NRA, with its deep pockets, basically shuts down any discussion before it begins. I cannot help but chuckle and shake my head a bit when I think about the tea partiers who rant and rave about government corruption and money in politics when some of them are so clearly part of the problem. It seems that we do not have objections to corruption when that corruption favors our issues.
I am not numb to this. I promise! I’m not. I am tired. Maybe I am a little hopeless, at least when it comes to this. I would like to think that if I were to shout and shake my fist in the air, and if enough of us did that together, some politician out there would give a damn. But they don’t. They just don’t.