It's time to revolt. Against senseless gun violence. Against a society that allows this sickness to continue. Against a government that champions it. I know I'm naive to write this, but it's also my plea for someone to answer the question - WHAT IS HAPPENING???
Why today's news affected me differently than any other's, I don't know. I've been horrified, sad, angry, depressed, SO MUCH in this past year, past decade, even, along with every other sane and feeling person I know. We are all at our wits' ends, trying to figure out how to make it stop. How do we effect change? How do we, who are spending every day practicing kindness, teaching our kids empathy, calling our elected officials, how do we do any more? WHAT more can we do? It's not a rhetorical question.
Last year, in a peaceful revolt against the incoming ethos of a Trump presidency, I walked with millions of others. It was all I could think of to do with my frustration. Obviously, I wasn't the only one. Does anyone feel less frustrated now? Does anyone feel like real change is happening? I know there are people working tirelessly for a better country, but I don't think there are enough to be heard. I know the saying, if Sandy Hook didn't change anything, nothing will. But we can't settle for that. I can't settle for that. I, along with so many other parents, tell our children we love them before we send them off to school, just hoping it's not the last time we get to say it. Almost like it's a verbal talisman to keep them safe. I don't want to wait until it happens to me, or my nephew, or my best friend's kids to get angry enough to do anything more.
So can we revolt? Or are we sad and angry enough to turn it into a full out revolution? Can we get every teacher, principal and school administrator to strike? And how about anyone who has a child that goes to school? Can they strike, too? And maybe anyone who works in a restaurant, or who has ever eaten in a restaurant? Anyone who has attended an outdoor (or indoor) concert? Would that be enough people to get the attention of Congress? What if all of us spent that day, or week, or month, or year of strike (if that's what it takes) at the offices of the congressmen and women who have the power to change our laws? Let's bring our children and show them how a democracy is supposed to work, and how even in a democracy (especially in a democracy?) human beings are valued. Above money. Above power. Above guns. Human lives and dignity are more important than anything else. Can we call it the March for Everyone's Life? The March for Our Children? The March for a Society That Values People over Guns? And just stop everything - school, work, the economy - until humane laws are in effect? Because at this point, nothing short of a revolution seems like it will work. And from there, we can fight for equal healthcare, and equal opportunity, or even better, fight for what each person needs, because it's not all equal. Some of us need more, some of us need less. From there we can fight poverty and champion dignity and foster communities where no one feels the need to lay waste with weapons of mass destruction.
PS - I am an extremely non-confrontational being and I hesitate to say or write anything controversial. I feel first and think after. I can't stand violence and crave peace. But in writing this, I know I am inviting confrontation and discomfort. I'm also begging those who have the courage and the answers to lead. Lead another march. Lead a revolution. I will march, too. I'm ready to revolt.