Today I am sitting in a Starbucks in Brenham, Texas. We’ve been on the road in the US for right at 7 weeks. When we decided to make this trip, I got quite a bit of push back from people.
People in Canada said:
- Are you sure you want to go to Trumpland?
- What if they start a war with North Korea?
- What about all those guns?
People in the US said:
- You have a gun, right?
- Stay safe! *said with a worried look/tone of voice*
- Are you sure you are going to be safe? You bought a gun, right?
I kid you not. I had multiple tell me to buy a gun. If you know me, you will know that is never going to happen. I don’t like guns. I don’t really care if other people have guns…normal guns. Like something small to have at home in case someone breaks in or a hunting rifle. I can wrap my head around both of those. Assault rifles? Guns modified to make them somewhat close to fully automatic? You must be joking. Why would anyone need those?
Also, I have lots of friends and families who are gun owners. The vast majority of them are fine upstanding citizens that could own all the guns in the world and I would not lose a minute of sleep.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the only people who own guns…..as we found out this week. Nope. Men who are violent domestic abusers also own guns. They then decide that the only way to “fix” their lives is to go into a church and kill over 20 people. The youngest victim? 18 months old.
Maybe I have become overwhelmingly Canadian in my thoughts since I left the US 14 years ago to get married to my husband (a Canadian). Whatever happened, it has made this trip much more uncomfortable than I expected. One on one, I still believe that Americans are some of the nicest people you could ever meet.
I now pause before deciding to go to an event, before deciding to go to a big city, before deciding to go to a coffee shop or a restaurant or anywhere. I had to leave Tombstone because the melding of fake gunfire and most of the people walking around in normal clothes also having a gun on their hip (and not just for dress up…nope….real ones).
So where do we go now? What do we do? I have many, many people telling me that it is not a gun problem. Ok. Others tell me it is a mental health problem. Ok. So what do we DO? Something is broken. We have to DO something because wringing our hands and hoping isn’t going to fix it.
I’m not coming to you with my opinions on how to fix it. I’m to you with an honest question…what do we do now? Because we have to do something unless we are willing to just throw away the US and I, for one, am not ready to do that.
I wrote this on someone’s FB post…it tells you how deeply I am thinking ” Today I don’t know what to do. We have a government that I voted against who is unwilling to do anything. What can I do TODAY when they have no interest? Feels like nothing other than try to get more people to realize that the current government will IS NOT WORKING. Also to hope that maybe one day something will happen to make people let go of their guns. I was driving and thinking today and wondered “If I died in a shoot out would that make people care more? Because they would KNOW someone it happened to?””
I would love to hear your thoughts (but please be nice). I will be thinking about this myself, too. I will also be thinking about whether I am taking too many chances by being in the US right now. It feels dangerous. I do realize, though, that I am very lucky that I have options. Most people don’t. Which again leads me to the question about what we can do to turn the tide.
I know this post is very different from my usual monday posts but I didn’t feel like I could write about anything else today. I promise MerryAboutTown will not be a political blog but sometimes, you have to write what is on your heart. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for listening.