I saw the news today-- oh boy...
We are all shocked and outraged by Elliot Rodger's shooting spree in Isla Vista, California -- with three legally purchased handguns and over 400 rounds of ammunition. I can understand us being outraged -- but shocked? Really?
Two reasons we're hearing so much about this shooting are: 1) the assailant's father is the assistant director of the Hunger Games movies -- unfortunately, a little celebrity seems to go a long way -- and 2) the 22-year-old perpetrator was already known to have some pretty disturbing mental health issues and was well-known to police. But there he was, with legal guns and plenty of ammo. We are also being shown footage of the very irate father of a boy slain by Rodger, loudly imploring, "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO END THIS MADNESS??"
I'd like an answer to that, too.
How long will it take before we all truly, deeply understand that because of lax gun laws all over our planet, this could happen without any warning to anyone at any time? The next time, when we least expect it, could be you or me or someone we love. Why is it only the parents and other loved ones of those killed by this creepy ongoing asinine insanity who are coming forth and asking the right questions?
How many more times does this have to happen? Why do we not understand that the politicians we elect, whose often outrageous salaries we pay for, need to be responsible for holding the bad guys accountable? And that maybe the 'bad guys' are not only the ones who shoot, maim, and kill innocent people, but are also the ones who refuse to stop playing political nicey-nice with organizations like the U.S.'s NRA.
Sometimes I feel like we're living in the Wild West all over again, all over the world. Shootings and stabbings happen all too often where I live in Vancouver, as well as other parts of Canada. Shortly after I heard about Rodger's coldly premeditated murder spree on the news again, I saw a commercial featuring a small child at a music recital playing the violin off-key while proud parents looked on. I started to wonder what could happen at such a gathering if someone had a gun and just simply didn't like the way the child was playing. It boggles the mind.
Some of you might say, "Oh come on, Candace, don't be ridiculous -- that would never happen!" But who ever thought Sandy Hook would happen? Who ever thought a crazy man dressed as the Joker would open fire at a movie theatre? Or that a University of Calgary student would stab five other students to death, just... because?
So, is it really going to take someone we love being stabbed or shot, injured or killed before we truly take this seriously? Is this how we really want to live?
Can we stop wringing our hands long enough to actually develop some workable strategies about what we can collectively do about this? Or do we all just passively hope and pray that today isn't our day to die -- or to find out that someone we love just has? How much more societal enabling do we have to put up with before we figure out a way to come together and stop the insanity?
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