It's always hard to write about a tragedy. It's easier to keep quiet and not step on anyone's emotional toes. When last Friday hit the news, I was in shock like everyone else. I reached out to my siblings and their children, who felt hurt and confused and scared. I imagined my niece and nephew who only live a few hours away from there, in kindergarten and pre-k, so little, so funny, so ultimately helpless against violence of that force.
But my niece and nephew back east are no strangers to guns. In fact, their father collects guns and is an avid hunter. They never go grocery shopping for meat, and the littlest knows moose meat is her favorite. My whole family are no strangers to guns. We are police officers, sheriffs, military members, war vets. We know the power of a gun and the safety rules of owning one. We know that there are two safes, one for the guns and one for the clips, and the keys aren't kept together.
What we don't own are semi-automatics. What we don't need are guns that belong in war and action movies. No one needs to be able to shoot off thirty rounds at at time. These are people guns. These are massacre guns. GB has rules about what kinds of guns civilians can own. Hunting rifles are fine, but any pistol/handgun is prohibited. Anything that can shoot six bullets without reloading is prohibited. Can I stress that more? SIX bullets.
Wake up, America. We're not waiting on a zombie apocalypse. We don't need guns based off AK-47s in the hands of citizens. We don't need to buy bulk ammo at the nearest supercenter. Why can I only buy two boxes of cold medicine but can buy 400 rounds at a time? What on earth are we doing?
My mom brought up a sad point. Those parents probably already bought Christmas presents for their children. Maybe people will think me callous, but I hope those toys are donated to Toys for Tots or another organization. Those kids aren't coming home to open them, and they were never really "their toys" in the first place. I'm sure all their favorites and most played with will hold a special place, but for these unopened presents it will just be a haunting reminder. Something decent/noble can bud from this tragedy. I hope it will.