I don’t want to stray from my whole “gluten is evil” schtick to talk about one of the most horrific events in our country’s history. I really don’t want to, especially since I’m doing this super fun video segment LIVE tonight about holiday cocktails and apps, but I have to. I’d much rather be promoting that, and you all would much rather be reading lighthearted fare about how to get knackered this holiday season, than the wails of another parent who cannot begin to wrap her head around a tragedy of this magnitude where children were gunned down in cold blood.
I don’t even want to think about this anymore, and consider the numbers of 6- and 7-year-olds that are now gone — brutally murdered — and then calculate that this massacre would have completely wiped out my daughter’s first grade class, but I will. And you will. And anyone with a heart (most of us?) will not be able to stop thinking about those 20 babies and 6 incredibly brave women who tried to protect their charges. I would much rather show you this gluten-free snack box I chowed down on while flying JetBlue.
See? Isn’t that much easier to take?
But the fact is, if we shrug our shoulders and move along while simply chalking it up to one random crazy, this type of unthinkable violence will continue. If we don’t get really fucking pissed about how many times disturbed people pick up firearms and slaughter innocents, we might as well just be prepared to be gunned down ourselves along with our children. Because it just keeps happening. And as I let my 6-year-old watch TV while she’s home sick today (I’m sure there are thousands of grade schoolers who are “home sick” today as well), I just keep getting more and more angry. Crazy angry.
I’m just a writer, a mother, and a celiac with a blog. I’m not going to pretend I have the answers to our nation’s incredibly complex problem with gun violence. There are a lot of others trying to figure this stuff out too, but reading the now infamous “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” piece has left me more frightened, than resolved. There are more angry young men out there ready to explode, and they do not care who gets hurt during the attack. I believe we’re all allowed to be terrified of this fact, even while offering sympathy to those who are battling demons through no fault of their own. Mental illness and a lack of support and understanding is absolutely one of our nation’s biggest problems. But even bigger, is the fact that any citizen can grab a semiautomatic weapon and slaughter children. How have we, as a society, decided that this is okay?
There is no argument here that makes sense. Hunters can hunt without a Glock. How sporting is it to go after an animal with a semiautomatic, anyway? Banning assault weapons WILL cut down on the number of casualties when that robbery goes wrong, that abusive husband takes things one step further, or that mentally ill young man snaps. Our military and law enforcement officials are allowed to be properly armed for our protection, just as our constitution states. My neighbor should not be afforded the same privilege.
Following a gun massacre in 1996, Australia banned automatic and semiautomatic weapons and launched a gun buy back program that halved the number of households that had guns. As a result, Australian lives have been saved as homicide rates by gun dropped 54% and suicide rates by gun dropped an astonishing 74%. We deserve better in America. We deserve to be safe from these deadly weapons, and the first step is enforcing existing gun laws, followed by implementing bans on weapons of mass destruction. Our children’s lives depend on it.
Personally, I cannot take one more story like the one coming out of Newtown, Connecticut. It’s time to fight back, for our own safety and that of the most innocent in our care. If we can all agree to that, then I can go back to vilifying gluten. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?