Sunday Night Thoughts: May 20, 2018

Another Sunday night here in Atlanta. It was storming a little earlier, but I think that it all passed now. Like usual, I’m listening to the Sunday’s slow jams mix on the radio. The only thing missing is something brown to drink.

Tonight I’m going to talk about something that I had wanted to talk about on Friday, but I was a little sick Friday evening into the night. I didn’t fully recover until yesterday. I’m not going to talk about the royal wedding because while I’m happy that the Royal Family now got a little bit of flava, I’m not into all of that fancy wedding shit. Besides, plenty of people on social media, traditional media, and the blogs have talked enough about it, so my take on it (or lack of) is pointless.

But I do want to talk about something much more serious. It’s a damn shame that I’m talking about this. Hell, it’s a damn shame that anybody has to talk about this. I’m talking about the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. To be clear, I am a supporter of gun rights. No, I’m not an NRA card holding member (they probably wouldn’t let my black ass in anyway) and I’m not one of those people who go around talking about “They are trying to take away our guns!” (they would look at my black ass like I’m crazy as hell, then call the cops on me because I’m a big black guy looking to incite a riot; their view, not mine). But we have a fundamental problem here. In fact, those NRA card holding members and those “you ain’t taking my guns away from me” people are not just creating a problem, but they are the problem.

I’m so sick and tired of turning on the TV or going on my phone and hearing about somebody walking into a school and blasting kids and teachers away. I’m tired of hearing politicians getting on TV, saying something needs to be done, but don’t do a damn thing. I’m tired of people who’re actually trying to make changes or at least suggest them, only to get shut down. It is a continuing cycle, and unfortunately, it’s now the norm.

Let that sink in for a second. It is now the norm for somebody to walk into your kids’ or grandkids’ school and shoot them dead, for no reason. It’s now the norm to go about your day worrying if your kid will even make it home.

When these things happen (not if, but when), people are quick to find a group to blame. Right now, the go-to thing is to put all crazed shooters in the mental health category. As a sufferer of mental illness, I take personal offense to that. While there are people with mental health issues who shouldn’t be allowed 100 feet within a gun, most people with mental illnesses are not going around with something in their brains telling us to go shoot up a school, or any place for that matter. It’s a cop-out, an attempt to get out of responsibility for having their hands in a problem that should’ve been handled, or at least mitigated, a long time ago.

But even that doesn’t piss me off as much as the blockage of any attempt to fix the problem. After the Parkland shooting, we saw something that hasn’t been seen in a while; teens–students–rising up basically telling grown-ass people, “We’re tired of getting shot in a place that’s supposed to be safe. We want to go to school without worrying about getting killed. We need you, the adults, to do something.” It was great to see. I actually got motivated when I was seeing this. The generation who we were starting to see as the Tide-pod Challenge generation were taking a stand. They were making their voices heard.

What happened? Those paranoid, ultra-conservative, members-for-life NRA members and supporters who don’t want their guns taken away, were quick to hit back, saying that these kids need to go back to the classrooms and learn about the Constitution. My favorite was when they tried to spin it into a left-wing media conspiracy, an idea that was vocalized by high-ranking members of government.

Luckily for us, those young adults remain undeterred.

As a supporter of gun rights and someone who has a little-beyond-basic understanding of the Constitution and government, my thing is you have nothing to worry about. Nobody is trying to take away your guns. If you have a whole stockpile of guns on your property and you’re a law-abiding citizen, no one is trying to take them away. The ones who think that the US should abolish all guns clearly doesn’t understand that it’s simply not that easy. All we’re asking for is some kind of response to these tragic events that are not a bandage covering a wound. People have been sick of that for years now.

Do I have an answer or a suggestion to how to fix the problem? Honestly, no. Do I believe that the government should be responsible for regulating everything in our lives? No, I don’t. But I do believe that the government has the basic responsibility of protecting their citizens, and so far, all levels of government are failing at that responsibility. All levels of government are failing us and failing your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and so on. This must stop.

As a people, we need to come together and come up with answers together and tell our governments that this what needs to be done, since they can’t figure it out themselves.

Most importantly, we need to listen to the children, who are the real victims. Some of these kids are almost old enough to vote. Imagine the voting power they will have in a few short months. If I were one of these politicians who is owned by the NRA and worried about a few constituents’ delusional and uneducated beliefs that their guns will be snatched from their hands, I would be worried about my job right about now.

But what do I know? I’m just an ordinary citizen who by now is being labeled as one of those liberals who want to take guns away, right? Get the fuck outta here!

You know what’s so sad about this, though? In a few weeks, people will forget and it will be back to business as usual. I’m going to provide this link to Childish Gambino’s latest song to drive home that point.

Hopefully, next week’s Sunday Night Thoughts will be a little more positive, but we’ll see. Thank you for taking the time to allow me to get some things off of my chest.

If you don’t hear from me sometime this week, I’ll be right back here posting next Sunday night.

Have a great week.

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