Time to be Honest

At some point, like with Covid, we will all be touched by firearm violence (Sorry, but I’m not a big fan of the term guns). As the latest murders of children sadly will attest, we have given up or are helpless in trying to stop these kinds of horrors. Much as we grieve, the ugly truth is we are stuck in a cycle of violence that will not abate.

Something is terribly wrong here. How has the land of the free and the home of the brave come to this? How did firearms become more important than our lives? The dead merely collateral damage collecting all around us.

That’s a hard thing to come to terms with, but given how nothing is done, whether it’s an atrocity like Uvalde, a police shooting, domestic violence, or suicide, the truth is right there in front of us. If we cared enough, felt empowered enough, felt we were listen to, we’d vote in those who would address the problem—a firearm violence problem. That a majority of Americans know this, want something done, and are exasperated that nothing happens is one thing, yet brings up the more intransigent one: The political forces that control the legislative process in this country aren’t going to do anything. Nor are they going to be honest with us.

So I will be.

Firearms are more important. More important than family, friends, coworkers, everyone. It makes me heartsick to say it, but it’s true. Politicians won’t say it, but the majority of them are cowards. Given the choice between life and firearms, they choose firearms. And they have done this time and time again. Why would they change now? What are a few more murdered children? What are a few more heartbroken families? They won’t be the last.

There are many things we could do to get a handle on this. More than anything we need to be honest about the degree to which firearm violence is a part of American life, but I’m not holding my breath. It’s everywhere, big and small. And firearms are not going away. The arguments don’t go anywhere. It doesn’t matter that Australia ended mass killings after outlawing military style firearms, because we aren’t going to touch that with a ten-foot pole. It doesn’t matter that Switzerland has lot of firearms and few murders because they legislate nationally that firearms be registered, that national service is required, and that concealed weapons permits are tough to obtain. We’re not going to any of that.

That’s not us.

We grieve and hope for the best.

And this isn’t a screed to ban all firearms, but the increase in firearms out there hasn’t made the problem go away, it’s only exacerbated it, so that’s not the answer.

So, I don’t know, tell your kids you love them, get your affairs in order if you think that kind of thing is important. Pray that today isn’t your day. Hopefully, it won’t be…but it touches us everyday, in ways big and small, and it is slowly and methodically killing us.

©2022 David William Pearce

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