This won't be a normal blog post. I won't be making any jokes. I won't be adding any fun pictures.
There are days like yesterday where I am speechless. I honestly have no idea what to think of the world we live in and the things that have become our new "normal". Then there are days like today, where I have a lot to say and can only hope I say it in the right way.
Guns. Let me start by saying that my husband owns them. Let me also add that he has had years of painstakingly extensive training, that he obeys gun laws, knows how to properly and safely store, clean, maintain, and own them. Let me even further add that I've never fired a gun in my life. I had never even seen one in person until I met my husband. To this day, I have only ever been around responsible gun owners. We have zero tolerance for anything else.
The sad reality - is that there is an incomprehensible number of guns in the hands of irresponsible, unstable, and irrational people. People that did not obtain them legally. People that will not only use them for life-or-death protection. People who will not use them for hunting. People who will not use them safely at a gun range.
Seeing reports fly in about the Vegas shooting makes me sick to my stomach. This is the world we live in. A world where I honestly feel relieved and consider myself lucky when I walk out of a mall calmly instead of run out in panic. I feel fortunate to sit through an entire movie instead of having to evacuate in a frenzied stampede. A world where I can't even feel at peace sitting in church. This is our America - a world where we feel fortunate to exist without being shot in public. A world where we don't wonder IF there will be a "next time", it's WHEN there will be one. And we pray and hope to God that we won't be there for it. I can't wrap my mind around it.
I've long hesitated saying anything on this subject. In a military community, you meet a lot of folks passionate about the right to bear arms. I need to be clear that I don't totally disagree with them. I think there are people worthy and capable of gun ownership. The problem is I think the majority of people in this world are not.
It is no secret that I love our country. I am constantly in awe of the opportunities we have here, the possibilities we can offer others, and of course, the men and women who sacrifice their normal lives to protect us all. I experience every single day these people that know how to react in situations that call for bravery. I have witnessed firsthand, these people handle dangerous situations with calmness, clarity, and complete control. I have benefitted from the protection of individuals that I believe are competent and capable of owning firearms.
I can say and feel all of those things but also acknowledge something has to change. For the love of God, something has to change. I can support the thought of being able to legally own a weapon while also pleading our government to do more, to do anything, to make sure it gets harder and harder for them to end up in the wrong hands.
I'd like to venture that anyone who is a parent and a gun owner, would sacrifice some convenience in the sake of their child's safety. I'd hope that anyone who sends their child to pre-school all the way up to college, would do whatever it takes to reduce the number of guns that can fall into the wrong person's hands, even by ONE.
I have decided to volunteer my time to working towards safer gun laws for one person in particular. My 18-month-old daughter. At my core, this is about her. This about my undying love for her and my sole life purpose of keeping her safe. Is it possible to marry my concern for my child and my belief that people like my husband should be able to responsibly bear arms? I don't know. But damned if I'm not going to try.
The thing is, if you're truly a responsible gun owner and also want a safer America, you should have nothing to fear.
I've kept my mouth shut for a long time. But I'm fucking sick of it.