When will your death (or mine, or our children’s) be marked as a dot on the map of the United States?
That is what the gun violence debate comes down to, folks: when will your number be up? When will that mass shooter enter your kid’s school, your place of work, your local park, or your shopping mall? When will the end of your life be marked by a red dot on a map?
Or, do you believe that it won’t happen to you? Do you think that our national disease will not infect you and yours? Do you think your pistol that you wear so proudly will give you immunity?
My husband is a concealed carry pistol holder. He is not naive. He has no hero fantasies of saving innocent lives. He is a realist. He is a student of human nature. He carries because he appreciates his vulnerability, but he also has no ideas of grandeur. He does not feel the need to own an AK-47 or a silencer.
I ask my students: how does this end? They discuss with such intellect and analysis. They debate using the best of civic discourse. We are studying the Enlightenment and they point out that those historical philosophers were reformers.
The students brainstorm reforms. They are willing to do what our bought- and-paid-for-by-the-NRA-politicians are unwilling to do: discuss reasonable gun violence solutions.
Our children have inherited our sickness, and they are tasked to find the cure.
America’s penchant for violence (perpetuated disproportionately by white men) is a cancer.
Mass shootings are the symptoms.
The cause is fear.
Fear of losing control, power, prestige, wealth, face, life, liberty, and supremacy.
America’s cancer metastasizes as hate combine with fear and more weapons are bought and sold.
We are the disconnected states of America, slowly destroying the dream.
Our children are the victims, or they will be when they are located at the next red map dot.