It has only been 10 days. 10 days, 3 shootings, 32 lives lost (as of this writing), and many more lives and communities forever devastated. This feeling is becoming all too familiar and it should NOT be familiar. No one should have a speech ready to go whenever a tragedy like this occurs but it is becoming the norm in America.
WARNING: I will be getting a bit political here. You are free to disagree with my statements.
This is NOT NORMAL. Why do we insist on pretending like it is. Our politicians tend to throw up their hands and say “well what are you going to do?”. No other developed nation in the world has a problem with people walking into schools, churches, supermarkets, etc. and killing a bunch of people. It’s not like this problem is unsolvable!
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, roughly 80 miles from Uvalde. They were effectively a part of our community. Everyone knew someone from there. To think of how devastated that community is today and will be breaks my heart. Long after we have all forgotten about it, the families in this area will still be struggling with the reality that they have lost innocent lives.
I am sick and tired of our government not doing ANYTHING to address this issue. No laws around access of guns. No laws to improve mental healthcare. Nothing. Oh, people love to pretend that mental health is the issue but then do absolutely nothing to improve access.
No more Scapegoating
I find it disgusting that some politicians scape goat mental health in these issues. Someone will say that it’s a gun issue and then on TV, a politician of a given party will go up and say “it’s not a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue” and then do nothing to improve mental health access. Heck, many times they will vote against it.
When you talk about mental health only in the context of these tragedies, you stigmatize the subject and discourage people from seeking mental health because they don’t want to feel connected to the killers. And yes, this is the only time the Right will bring up mental health.
I am also getting tired of the pro-life movement. I will not take a stance in this blog post of whether I think abortion is right or wrong. What I do want to do is point out the hypocrisy of the rhetoric in places like Texas.
“All life is sacred” and “we need to protect the most vulnerable of us” are all very common arguments used in the pro-life movement. So kids at school aren’t innocent or sacred? Can Texas Republican please provide me with a chart to explain at what point your life is no longer sacred or when you are no longer innocent. Or are they suggesting that the kids aren’t innocent and had this coming.
“You may be aborting the person who cures cancer”. I don’t know, who knows how many of those kids at the school had futures as scientists or researchers or doctors. Heck, even if they weren’t going to have those career choices, they still have the right to life. I am angry at the obvious disregard for human life by a group of politicians who are very keen on talking about saving lives.
WE NEED CHANGE
Look, I am just a Customer Engineer at Google. I am not some kind of expert on this matter nor am I someone that can influence any change. Many of you reading may feel the same way. That being said, we need to do something. We can’t just throw up our hands. We owe it to our fallen citizens to not let their death go in vain. We can make this an actual turning point and not just another tragedy to be forgotten until the next one.
We have primaries and elections occurring this year. Go out and vote! Please checkout vote.org and check your registration and when elections happen in your area.
I am not going to suggest voting for one particular party or candidate. What I will suggest is that you vote for someone who is actually dedicated to making a change. Look past all the flowery political language and buzzwords like “freedom” and “patriot” and actually look at the candidate and what they stand for. What have they voted for in the past.
If they are an incumbent, what have they truly done during their time in office? If they are new, look at other records and what they support. I am a big believer in the idea that “actions speak louder than words”. We need leaders who will take action and not bury us in flowery language and broken promises.
Another thing we should do is give! No, don’t give to campaigns. Give to the communities in need. There were people who were planning soccer games, ballet lessons, play dates and more for their kids this weekend who now have to plan funerals. The very least we can do as a community is support them.
Below is a list of charities that you can donate to in order to support Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and Uvalde.
- Buffalo Urban League
- Victims First GoFundMe for Uvalde
- Vetted GoFundMes for families in Uvalde
- Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
- First State Bank of Uvalde has setup a special fund
- University Health System fund
- Victims Fund for SoCal Taiwanese Church Shooting
If you actually live in or near these communities, please consider also donating blood if you are able to do so. I would encourage you to also make yourself available to support the families. Even a random act of kindness like getting them food or mowing their lawn so they have one less thing to worry about can make a difference.
We owe it to every single person who has lost their life due to needless gun violence to get mad and fight. We WILL NOT move on from this news story. We will take care of our communities and push our elected leaders to make change.
My message to elected officials
Now is the time for you to actually do the job you were elected for. Now is the time to show all Americans what you truly stand for. Many of you will continue to pander to donors because you enjoy your cushy job, privilege, and power that this position gives you and will do anything to keep it. If you do so, then shame on you! You are everything wrong with this country. You care more about lining your pockets than guaranteeing safety and well being for your citizens. I hope you either change and stand up for what’s right or get voted out.
Those of you who are sick and tired of this as well, fight harder. DO NOT take no as an answer. Yes, there are obstructionists in every political house in this nation but we owe it to those we have lost and those who survived to stop this!
This post may have seemed all over the place and it’s because I am of many thoughts here. It is ridiculous that no one will do anything to help stop this. Families lost their loved ones, survivors now have to deal with a lifetime of trauma. We need to fight for change!
I am not the most articulate person so I will leave you with a few video clips that really touched me.