Did you hear the one about the people awaiting flights on a Friday morning having to flee for their lives from a deranged guy with a gun? Or how about the one where first graders were lined up and mowed down by a deranged guy with several guns? Or maybe about the moviegoers who dove under their seats in order to hide from a guy with guns? Or how about the guy walking down a street in Washington DC who was mowed down by another guy with a gun?
I have had enough of scenes of innocent people in ordinary American life trying to escape gunfire. It isn't numbing, despite the daily stories. It is infuriating. It is, frankly, insane. While Congress brought our government to a standstill for three weeks over whether Americans are entitled to health care, dozens of guns were used to kill people. We may be a puzzle to other countries, but we are a killing field within our own borders. Why does this continue? How many more times are we willing to pray that the bullets don't hit anyone we know and love?
The NRA says that there aren't enough guns on the street - that the solution is for us to all to pack heat. Others say it's that the mental health issues of millions of Americans aren't being addressed. Others say more gun regulations will help. I'm no policy analyst, but I am a mother who is grateful my only child is currently studying in Europe. Let her harden her arteries with too many croissants, but at least I am pretty sure her corner bistro is not filled with gun-toting beer drinkers.
This is our uniquely American curse. We bow down to the Second Amendment - written hundreds of years ago - which guarantees our right to bear arms as though it is what makes America great. I prefer to focus on our right to life, liberty and happiness - particularly "life." I find the prevalence of guns in the hands of people willing to kill others in direct opposition to life, liberty and happiness.
So let's do something. I don't know what the answer is and I know the solution is complex and will require great minds, patience and an unusual degree of cooperation not seen lately in the US. But how much longer do we have to watch the Breaking News in horror as schoolchildren/frequent flyers/pedestrians/politicians/fill-in-the-blank flee for their lives among a hail of bullets?
The Tea Party managed to coalesce and hold our country hostage for three weeks over their passionate belief that the Affordable Care Act is insane. What if all the parents and grandparents in this country form a party - the Stop Killing Party - with the love of our children as our driving force? Couldn't we have at least as much clout as Ted Cruz? If not, the alternative is more Breaking News Bulletins of mass killings.
I have had enough. How about you?