Voting Today

I’m a voter who gives a shit.  I’m a voter who follows the issues.  I’m a voter who follows the candidates.  I’m informed and I care.  I’m not inspired.

I might be the most conflicted voter in America.

Does anyone else feel this way? Is anyone else on the same page?  Does anyone else give a shit?

your vote

Here are the things that I need to say:

The Democratic debates tonight were boring.

I wanted fireworks and I didn’t get them.

I think that the rhetoric in the Republican party is offensive.

I’m not sure how I feel about the National Elections.

I’m trying to focus on local elections because I care about my community.

Donald Trump says awful things about people who aren’t white and it makes me cringe.

I can’t imagine that any female or minority voter in this country would vote for the Republican party.

If you combine both women and minorities that vote in this country it constitutes a majority.

I feel that women and minorities in this country are important.

 

I want to make sense of politics and policy in the USA.

I want to find a candidate that I can trust.

I haven’t found a presidential candidate in this next election that I can get behind.

 

I care about the following topics:

(Please fill in the blank.)

Too Many Dead Children

 

I am a left-wing, liberal, lesbian feminist and it took me a long time to come to the conclusion that guns, in some cases, are useful tools.

I grew up in the suburbs and then lived in the city during my early adulthood.  Guns never made any sense to me growing up and I used to believe that they should be outright banned.  Now that I live in the foothills, I have a different perspective on guns.

bear

I have had more than one friend come home to a bear in the house and I have, unfortunately, had friends who have had to put down suffering livestock after a Mountain Lion attack.  I have friends and family members who hunt and who are responsible gun users.  I’m not a vegetarian and I think venison is delightful.

All of that said, I’m at a place now where I would rather have my friends attacked by bears, have livestock suffer, and never eat game again if it means that I no longer have to hear about another fucking school shooting for as long as I live.

cheese and guns

I hear all the time the excuse that “we need guns for self-protection.” I never hear any stories about guns successfully thwarting an armed attacker unless that armed attacker has already killed several people using a gun before the “rescuing gun” got involved.  And oddly, the gun that is used to thwart the attacker is usually the attacker’s own gun, not the gun of some gun-toting hero who saves the day.  Isn’t it time we all just admit the truth?  The gun thing in this country is totally fucked up and it is killing our children on an incredibly regular basis.

We cannot, in any real way, adhere to the idea that guns are somehow a necessary part of our culture and sustainability.  It’s bullshit.

The truth is that guns are used on a regular basis in the hands of usually young, white men to indiscriminately kill innocent people targeted in crowds of people in public places.  This is the reality.  This is what is happening.  It is happening often enough and with such frequency that we as a society can no longer deny its reality and consistency.

Since the Columbine Shooting in 1999, more than 300 people have died at the hands of a gunman in a mass shooting event and hundreds more were injured.

There is no town, no community, no place in America that is safe as long as we continue to allow a small group of people dictate the gun laws in this country, laws that continually put arms in the hands of people who use them to kill en masse innocent human beings.  At some point, we have to say no more.  At some point, we have to demand that things should be different. At some point, we have to demand that our law makers sign on whole heartedly to gun control.  At some point, things have to change.

That point could have been July 14th, 1966 when eight student nurses were held at gun point and then ultimately stabbed to death in Chicago, Illinois.  That point could have been April 20th, 1999 when two troubled Columbine High School students shot twelve students and a teacher on the high school campus, injuring 21 others and then ending their own lives.  That point could have been December 20th 2012 when a young man opened fire at an elementary school in Connecticut, killing 20 children and six teachers and then shot himself.  That point could have been nine days ago after a student at Umpqua Community College shot and killed nine students and injured nine others before taking his own life.

How much is too much?

All of it is too much.  We are past the point of too much.  There are no more red flags.  There are no more warnings.  Each and every one of these incidents have been too much.

But maybe mass shootings aren’t enough to move a person to action. Maybe there are people who still think guns are a useful tool for self-defense. According to the Journal of Trauma, published nearly 20 years ago for the National Control for Injury Prevention & Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Rather than being used for self-defense, guns in the home are 22 times more likely to be involved in accidental shootings, homicides, or suicide attempts. For every one time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were 4 unintentional shootings, 7 criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.”

It is time to call this what it is and it is time to name the problem.  Mass shootings in America are an epidemic and guns are the problem.  It is time to take some action towards remedy.  The fact is that guns kill people.  And it is further true that people kill people with guns.

We need to make a change.  We need to do something different.  There has to be a better way.

Call your Congressperson: (212) 224-3121.