It’s 1 a.m. and I’m sleepless. Guns, gun violence, murders, and political, social and religious support for guns deny me some sleep. Perhaps even my rest.
Do you remember the shooting of those 20 kids in that classroom? Sort of, eh? Details are faint. The horror is as distant as the date. That shooting in the movie theater? Did the jury send him to the electric chair? I don’t know.
The two reporters murdered during a live TV broadcast? The recorded video is the hell in my eyes right now. I see the video running in my head. The gun is pointed. It fires. The blond woman sort of jumps and jerks. The sound track screams. The scream suddenly interrupted by the next bullet crushing through her skin. The first scream is interrupted by the second bullet as that bullet rips the air from her lungs in another scream. And, the video repeats this pattern. The sound track screams and screams until it is cut.
I feel like I was there. This live video bit of horror marked me forever. And yet, I knew there would be another shooting. Any day. Any moment. Just like the screaming woman, our society can’t avoid the hail of death.
And, yet, what did we do? Nothing. Except for those with a religious or political agenda. That is, if there is a difference anymore between religion and gun politics.
So while I can’t sleep, I’m reading what others are saying about the latest shooting, hoping to find some comforting words, something to make the horrors distant again. But their words make the horrors real again. Not the images of the shootings. The certainty, the absolute certainty that more innocent lives will end as metal slugs slam though human flesh.
Among all the words I’ve read in support of more guns, I found a writer talking of our “sacred civil scripture,” the Constitution, and how it describes our right to have guns. The words built a clear path to a safe society: We must kill those who might kill us before they do kill us.
Who will make that decision as to who might be plotting against us? Those who have access to a “higher scripture than that we have written?” How can I sleep tonight when a gun nut hugs the U.S. Constitution, calls it a sacred scripture and says, our national disgrace can only be stopped when we eliminate those guilty of having a “dark heart?”
Michael W. Parker