Monday, August 6, 2012


A vigil in Wisconsin (Chicago Tribune)
Today, as I drove my partner to work, I heard the news. Another mass shooting using semi automatic weapons, this time targeting worshippers in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. This, of course, follows the news of the Aurora, CO shooting in a movie theater, and the gun death of a friend's son recently.

In the wake of what happened in Aurora, I have gotten into futile debates with my partner's relatives (who happen to be Fox-News-watching, gun-toting people) about guns a lot lately. They believe if everyone were allowed to conceal carry their gun, violence would diminish. They believe semi-automatic weapons should be legal. This of course, defies logic, but no one who watches Fox News watches it for logic or statistics.* News flash: Wisconsin has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country and had passed a law in 2011 allowing citizens to carry a concealed weapon. This kind of law allowed a 40 year old white man to travel to the temple undetected and start firing on worshippers and kill some of them before anything could be done.

If concealed carry was legal in Aurora, it would not have saved the people that died, it may have even made the death toll worse in that dark theater, vision further obscured by a gas canister, released by the gunman. The people that argue that point befuddle me. If people are going to commit acts of terrorism, access to weapons of mass killing only helps them. It harms everyone else. Concealed carry laws and access to semi automatic weapons only allow people like George Zimmerman and James Holmes to kill innocent people.

Vigil, photo from Chicago Tribune.
I say this: If you are going to carry a gun, I believe it should be on the outside of your clothes, where everyone can see it. You should have to broadcast that you see violence as a solution to your problems and that you are a potential lethal threat to others. You should have to put one of those car magnet signs on the outside of your car that you are packing heat at that moment.  No one should be able to legally ambush another person.

My heart goes out to the victims of gun violence today: my new friend, whom I ran into at the bookstore yesterday. Her eyes were red from crying as she watched her youngest kids (my son's new friends) play with the train sets before they headed to a movie. "I am just trying to get out and do normal things." she told me. Her grief is palpable and the hole in her heart is visible from the outside. After I met her kids a couple weeks ago, I sought her out and visited her. We became friends and I am hosting them all for dinner this week. After a month of making funeral arrangements and working on gun control efforts around the state, she is left with an open schedule and lots of unprocessed grief. She needs people to be kind to her now more than ever.

Victims being escorted out of the temple, Chicago Tribune.
My heart mourns for the Sikh community in Wisconsin and nationwide, whom are probably wondering why they were targeted (and perhaps speculating, as I am, that they were once again mistaken for Muslims and this was a hate motivated crime**. Some witnesses said he had a 9/11 tattoo, marking the September 11, 2001 attacks by Islamic militants). My pryers today are with the families of the Sikhs who died and the ones traumatized by this attack.

My heart mourns for the victims of the Aurora, CO shooting as well. This senseless violence needs to stop. I am sick to death of gun nuts (and if you own more than a couple guns, I define you this way) telling us MORE guns are the answer to gun violence. I am heartsick today.

The only way to stop these attacks is stop allowing access to weapons that are only designed to kill people. (I say that for civilians, police (who ill more innocent people daily than the crazed mass murderers mentioned above), the military, and everyone. Semi-automatic weapons are a coward's weapon. It allows a safe distance from which to mow people down without regard to their life and their divine spark. It amplifies the disconnection that one must feel to make them capable of murder. It allows a murderer to not see the anguish they inflict as they kill.

                               Forgive the ranting today. I needed to vent.

*You watch that right-wing drivel because it tells you what you want to hear. It confirms your prejudices and places blame for you in a convenient, bigoted place. Why is it that everyone I know who uses Fox News and right-wing radio as their main news sources are incapable of anything more than mimicking the soundbites that they provide? When I engage in debate I seek sources, analyze facts, and have something more to offer than a catchphrase to defend my position. Sheeple make me angry when they choose to remain ignorant.

** Thank you, Jeff Dunham, you racist piece of shit for helping confuse uneducated America that terrorists wear turbans. Your "comedy" is little more than bigotry with puppets. You are a national disgrace. (

Sikhs wear turbans, Muslim men do not need to wear a head covering). And there have been more acts of terrorism committed by white men in this country than any other race. Religion, when it is true, connects people. No religion that preaches hate is a religion in truth. It is extremism and fundamentalism, regardless of the religious clothing that it wears that is at issue here.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I’ve been reading your blog and following you for quite a while on Facebook.
    I just wanted to say that I TOTALLY agree with this post.
    The so called “right” to carry weapon in is strange and scary for people like me. I’m french and living in the US for quite a long time now but I don’t get it.
    Beside that the aspect of intolerance and ignorance of other cultures is something that I have unfortunately experienced often here in the States.
    I’m not saying that people in Europe are better, not racist, blablabla... I’m just saying that in school we have to learn very seriously about history and cultures of different countries and maybe we are aware of things better.
    I’m always surprised and shocked by the lack of knowledge of american people when it comes to world history and even cultures. And how many times I got very annoyed by the prejudices I’ ve heard about immigrants and other cultures and especially like mine, french, when grown-up people asked me things , I thought even a 1st grader would not! lol!
    Anyway, maybe because since 1905 in France, state and church are legally separated we don’t have that sort of “religious” problem anymore. Even though France is supposed to be “catholic” mostly, we are a secular society especially when it comes to social rights and women rights, and religious beliefs are private matters and certainly not “in your face” like here in America.
    That’s why I’m getting really worried about the next election when I see and read/a candidate questioning religious freedom , beside the “christian one” , (for a mormon it’s simply weird, right?!) and especially women rights.
    Again I really liked your post and I love reading you!
    Have a good day!
    Blessed be!


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