I've spent this week in a constant state of distress. I'm not even sure how to put any of this into words. It's not like I didn't know what type of violence we're capable of. I read the news. I see what goes on in the world. I try to step out of our America-centric media sphere and get an inkling of what goes on outside of our hemisphere.
I think it all started with the Israeli/Palestine conflict, or, I guess I should say, increase in conflict. Days of bombings on both sides, children dead, communities torn apart. I'm always amazed by how much death is justified by faith. If there is a God, I imagine He's just rocking in a corner, mystified and horrified by what He created.
The violence that happened in the US recently is an eye opener to us, but in too many countries it's the status quo. In too many places mothers can never be sure if their children are going to come home. We send our own kids and brothers, sisters, wives and husbands, moms and dads, to fight wars that we never agreed to, or don't understand the real causes for. I feel for every parent in Afghanistan who's just trying to have a life and raise a family, and never agreed to be the centerpiece for a bloody battle over....do we even remember any more?
I read posts from people about how the Bill of Rights guarantees their right to bear arms, to let anyone who wants to buy an automatic weapon have one, that they need these weapons to "protect their families". Where the fuck do you live, Somalia? Where in America do you need to fire 30 rounds to keep your family safe? Either fucking move or improve your marksmanship.
And here's the fun thing about the Bill of Rights and Constitution. They don't give you the right to do whatever you want. And if you think you'll ever have to rise up against a "tyrannical government", I advise you to look into the US defense budget and ask yourself if your guns are even going to help you if that happened.
WHICH IT WON'T BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT.
So that's a lot of bitching from me, maybe I should try to offer some answers. I don't know though. I know more guns aren't it. I know armored backpacks aren't it. If I have to send my kid off to school packing a side arm and a bulletproof vest, then we've already lost any freedom I could have hoped to give him.
I have had some rays of hope this past week. Ben told me about a teacher in Rockingham, a football coach, who requires his players to spend time in the class the coach teaches. This class is for profoundly disabled students. This coach has brought kids into that life, and shared his classroom with them, and has created a new norm. I read about a quarterback who looked out for a disabled student who was getting bullied. I read about teachers who gave their lives to protect their kids. I saw kids in Islamic countries holding signs that their God doesn't condone violence. Because it's our God too.
We have so much potential. I want to have faith that we'll realize it, and not spiral into oblivion.
This might have not been the best post for the theoretical end of the Mayan calendar, but perhaps it really is the end of a cycle, and the start of a new life where we value our children-not just the ones we bring into the world, but the ones who will run our world.
End late night rant.