This isn’t happening—a man shoots into a crowd killing six and wounding 18 innocent people, one a US Congresswoman, on a Saturday morning, in the bright sunshine of Tucson, Arizona.
Happy New Year.
I was going to write about balance. In the new year. You know, avoid going overboard with resolutions like exercise, dieting, decluttering—all the things that are hip to do just because the number changed from a 10 to an 11.
But all I can think about today is mental balance. So necessary. It’s actually called sanity.
But watching four film trailers on the same Saturday as the Tucson killings, my mental stasis was overcome by the abject violence that each film threw against the screen. Bodies twisting and flailing, dropping and exploding, valleys of blood before my eyes, weapons everywhere. And not one voice that came through all the booming and the clanging to say: ENOUGH!
The lights go up eventually (the feature TRUE GRIT was somewhat violent) and your eyes adjust back to reality and you stumble a little down the theatre steps, your ears ringing. Entertainment? A sneaky, insidious mental change agent. And we think: This is okay. This is normal. This is part of the way things are. Or we blithely tell ourselves–this is just fiction! A story. It’s not happening.
But in some writer and director and actor’s minds it’s a kind of reality. They spend hours concocting such putrid stuff. For greed? Or to just throw up bread and circuses for the crowd.
Damn, I wish I could have shouted out in that theatre during those trailers ENOUGH, shut it off. No more violence for 5 minutes please. Give me, give our culture some balance.
Of course I might be thrown out of the theatre, subjected to a lot of stares. Someone might cry out that I need a psych consult.
WELL SOMEBODY DOES! In Iowa and Arizona I can pack a gun, just like the guys on the screen. Whether I am in balance or not, I can buy a gun and lots of ammo. I can go overboard. I can declutter a room of human beings, exercise my 2nd amendment rights, make a resolution to protect myself from whatever!
This isn’t happening. A steady diet of guns and more guns.
Yes it is. In many states in America our right to bear arms could lead to the death of my grandchildren or my children or my neighbor or me.
Right at this moment I don’t know what to do about it. Possibly: vote correctly. Pray. Be informed.
Join me. And Happy New Year.