Yesterday was a day full of emotions. I started the day angry after reading all the comments about the new Miss America. For those of you who missed it, the newest Miss America is Indian-American. And gorgeous, but that’s a given with a beauty pageant. There were thousands of incredibly racist comments made about her following her win. It was so extensive that the press picked up on it and wrote articles about the vitriol being spewed. People went so far as to say that Al Qaeda had just managed to infiltrate our beauty pageants. Which, obviously, makes no sense. But hey, no one ever said that hateful racists were all geniuses. (Sadly, I’m sure some of them are.)
And then, obviously, the shooting at Washington Navy Yard. As of this writing, 13 people have died. I’m not sure if that number includes the shooter or not – the reports are conflicting.
I’m obviously sad and horrified, but I’m also angry. I’m angry that this happened. If the reports are true and this man requested mental health support from the VA and didn’t receive it, I’m angry for him. I’m angry that he managed to get an assault rifle. I’m angry that he then got it into a supposedly secure office and started shooting people at random.
Let’s be honest, we Americans are often arrogant. Even when we hate our country for political reasons, we really do love being Americans. And our country is pretty great. But how do we let things like this happen? This shouldn’t happen in a civilized country.
The news has been saying that this is the worst mass shooting in the country since the events at Sandy Hook. That was just last December! Hey, congrats, America. You made it 9 months before trumping your last gun-related massacre.
I don’t want to get into a debate about gun control. I grew up in an area where hunting was prevalent. I have no issue with hunting rifles. Handguns… I don’t particularly like them, but I understand why people want to have them, and I’m not going to argue that. However. Assault rifles? Why in the world does anyone need an assault rifle? A gun like that is simply designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Clearly, you’re not going to use it for hunting. Protection? How many people are invading your house? A whole hoard of zombies?
I don’t know the details here. I don’t know if this man owned this weapon legally. But I don’t understand why anyone can legally own that type of weapon. I seriously don’t get it. I would love if someone could explain it to me. And I’m being honest here – I would very much appreciate a well-reasoned argument. I may not agree with you, but as of yet, I’ve not heard an argument that makes sense. And don’t give me the slippery slope argument. I don’t buy it.
I work in a secure building in Washington, D.C. Every day, I swipe my badge to get into the garage, then show my badge to get into the office proper. I go through a magnetometer and my bags are x-rayed. It’s just how it is. This morning, there were added police officers at the entrance to the garage and the front door of the building. While I am thankful for their work, I hate that they have to protect us from ourselves.
So yesterday was a day full of anger. Today, as I read the names of those who died and listened to the reports of those still in the hospital, that anger turned to sadness. All those people who simply went to work on a beautiful Monday morning. From what I understand, many were shot while headed to grab breakfast or coffee with coworkers. Recapping their weekends. Getting ready for the work in the week ahead. And now their families are planning funerals.
There really are no words.