Thursday, May 26, 2022

Guns Are The Ultimate "Kitchen Table" Issue

I have been reading a lot this election cycle how Democrats are trying to avoid "social issues" in favor of "kitchen table" issues because that's what their internal polling says or something. And hey, I get that there should be a focus on those issues, like inflation and affordable housing for starters. However, I would argue that guns are the ultimate "kitchen table" issue.

They are because when I got home from work that day I sat down at the table to eat dinner with my family and looked my two fourth-grade daughters right in the eye. Just thinking about how they are the exact same age as the victims is almost too much to bear for me. I contemplate how there are fourth-grade parents in Uvalde whose children will never sit at their kitchen table again, how so many of their kids' friends they have gotten to know are gone forever, too. I have no idea how the survivors are going to carry that pain. 

Our country's insane gun policies mean that a lot of other parents in this country are having the exact same thoughts this evening as they sit down at their own kitchen tables. Protecting our children is the most basic duty parents have, and the sacrifices demanded by the gun Moloch and given freely by our society take that protection out of our hands. And yes, the odds of a school shooting happening in our own school are very low, but there is no way to not contemplate it happening to your own kids because these shootings are so common and completely random. 

The response by Democrats on this issue has been completely pathetic. They hold the House, Senate, and White House, yet have failed to get something passed. The House has taken action, but enough Democratic Senators would rather preserve a procedural rule made to protect slavery than protect our own children. Evidently the filibuster matters, and the safety of our children doesn't. The Senate Majority Leader has talked about making a compromise with Republicans, as if any of them are going to break ranks and turn against the most fervent element of their base. Schumer is just a coward, using this as a convenient excuse to kick the can down the road to the next massacre. At this incredibly fraught moment where action is needed he has called a recess for two weeks.

I have a proposal. We need to make this a very unpleasant vacation for our Senators, Democrat or Republican. They need to hear from us every day. We need to flood their public events and demand action, fill up the voicemails of their local offices, and call them out in public in whatever way that we can. They should not be able to show their faces anywhere without being asked to DO SOMETHING. Beto's recent actions might be a bit theatrical, but at least he shows he really and truly wants to disrupt this completely dysfunctional pattern. I haven't seen a single other Democrat prove that to me. 

I can't get any rest because every waking moment of my day is tortured by the thought that my kids or me (as a teacher) could be next. The faces of the victims in Buffalo and Uvalde haunt me every night when I try to sleep. I keep wondering when the next white supremacist terrorist is going to strike in this nation bathing in hatred and toxic masculinity. If I can't get any rest, these lazy cowards who actually have the power to do something shouldn't get any either. 

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