Guns in America

Here’s why I’m pissed:

People are dead. This time it seems like they were college kids at school. Hey America! You want a better life? YOU HAVE TO GO OUT AND GET IT! Go to school! Better yourself!

Yeah, well that’s what they were doing, but you’re not really safe at school. You’re not safe anywhere — well not in America, at least. So what was their crucial mistake for which they paid with their lives?

Suppose you die in a tour bus crash. Well that’s just a damn shame. Everyone will try to figure out what happened. The tour company will suspend service. We will all look at graphics depicting what went wrong as we shake our heads. Your untimely death is a reminder to us all that we need to be good to other people and have a chat with our families from time to time.

Now, suppose you’re shot in the chest while trying to get ready for your Trigonometry exam, or imagine you’re hit in the back of the head as you gather source material for your American Literature paper. This time, your untimely death is another perfect example for people like me to cite without ever hearing you speak or seeing your face. The instantaneous termination of your 21-year project is another opportunity for people like my friend on Facebook to use self-defeating attempts at reason to hypothesize that if only you or your librarian had also been carrying a deadly weapon, you might still be here to finally turn in that paper you’d been stressing over at 10:15 on the 8th, or pull that math grade up to a B before December 18th to see your last few weeks of meeting with a tutor pay off.

I’m also guilty of using your blood as fuel. Except I’m using it in hopes that you’re the last, because sorry sister, it’s too late to save you, so I might as well exploit your murder.

So pardon me for not mentioning that those dozen or so human beings had just purchased Rosetta Stone and could already introduce themselves in Portuguese after only a week, or were waiting for those cleats they bought on Amazon, using the school’s Wi-Fi to track the order, hoping the package arrived before their first slow-pitch softball game on Sunday afternoon (it arrived Friday morning but you were at the morgue). Excuse me for not sending your family a card, but I didn’t know you. Therefore your heart stopping on the floor of the classroom is going to be nothing but a bullet for my anti-guns gun.

Except, that’s not quite right. I do know you. Because just like me, your ankle hurt and you had done a pretty good job of drinking less this summer. Just like me, you saved your bus fare and walked home a few times a week to get some fresh air and exercise. While I was thinking about experimenting with curry, you were thinking about buying a home-brewing kit. You were just like me. You were really just like me.

I got some curry powder. Did you get that brewing kit? No? You passed away instead? You got shot in the head by someone you’d never met? In rural Oregon? Cool. Mind if I use your blood for about four days?

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