Saturday, July 28, 2012
Aurora: My Thoughts
My brother and I were both born in Aurora, Colorado. At the time of our births, my dad was working as a cook at Aurora General Hospital, where some of the victims of this recent shooting spree were taken. My cousin currently works at the movie theatre where the shooting took place. He was unharmed.
More so than other shootings, this one has hit me a little closer to home.
I haven’t said much on the subject. In fact, I haven’t said anything at all. It certainly makes it exceptionally unnerving to be so familiar with the location where this kind of tragedy took place, but anytime something like this happens, it always causes some internal stress and pain.
My knee jerk response is to tell people, “See? Now can you understand why I don’t want kids?” But deep down, that’s not how I really feel.
I don’t usually write about things like this, but all week I’ve been hearing about what we need to do as a country to prevent something like this from happening again. It seems like the two most popular ideas are gun control and more police presence.
Cops? At the movie theatre? Please...
The gun control “solution” is what has inspired me to write this. This is, and will continue to be, an ongoing issue in our country. Those who love their guns will never give them up and those who hate guns will never stop fighting to take them. For what it’s worth, I am throwing in my two cents as someone who actually straddles this line.
I hate guns. They make me uncomfortable. I don’t like being in a house where I know guns are present. I don’t like the idea of going to the shooting range. Just seeing a gun in person makes my palms sweat and my heart race. No, I am not a fan.
So, one would logically think that I believe gun control laws should be enforced, right? We should not allow civilians to have guns in their home, right? We should make it impossible for John Smith to purchase a gun and/or ammo at his local gun store, right?
If there was one thing that will stick with me in the time I spent with Rob, it is being reminded of the respect I have, as an American, for my constitutional rights. Whether I “like” it or not, whether I’m “comfortable” with it or not, we determined, while building this country, that we would allow our citizens the right to bear arms. Our country was founded on these kind of freedoms. I get pissed off when people tell me I’m not allowed to say something because my constitutional right says I can. I become livid when Christianity is forced down my throat because it is my constitutional right to believe whatever I want.
It’s not any different with guns. Just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean I think they should be taken away from those who want them for security reasons, as a hobby or just because they think guns are cool. Disagreeing with how they feel is also my right. But that doesn’t mean we should take them away.
Why do you think Prohibition was such a fucking disaster. It’s like buying a child a toy, letting them play with it for an hour and then taking it away, saying they are never allowed to play with it again.
Which segues perfectly into my point of this blog.
Gun control is not the answer to what James Holmes did in Aurora. More police presence is not the answer. Holmes, McVeigh, Columbine, on and on... in my opinion there is one simple solution that no one wants to look at.
I don’t believe that people are born evil. I don’t believe people are born good. I believe that people are born blank. I believe that it is our primary influences between the ages of two and six that really shape who we are going to be as humans. Most of the time, these influences are our parents. It is their responsibility to take raising us as the most serious job on earth. Children cannot be an afterthought. They cannot be raised by television, video games or Twilight novels. They must be actively engaged with what is good and bad, right and wrong, true and false one hundred percent of the time. What we are teaching our children will be directly reflected in their actions during times of sadness, depression and anger.
Take me for example. I’m not a happy person. I’m just not. I have too many frustrations with the world, how people treat each other, how our government operates, the liars, the con-artists, the rapists, the pedophiles, the drowners of kittens. I hate that the world is built off of power and greed instead of honesty and love. I hate that people pop out kids so they can collect more money from the government or because they want a doll to play with.
Even with all the beauty in the world and all the good that is out there, it doesn’t satisfy me enough, knowing that someone is beating their son right now and some other child is starving because their mom decided to spend her government money on Meth. I even hate myself that I am giving away my cat because I don’t have the patience to deal with her needs. People don’t think before they act and the generations that follow not only learn that same behavior, they have to deal with the mess we left too.
Do you honestly believe things will get better before they get worse? If so, take a good look around you.
I’m off point... what I’m trying to say is that I’m not always happy. In fact, I go through periods where I’m sure ten out of ten doctors would put me on an antidepressant. As a teenager, I felt angst. I was made fun of at school. I felt awkward and strange and alone. I didn’t feel close to my family, my brother was a bit of a bully and my best friend slept with my boyfriend. I was a pissed off little girl as well.
The difference? I didn’t walk into a theatre dressed as a madman and shoot a bunch of innocent people.
It would be impossible to convince me that James Holmes grew up in a loving, caring, open and honest home. It would be hard for me to believe that his parents kept him engaged in sports, activities and social events that taught him compassion and love for others. You can’t make me think that he walked down the street as a little boy and hugged a fire hydrant because his sweet nature that was being instilled by his parents told him it was the right thing to do.
My parents did nothing but love and support me. Always. Even when I was being the shittiest of a little shit and bending over backwards to piss them off. They never turned their back on me, they never put me down, they never let me truly believe I was the piece of crap that I wanted to think I was. They were home all the time, they kept both of us active in social activities and supported us in school.
Does that make us perfect people? Of course not. Even with our primary influences being impeccable in their moral teachings, we have the rest of the world to deal with. And these days, it’s more difficult than ever to be bigger than the media. To be bigger than our sports heroes that fall from grace. To be bigger than violent video games. To be bigger than evil, lying politicians.
But we have to be. If we choose to be parents, this is something that can absolutely NOT be compromised.
I hate guns because they remind me of my own mortality. I don’t like being faced with the things I haven’t completed in life yet. It’s uncomfortable to think of how quickly things can change and how short life is. When I look at a gun, these are the thoughts that go through my mind. But don’t you dare take away this constitutional right that so many people take comfort in. If you don’t like guns, do what I should do and educate yourself. Educate your children. Take them shooting one time so they don’t have to wonder what a gun feels like in their hands.
Because I absolutely promise you, it’s not access to guns that make people want to kill other people. It’s the poor job you did as a parent to convince them that life is worth it.
Disagree? Don’t get mad. Go play with your kids.
Posted by Tina V at 12:14 PM