There are so many problems in this country that one doesn’t know where to start. But sometimes things are brought into laser focus. A pair of mass shootings in one day will do that, one at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, the other in downtown Dayton, Ohio. This ended the same week as another shooting at a festival in Gilroy, California and another Wal-Mart in Southaven, Mississippi. Nearly 40 people are dead and nearly 70 people are injured after this week’s shootings.
It all seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? You start to think you could be shot for no reason simply because you were in public doing what you were out to do, going about the business of your day. You went to Wal-Mart (I know it is Walmart now, but I’m old school and it will always be Wal-Mart to me) or the movies or a festival or anywhere people congregate. You’ve been told that the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots but you didn’t take that to mean innocent people.
Some people (like Greg Abbott, governor of Texas) believe mass shootings happen because America has a mental health problem. And believe it or not, he is right but not in the way he intended. Because when you have white nationalists who feel like the United States is under threat of falling under sharia law, that is fucking crazy. When white nationalists believe that America on the verge of white genocide, that is fucking crazy. When a subsection of the internet believes that Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza place in Washington, D.C., that is fucking crazy.
These people are crazy enough to try something. We’ve seen it over and over again. Somebody brought a shotgun to that pizza place in order to rescue the child sex slaves. We’ve seen a man attempt to mail bombs to real and imagined opponents of Donald Trump: CNN, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and at least dozen other people and entities. So yeah, there is a mental health problem because no sane person would believe this stuff in the first place. There are a lot of crazy people who are willing to attempt crazy things because they want to fight for. . . Trump? The white race? Who can tell?
But crazy, racist conspiracy theories cannot kill people by themselves. You need weapons for that and heavy duty ones too. And that is something we should stop. Because fixing the mental health of this nation would take a long, long time and there’s no guarantee. But the gun problem? That would still be hard but it would be easier.
I want you to think about what happened recently in Puerto Rico. The governor was just forced to resign because the public protested for ONE week. Do you know what he did? He was in a vulgar group chat with members of his cabinet. They mocked their political opponents. They joked about the fatalities in Hurricane Maria. This all came out LAST MONTH. Literally less than a month ago.
A half-million people flooded the streets on July 17. Within a few days there were a million protesters, enough to block all eleven lanes of the PR-18 freeway. The P.R. House of Representatives considered impeachment and on July 24, the governor announced his resignation. It took ONE WEEK to make the Puerto Rico governor resign, all over his comments in a group chat.
Now think about all the wretched shit that our leaders have done. And how little we hold them accountable. A million Puerto Ricans outside the governor’s mansion calling for his job.
Son of a bitch, I wish we were like that. I wish we gave enough of a damn to stop what we were doing to protest ANYTHING until we got what we wanted. On any issue. We’ve been complaining for years and years about this gun issue. We have the numbers. We know people are fed up with this shit. We want some sort of national gun control. We want a solution. We want our elected officials to do something about it. We just. . . we can’t fix it in a weekend or with a vigil that lasts a few hours. They won’t let us.
We just have to go to Washington. We have to stay there until they do something. We have to put ourselves on the line. Block the roads. Stop traffic. Shut down as much of the city as you can. Bring everything to its knees until you get what you need. It’s not easy. Otherwise you’re just propping up the system that you could uproot and change if only you took the time to protest.
You know it’s over ten hours from where I live to the White House? That’s a long way. I don’t have air conditioning in my car. Could I make it that far? Could my car make it? I don’t know. Maybe I could share a ride. How much am I willing to inconvenience myself to try to make things better, before I even get to the place where I want to protest? I want gun control. I want Medicare for All. I want a national living wage. I want our nation’s elections protected. I want the families out of the cages at the border. I want all of it and more.
This makes me realize that Puerto Rico will never be granted statehood because the people of Puerto Rico care too much about how their government is run and that is too much of a threat to the rest of this shithole country.