Friday, December 14, 2012

How I Really Feel

This is my grandson. I took this photo of him last year at Christmas. He was trying to look silly. That's what five-year-old boys do.

Can you imagine the mind of someone who would walk into a room full of five-year-olds and shoot them?

How many people have actually seen the damage a gunshot does? Years ago, on a chukar hunting trip, I thought it would be a good idea to impress on my 7-year-old son the damage a gun did to a living thing. The hunting ground around Winnemucca, Nevada, was abound with jackrabbits, generally considered pests. 

I fired a 12-guage shot at a jackrabbit. It was blown in pretty much two pieces, both still quivering with vestiges of life, its purplish innards spilling out on either side. I immediately regretted what I'd done, and the look on Jeremy's face bore out my feelings.

And I never served in combat and had to shoot somebody. Have you ever put your arm around a veteran just to tell her or him that you care?

Living things that get shot don't just close their eyes and fall over. They usually get dismembered to a degree, with blood and bits of organs splattering all around. And some craven son-of-a-bitch did that to twenty children roughly the age of my grandson in Newtown, Connecticut. He looked them in the eye and did it, over and over.

If I had an immediate regret, it was that this miserable excuse of a human being wasn't still alive so I could personally rip his limbs from his torso and feed his organs to mongrel dogs. But an even greater regret is that this happens too many times in America, and the response is to pretty much just go shopping.

And a greater regret--no, not greater, just sometimes deafening White Noise--is the amount of dismembering death witnessed by, say, Syrian children, Palestinian children, Rwandan children, and many, many children and moms and dads all over the world.

What have I done to stop it? Precious little. March in demonstrations. Vote for Obama. Write letters to the editor. Wear sunscreen and consume Omega 3 fatty acids, sing Pete Seeger songs. 

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. People: This has to stop. What're you gonna do?

What am I gonna do?

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