Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough To Make Me Go Home

Noah Posner, died, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Noah Posner, died, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

I don’t recognize the country I left eight years ago.

I don’t recognize my home.

When I left, I never feared being shot over a parking spot or of my life ending in a pool of bloody popcorn kernels while watching a blockbuster onscreen. I didn’t have nightmares of my children being gunned down at school, brain matter spattered like so much chalk dust on the floor.

I didn’t think about having to raise my kids in a country where the unfortunate killing of a gorilla elicits more of a call for change than that of the slaughter of fifty human lives.

Home to me was never the right to buy and own an assault weapon, a weapon of mass destruction and killing power, a right which is fought and politicized more than the right to have the inevitable bullet wounds from those weapons stitched back together.

Home was never a place of such irony, where shouts for better mental health awareness and treatment are voiced as a means to curb mass shootings, but the outcry over a health care system to pay for those things is even louder.

Home was a country fifty years past desegregation, not a place when social segregation and demonization were once again being put forth as viable answers.

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, died Aurora, Colorado
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, died Aurora, Colorado

When I left, home was a country on the brink of electing its first black president, not a country on the verge of electing one who brags about the size of his penis, who spews hate, who objectifies women and thinks that calling a sitting United States senator “Goofy” is the way to make a country great again.

When I left home was still  looking to learn from the nightmare of September 11, not collectively failing to learn from Newtown, San Bernadino, Lafayette, Charleston, or Binghamton, a country so afraid of protecting itself against what could happen, it is completely blind to what is actually happening.

Home was not a place where the right to kill superseded the right to live.

Eight years ago my home was not a country shored up on thoughts and prayers, because thoughts and prayers? They mean fuck all when you’re counting bodies.

Home may no longer want me. Home may tell me to stay where I am, good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Marci Breaux and Jillian Johnson, died Lafayette, Louisiana
Marci Breaux and Jillian Johnson, died Lafayette, Louisiana

But I’ll tell you something. I am exactly the type of person my home needs. I, and the folks who think like me, the ones who teach your children, who look after your health, who research the way to cure your diseases. The ones who understand the benefit in paying taxes, of investing in infrastructure and health care and education, in inclusiveness, of compromise and equality, who are willing to stand up for all, not just a few.

Just like eight years ago, home is poised on the brink of another election, another historic possibility. An election which will set the tone not only for the next four years, but for the next generation, if they last that long.

I hope the choice is one which helps welcome me home again.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough To Make Me Go Home

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. I want to come back, I really do, but sometimes when I look at what’s going on…I don’t know. Other times I’m bolstered by the progress the US has made, but some days. Man, I tell you. It’s hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I made an innoculous comment about calling the AR-15 an assault rifle on my Facebook page and the next thing I know my page has been highjacked by a bunch of idiots who want more guns to protect them from all the guns out there…paranoia is the mental illness we need to be treating in the good old USA. I’m traveling to Europe this summer and have had a number of people ask me if I think it is safe…40,000 Americans are killed by guns each year, I think I’ll be okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The levels of denial and willing suspension of disbelief have reached astounding proportions, haven’t they? It’s never the gun, is it? It’s mental illness. It’s terrorism. It’s hate. It’s radical Islam. It’s crime of passion. It’s a bad guy. It’s the fucking gun. How much clearer does it need to be? You’ll be fine here. Enjoy the sanity while you can. Oh, and it’s nice to see you back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe if we elect a Democratic president and win Congress back, just maybe we can implement some sensible gun laws, but no one can legislate what’s in people’s hearts. I have little hope in that area. Stay where you are and consider yourself fortunate. Sadly, it’s not looking good over here,my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s like one step forward, eight steps back. I vacillate (quite wildly some days) between belief that the American people will do the right thing in the end, but then I think ‘where IS the end’? I mean if the senseless murder of twenty something first graders isn’t the end, what is?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are a lot of “worst things” about all these mass killings. But the one that chills me the most is that it is now a calculated risk — AND WE KNOW THAT AND DEAL WITH IT LIKE IT’S NORMAL. Like when you cross a street, you know that some asshole may come barrelling down the road, you know that when you go to the mall, to the movies, to wherever, some idiot may come barrelling out with both barrels blazing.

    What a stupid situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know. I read an article by someone trying to explain why the US had so many mass shootings and he ended with something along of the lines of “the upside is the Americans are better prepared for this sort of thing than other countries, which could well cut down on the number of deaths and other countries would be wise to look to us for preparedness training.” WTF??? Really?? That’s what you take from this? How about NO ONE ELSE WORRIES ABOUT THIS BECAUS THEY HAVE COMMON SENSE GUN LAWS AND ORDINARY CITIZENS AREN’T ALLOWED TO CARRY MILITARY GRADE WEAPONS. Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

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D.E. Haggerty

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