And this continued inaction is how a government loses its legitimacy
My son was the innocent victim of a random horrific act of gun violence in January 2022. The cycle of outrage and complacency is a special form of torture for Homicide Survivor families. To all unaffected, it’s just another shooting, quickly forgotten; to us, it perpetuates anguish and trauma. Families of gun violence victims are re traumatized daily, making life very painful. Parents are already struggling to get over an out-of-order violent traumatic death - the murder of an innocent child - which is probably one of the most difficult things anyone can ever get through, only to feel like nobody cares. Harrowing doesn’t begin to encompass the depth of despair.
I know this is nihilistic--I feel the same way. I'm going to continue voting, and I'm going to continue with a lot of the efforts I've started and sustained (donating money, protesting when I can), but there are so many things that feel like this to me: Roe v Wade and reproductive rights is another--and so often I feel like all my efforts are just wasted, that they are small, that I am so torn in so many directions.
A thing that has helped me a lot in the past two months, as the news has gotten progressively harder to bear and to know how to do anything about, is shifting my thinking and my goals from changing these terrible things, to focusing on how to hold on to my humanity and how to protect others' humanity, even as our country is dying (and the world). I know this is grim, but it's helped me a lot to shift my focus that way. Whatever coming is bad. I can't stop that. I don't know how we can anymore.
This is basically decline of empire type stuff. The sacrifice of a few dozen innocents a year is something many people in this state are perfectly happy to live with. There’s no change coming because they see nothing that needs changing. They’ll just buy more guns because that’s the knee jerk reaction to anything that happens. More more more guns.
Thank you for writing this, AHP. It’s an awful day and I feel impotent in addition to rage and deep sadness.
I was having a good day, and I saw the news, and I was both horrified and horrifyingly un-surprised, and I just don't know how much more of this I can take. Do I just try to ignore it? Do I let myself feel it? Neither does any good; feeling it removes me of any capacity to function. Yet how do I go back to working on a manuscript about wetlands?
I saw that some Texas Republican had tweeted that they wanted to learn the motivation behind the shooting. I thought: there is no reason that YOU want to know the motivation except so that you can dismiss this as "mental illness" or whatever and just brush the whole thing off as can't be helped, it wasn't guns, that guy was just crazy, nothing we can do about children getting massacred.
Yes, motivation is important when extremely popular TV personalities promote replacement theory, when the internet radicalizes young men, but only if you also wish to do something about those things AND do something about the guns.
But when someone slaughters young children I really don't care why, I want it to STOP ALREADY.
I feel depressed (My depression is depressed). My whole job is to save the live of children (pediatric oncologist). People with access to TERRIFYING WEAPONS keep murdering them. How does one keep keeping on?
First off, I'm a retired teacher from a district in which the majority on the school board is now of that neo-Nazi ilk. I'm not going to expound here about I reacted and felt today when I heard the news, because that's not important in the face of 19 grieving families. Nor do I give a flying f*** about how Mitch McConnel feels, which is all he could speak about when questioned by the press. I don't give a d*** about how Greg Abbot feels. I'm mad as hell that they think their posturing and ideology is more important than children's and teachers' lives. George Carlin is still right: they want you alive until you're born, but after birth you're f***ed. Remember how we pleaded for things to change after Newtown? Laughed off by the NRA and the GOP. Marjorie Stoneman HS? Ditto. Roseburg? Ditto. Here we are in 2022 with ***27*** school shootings so far this year. The GOP lost legitimacy in 2016, and again on January 6th last year. If the Dems can't get something done and the GOP won't step up to the responsibility, then the government has lost legitimacy and deserves to rot.
It won’t solve everything, and may solve very little, but I choose the path of repeated direct action and civil disobedience.
Thank you for giving words to the hopelessness and reminding us that trying the same tactics (voting) will just not be enough. It’s time for more, an upending of the normal.
Thank you for your words when I couldn't find mine. I don't live in Texas; I don't have children; I don't personally know anyone who died in the recent shootings or who lost someone to them. But when I saw today's news, I stopped what I was doing to tell my best friend about it, just to feel like acknowledging it was *something.* Because I truly cannot understand, on a moral level, how this is where we are. How we all keep going under these conditions. And how in the face of this kind of tragedy, we instantly understand both the depths of the horror and that nothing will change. Those thoughts are twined together for me now with each breaking story, and I wish I knew what to do.
I'm really sorry that this keeps happening. It's awful. It takes so long to build a person -- to carry a baby, birth the baby, nurture and nourish and develop the child. And it takes no time at all to take a life. It's not fair and it's not right.
This is exactly what I just wrote to my siblings! I am tired of the minority ruling everything. We need BIG changes to the way we govern. It is broken and has been for a long time.
As always, you’ve captured the despondency of watching this country slide ever faster down this slope to what I can only describe as straight white Christian Nationalism. One thing that continues to enrage me, as you allude to, is none of this should be shocking. They’ve been telegraphing their objective for 40 years and it’s all finally coming to fruition. And there’s been zero substantial opposition. Feeble attempts and nothing with any rigidity to slow or stop this slide. It’s not a surprise and yet, the people who could have actually put up any sort of barrier against it seem absolutely flummoxed, like they cannot believe it’s actually happening. It’s infuriating and insulting and if one more person says “vote harder” I think I’ll launch myself straight into the sun. We did vote hard. What did we get for it?
The system is broken, no doubt. I can't really get my thoughts organized. Listening to people like Fred Guttenberg , Senator Chris Murphy and watching Amanda Gorman raise over 100k in the last few hours for Everytown -- has been "helping".
Voting is just one means of struggle and resistance in a big arena with very high stakes. It is crucial to stop thinking that democracy = voting. The people's power is there to be exercised in many ways if we can get beyond our deep conditioning that voting--in this flawed, thumb-on-the-scale setup we have--is our only means of participating and, especially, of effecting change.
it’s time for a revolution. thank you for writing this--so so tired of being told to vote and pray. We need to think beyond the structures that allows such heinous horrible trauma to affect so so many.