One of my recent raps has the line “the slumbering beast is starting to stir” and nowhere is that more apparent than with the issue of gun control. Some moral center in the public at large slept through Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas and more, but suddenly and unexpectedly, Parkland was the spark that finally caught fire. Perhaps it was the students themselves deciding “Enough” that brought us to the tipping point and one can’t help but wonder what’s taken us so long. But better late than never and though the NRA is following Chuck Norris clutching their policies and shouting “Over our dead body,” indeed it could mean the death of that organization as we know it.
One of the signs I saw in the March for Our Lives Rally today was “I’m a gun owner and I support the 2nd Amendment and I think the NRA has lost its fuckin’ mind!” And truly, if you take one step back from the robotic “2nd Amendment” invocations, why wouldn’t an organization dealing with firearms be dedicated to responsible use of their product? It’s as if doctors started shouting, “No one can tell me to first do no harm!” Well, the answer is the same three words that has caused so much untold and unnecessary suffering in this world—“Follow the money.” Hard to believe they’re making so much more money that I’m sure they don’t need selling assault rifles and feel that the profit is more important than the hundreds of children’s lives lost, but that’s how greed works.
As always, it felt good to be out on the streets with smart, caring, imaginative, concerned fellow citizens, always with a dash of good spirit even in the face of the seriousness of the calamity. A touch of humor helps us move forward even as we grieve. In that spirit, my wife made this sign and got some thumbs up. Similar ones that I saw included:
“The only gun I want in my class is a hot glue gun.”
“I don’t need a gun. Just give me the code to the dang copy machine!”
“When I said I’d rather die than go to math class, I was just kidding.” (Held by a middle schooler).
Let’s hope the momentum continues. And that we may someday return to sharpening pencils, making flash cards and feeding the bunny. It’s not too much to ask.