It was mid evening here in South Africa when I picked up my cellphone and began reading the status updates on facebook. My condolences go out to the parents in Connecticut – read one. What did this person mean by my condolences. I switched over to twitter – the world that never sleeps and type in a word search for #connecticut. OMG – my heart began pounding as I read more and more. My hubby came through to the living room having just put our baby to bed. Turn on CNN quick, something really terrible has happened at an elementary school in America.
We both sat glued to the telly. Utter disbelief. This is just surreal. Say it isn’t so. I just broke down in tears. We have a 6-year-old. 2006 babies, like our son. As the reports came in, you watched the parents arriving knowing not all were going to leave with their children. The death toll rising, hero teachers and so the reports trickled in. My hubby sat on his twitter while in front of the telly. Twitter if far more informative and accurate compared to the news broadcasters in my opinion.
I couldn’t sleep. It was late at this stage in South Africa. President Obama came on to address the media and I cried even more as he spoke or tried to. I had so many thoughts running through my head – the talk turned to the NRA and their silence. Focus not only on Sandy Hook but previous school shootings, malls, cinemas and the list continues. I thought quietly to myself, Americans are not only targets outside of America (Benghazi and more) but they are also targets among themselves. I don’t know much about the gun laws there but I can say this much: It is a mind-blow at how easy it is to walk into a store and purchase a glock, semi-automatic weapon and much more. The reports of gun sales increased after the Sandy Hook tragedy Shocking !!! The mentality to go out and purchase a weapon for ‘protection’. The comments good guns can stop bad guns. I still ask myself why the heck did a school teacher feel the need to house so many weapons to begin with (the gun mans mother). The NRA’s lack to scrutinise the characteristics and competency of a potential gun owner.
Part of me thinks – YOU, the American public empower the NRA by giving them the sales. What process, if any, is followed when purchasing such weapons. In my so called ‘third world’ country – obtaining a legal weapon of such calibre is not an easy task. Psychological tests, competency tests, written test and more are required before you are even considered for such a purchase – and a very strong record kept as to what weapon you own.
We have never experienced such shootings as America within schools, cinemas etc. I’m not saying gun violence doesn’t exist here – I’m saying, not by most registered gun owners and never in such a manner to my knowledge. I count my blessings – for now. I was dumbfounded by the NRA’s comment to put armed officers outside of every school in America. I mean – would that apply to every cinema, corporate, public or tourist building throughout the US too? I don’t understand that logic! They say in South Africa – you are more lightly to be hurt or murdered with your own gun, if you have one – than not.
My brother has a few guns. Having grown up in Zimbabwe during a civil war – learning to respect and be responsible with a glock or shotgun came standard under the circumstances. Personally I fear guns. I have been to the shooting range with my brother. I have pulled the trigger a few times on a 9mm and a shot gun and know all too well just how powerful such weapons are. Imagine a semi- automatic weapon or fully automatic weapon. It doesn’t take a genius to know to remove the pin on such guns. I have never returned to the shooting range, I just didn’t like it. I left with a better understanding and respect for guns though. The movies make pulling a trigger look all ‘cool’ , easy and quiet frankly – glamorous. Well it’s not. Ten days later I read on twitter how firemen in a town close to New York were lured to a house on fire as a trap where they were met by a gunman killing two of them. Sad. I know the gun sales make huge revenue and changing things like laws, mentality and perceptions won’t be easy. But something needs to be changed for a safer america.
Words fail me as I think so often of the lives lost at Sandy Hook. The grief and pain of those parents is inconceivable. No words can comfort them so I pray daily. The beautiful teachers left an imprint on my heart, they loved those little ones and their self-sacrificing actions spoke volumes. Rest in peace beautiful souls. I will remember you. This is my song for all americans who feel strongly about gun law change. . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbkOZTSvrHs – You are the voice.
May God Bless America.