I get sick when I log onto Facebook. My entire feed is riddled with opinions, articles and statements about gun control. I can’t read them. I’m just so sick of it. Moreover, I’m very angry.
I don’t know why this is still an issue. I want so badly to grab every member of the NRA and scream in their face. I want so badly to take every politician who voted against gun control and show them what the absence of gun control does. I’m not talking about news articles or crime scenes. I want to bring them home with me during Christmas… where my church is full of old ladies wearing green ribbons. Where there’s a soft and sad kindness amongst everyone. Where one of the happiest seasons of the year will always be a little quieter… a little more reflective.
I want to bring them to Union Park on December 15th, 2012 and I’d love for them to stand next to my brother and me. I’d love for them to be with us as we found ourselves in a mix of Connecticut transplants and Chicago natives grieving the lives of children lost to gun violence. Holding candles in the rain, standing tall in a community of people that we never wanted to be a part of. Sharing a common sadness upon realizing that these things can, indeed, happen in your neighborhood.
I would love to personally invite every single politician who stands against gun control to my apartment. I would love for them to see the issue through my eyes. I would love for them to be sitting at their desk on a seemingly normal Friday morning when a news alert pops up saying that there was a shooting at a school the next town over. For them to count the ages of their past campers in their heads… trying to figure out whether or not they aged out of that school yet. I want them to dread looking at the list of names, praying that no one you know is on it. I want them to feel the guilt associated with being relived at the expense of someone else’s grief. Feeling relieved that none of your kids were killed, that it didn’t happen ten miles away where every teacher who shaped you into who you are today is in lockdown, that your friends who teach in that town found a job at a different school. Then I want them to have the burden of guilt for feeling relief since not everyone was as lucky. I want them to feel the guilt of being an asshole to their assistant principal who was murdered trying to save her students. I want them to feel the pit in their stomach when their mom tells them about how awful hearing the sirens from the hospital across the street was. I want them to understand what it’s like to truly be sick from the news. To practice celibacy of news… swearing off every broadcast because it literally makes you sick. I want them to feel guilty for being relieved that kids they loved were spared while ones they knew were not – as if one life matters more than others, for sleepless nights, for replaying the scene in your head over and over again because your grief is nothing compared to those who lost loved ones & lived in that town.
But most of all, I don’t want them to feel any of it. Because I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst enemy and because I just want it to be over. For the guns to be gone. For no one ever to feel this way again.
I rarely write about my experience with 12/14 because I hate reading articles about it. I think that they’re usually written to be sexy – to bring in followers because you know that it’s a hot topic. Or written by people who want to feel connected to tragedy. But I realized that remaining silent about my feelings about this isn’t going to push anything forward. As someone who grew up in the town next to Newtown and lives in Chicago, I feel obligated to state my raw feelings about this issue. So I’m writing how I feel as a citizen of a city that has a major gun problem. As a previous camp counselor who had the naivety of some kids she cared about stripped away from them. As a current comedian whose first stage she performed on lies in a town that now has a heartbreaking reputation.
My heart breaks for all of the communities recently wounded by gun violence. For everyone on every ring of that grief circle.
But honestly, I’m mostly angry. I’m sick of this and I’m sick of writing this post. I hate talking about this issue because it disgusts me. No one is trying to take your guns away. If you read through this post and think that your freedoms are going to be violated, maybe you should have actually read Obama’s proposal. Tell me where he stepped out of line and I’d be happy to debate this issue with you. I think you’ll have a hard time.