There's a huge emotional undertow in this community right now. I can certainly understand why; the events that have taken place recently have affected us all greatly. I don't know that we could call ourselves human if they didn't.

This community is my home, perhaps even as much as the place I've chosen to live is my home. The connections of family and community are very much here for me. But there's something really ugly going on in the overreactions of people on all sides of the gun discussion. I've been told by two different people that my life is worth less than others'. I've seen a comment where the author discussed "putting a gun to the heads" of other Kossacks for standing up for what they deem is an important civil liberty. I've seen posts calling other progressives "gun grabbers" and worse (some have even gone full Godwin); I've seen posts accusing other progressives of using their guns for masturbation. I've seen photos of dead children used for political purposes. I've seen recommendations from quite a few that others' civil rights, especially the 4th Amendment, be taken from them becayse of what they believe. I've even seen what feels like front pagers' demonization of particular brands of guns because the Newtown mass murderer of small children used those particular brands.

This s a TTFN, not a GBCW; I have no intention of ever doing the latter. I have never before done the former, either, but I think it's time I did. The demonization of others, the calls for civil rights to be stripped from some (and I'm talking much more about the 1st and 4th Amendments than the 2nd), the accusations flying back and forth, the sickening use of pictures of innocent little murder victims to score points...enough. Enough. I'm not in any RKBA groups, nor do I participate in any significant way in RBA discussions, yet I'm being told that my life isn't worth as much as someone else's. I don't think any progressive should say that to any other person.

I do think I should have a right not to be beaten and raped in my own home again. Please look at the last word in the previous sentence. When you see that, you know deep down that this is no straw man, because it's already happened. I think I have a right not to be subjected to that again, and I don't think saying so makes my life have decreased value.

There needs to be a national conversation on guns, violence, and the things in our culture that lead to violence. I think reasonable steps like renewing the assault weapon ban and banning the manufacture, import, and sale of high-capacity magazines are things that should take place right away. And I think the ugly undertow here is too strong for me; if I stay in it, I'll drown. I need fresh air and still water.

My grief is still too raw. As many here know, we lost three beloved furry family members in six months; I'm still crying because of them just about every day, as the last one walked on two days before Thanksgiving, the 10th anniversary of our first date.  The shooting at a mall last week in Oregon, the horrific slaughter in an elementary school on Friday, and the shooting with over 50 shots fired at a mall yesterday adds to my grief and further tears open a wound in my spirit heart that hasn't had time to heal. I'm not handling any of this well. I need to take a break, to step back for a while, and I can't say how long.

I'll finish up the jam orders and get them out. I'll write the diary series I've started on replacing our state Senator here in Washington as it happens (I posted the first in the series earlier this month), but I'll wait until I step back in to post any of them. I'll rec and tip Native American Netroots and Okiciyap diaries, and I may see other porch folks in Black Kos from time to time; that's always been a safe space for me. I'm not going away for good - Goddess, no! I'm not even going far.

Take care and stay safe. Wrap each other in love and seek out unlikely allies. To quote the Governator: I'll be back.

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