I trust my entire family's safety to schools every day. I have two kids in high school, one in middle school and my wife works in a preschool run by the school district in a classroom for special needs kids. I work at home.
My wife and I sat down immediately after she got home from work this afternoon just in time to see the president speak. Both of us were in tears along with him.
Right now I am no better toward understanding gun culture in this country any more than I was this morning, I could use some help.
First let me say where I stand on this. I think I've heard enough from all those who think that the right to posses something whose sole purpose is to kill people somehow defines freedom. Are they not creating a world where their "rights" are narrowing my own freedom every day?
I no longer have the freedom to assume that every time my wife, my two daughters or my son leave the house in the morning that they will be safe. I can't even assume anything about my own safety in public any more. Does that mean that I should buy a gun for myself and one for each of my family members to liberate myself from these concerns?
The events of this week seem to have been some type of hellish prelude to today. I live in Illinois. The NRA has just successfully overturned the ban on concealed carry in court and used my taxpayer dollars to finance it. What's worse, from what I understand, they displayed the check from the state to cover their legal costs as some type of trophy. In Michigan, the state legislature has voted to lift the ban on carrying concealed weapons in schools. Do you think that today's event will make them want to reconsider?
So are these the newly defined rights of Republicans, conservatives and their NRA second amendment bedfellows? Do they impose the requirement that I be armed at all times to insure my own safety, or is this an agenda to punish the people of this country that simply don't think the same way?
Has the gun lobby now sufficiently liberated and empowered the deranged to finally implement this world view for them? So in order to be free, must I now be vigilant of those who seek to kill me for no apparent reason. Is this how it's supposed to work?
When will the gun culture have to pay the price for their passion with their own lives or the lives of their own children? Will they continue to think that they will be immune from the horrors they've unleashed on the rest of us? Will their guns make them free?
How much more of this can we take? Please explain.
Update: Had to step out for a bit tonight so I couldn't respond more fully to some of the issues brought up here. To clarify something I've seen down in the comments, I refuse to appear paranoid or fearful when I venture out, despite today's events. To do so would be a concession. I learned a long time ago how to carry myself through the world almost invisibly when I have to.
I grew up on the south side of Chicago in some pretty tough areas. I'm accustomed to suspicion and I know a dangerous situation when I see one. That's not paranoia, it's a survival skill. I know when to leave.
One of the things I find most disturbing is the potential for violence is about to be raised by a whole order of magnitude in the city where I was born, all thanks to the NRA. Going back to the car analogy that a few people have brought up here, now it's as if the traffic lights are being turned off randomly as you drive through town.