I woke up today, now 44 years old. My wife brought me coffee in bed. I watched the news and at 6:30am, I observed the moment of silence and listened to the bells ring and watched the pictures of each of the Sandy Hook victims. I cried. I imagined them being my girls. After a little work and cleaning up of emails, the internet called and I was again enthralled with Mark Fiore's heart-wrenching and moving piece.
I linked it to Facebook and poured out my thoughts. It never showed up. As I walked my dog on an unusually cold San Diego morning, I thought about the concept of empathy. I thought about the many different friends I have and how many different perspectives they have about Sandy Hook. Many are gun-rights advocates who posted the usual. Some knew Noah Pozner. Many wanted action on gun control.
I put myself more firmly than ever in the last category. I don't think I could ever have such a strong life-preserving or family-preserving instinct that I would own a gun with the intent of ever using it on another. I don't understand a mentality that does. I remember an assignment in high school where we had to write a satire piece of the style of Jonathon Swift's "A Modest Proposal." Mine was about removing all gun laws and police and letting everyone self-police. My great teacher, Dee Frank, had to break it to me that it can't be satire if there are actually people who think that way. In retrospect, it was Stephen Colbert satire and not Jonathon Swift.
Thankfully my brain can feel empathy but can also compartmentalize. I can be sad at the same time I can be happy and thankful for the amazing family and friends I have. I am going to have a great day and hopefully see an old friend tonight. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes and thanks to the Mayan's for being ahead of their time and knowing much more than any crazy conspiracy theorist in this age would have you believe.