I have been humbled by a great many things in life.  I have been humbled by great art, by small kindnesses, by making love that seems transcendent in some way, by great performances, even by a perfect flower sitting still in a junk pile.  I have been humbled by a wide array of things.

 

This was the first time I was humbled by hate.

 

Yes, humbled is the right word because you see I am a dummy.

 

If you had asked me prior to December 14, if it were possible for a grown man to walk into a grade school and blow away 20 children between the ages of 5 and 10, I would’ve said, “No way.  That is impossible.  PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKE THAT.”

 

newton shootings

 

You see, I like to see the good in humanity.

 

I like to believe that even though MEN are responsible for the vast amount of violent massacres the world over, I don’t believe that all men want to kill or hurt or destroy.  I have seen men who are capable of intense acts of compassion.  I file away those acts of compassion and I conjure them up when I need to see men as they really are.  Men as the babies they were.  Men as the injured souls we can all be.

 

But, maybe I am a dummy.

 

I like to believe that the army of people who are STILL holding tight to their defiant cry that we must save and defend and protect at every cost, the second amendment, are just not letting themselves FEEL what happened.  I understand that you hold the second amendment dear, just as I do the first one.  However, there are limits to my beloved first amendment, the right to “free speech.”  You can NOT use free speech to incite a mob or violence or to slander someone.  In that sense, my amendment is RESTRICTED.  Why shouldn’t yours be too?

 

But, maybe I am a dummy.

 

I like to believe that I wouldn’t have a child like THAT.  But, then I read the Anarchist Soccer Mom’s post entitled, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” where she discusses the terror of raising a child with mental illness.  She eloquently expresses the complete and utter lack of help that we (don’t) give to mothers (and fathers) who are dealing with an overwhelming problem like a mental disorder with violent tendencies.  I like to think, “It wouldn’t be that way with my kid.”  I’d train it out of him.  Beat it out of him.  Love it out of him.  Whatever it took.  But, again…

 

I’m probably a dummy.

 

I like to think that this time it will be different.  That this time our great humanity will rise up and say, “NO MORE.”  We will pass legislation.  People will make hard decisions between their libertarian values and the far more important – protection of our children.  People will look at the second amendment in a HISTORICAL CONTEXT.  They will look at it and think, “We created that when we were worried about Britain invading again.  We created that when we were worried about the tyranny of our own government…these are different times.”  People won’t look at the constitution as a fixed and inflexible document, but as it was intended – poetry for a democracy – a living and breathing thing.  People won’t take it as etched in stone like they sometimes do the bible.

 

Yep, I’m a total dummy.

 

There’s a term used in the United States.  It’s used very freely and frequently, but I would also say too narrowly.  The term is, “Thank you for your service.”  Mainly, we use it for military service members.  We offer it with a pat on the back to men and women who have put themselves in harms way for the greater good.  This holiday season, I’d like to apply it to an entirely different type of service member…

 

TEACHERS.

 

Thank you to each and every one of them.  Thank you to all of mine.  Thank you to the ones I liked, the ones I didn’t like, the ones I was a pain in the ass for, my brother who is a mighty fine one, and above all…TO THE ONES WHO TAUGHT ME HOW TO RAISE HELL.  The ones who taught me how to question and reason and doubt and argue.  Thank you to all of you, for helping me to be strong enough to stand up in front of what may not be the popular voice, the popular opinion, or the popular statement, but I’m going to say it anyway:

 

LET’S LOSE OUR PASSION FOR GUNS AS A CULTURE.  LET’S STOP GLORIFYING THEM AND MAKING THEM SEEM SO ‘AMERICAN’ AND RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, AND SO TOTALLY, FECK YEAH, AWESOME!  BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT.  THEY SUCK.  THEY TAKE THE ONE THING THAT WE CAN NOT REBUILD – HUMAN LIVES.  YOU DON’T NEED A GUN TO HUNT, P*SSY.  USE A BOW AND ARROW.  THAT TAKES SKILL.  THEN THE DEER HEAD ON YOUR WALL WOULD MEAN SOMETHING.

 

But, again, this is just a dummy talking.

 

However, this particular dummy is taking a pledge.  A pledge to honor teachers.  This particular dummy is going to try and become less and less of one everyday.  She’s going to try and shed her stupidity.  I’m doing that for my teachers.  I think it’s the least I can do.

 

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Photo creds:

gunsbystate, vigil

 

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