I took the day off on Friday to run some errands and get this constant pain on my shoulder checked. I had a few minutes before meeting my friends for lunch, so I stopped by a sushi restaurant to get my son a gift certificate as part of his Christmas present. He’s crazy about sushi, which makes for very nice amatxu-son dates. One day we played pala for about two hours, then we went for sushi. I’m not sure which one of us dug it more.
I left the restaurant and looked on Facebook before getting in the car, and that’s when I saw the news that has this country and the rest of the world still in disbelief. I only read the headlines on Friday, I couldn’t bring myself to read about the horror just then. I was maybe five minutes away from my children’s school and had to fight the urge to go pick them up and take them home. They wouldn’t have understood and my daughter would have been crushed to miss her performance as a penguin in the school’s Christmas show.
I didn’t need the details to know the story. Young guy, quiet, intelligent, supportive family, great neighborhood. Nobody could imagine something like this would ever occur. Of course, nobody ever does, it’s an abomination. Sadly, it is not surprising when it happens, given this country’s track record. A few days back, a shooting in a mall somewhere. Now a school. Plus all the other massacres that came before.
Since Friday, I’ve been reading about gun facts and mental-illness. I admit I don’t know much about how well or how badly the US healthcare system works in regards to treatment for the mentally ill. All I know is that they do have easy access to guns and assault weapons, and look what happens.
And still, every time a tragedy of this kind unfolds we have to hear this shit that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, “You can make a bomb with readily available school supplies”, or “Knives are as just as deadly”. Fuck that. Sure a person can stab another person or crack their skull open with a baseball bat, but how many knife-related massacres have we seen lately in the US? Exactly. There is a reason why these people choose firearms: they make killing easier and more efficient.
Friday evening I spent about two hours on the couch with my kids watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. Andoni and I almost died laughing; Maitane doesn’t get half the clips in the show. She doesn’t think it’s funny when people fall on their butts or hit their head on the concrete after slipping off their skateboard. Andoni and I are not as kind. I played pala with Andoni twice this weekend and took Maitane shopping for clothes to use on New Year’s Eve. We found a cute dress that looks like one of mine, so we’ll match! Again, I’m pretty sure I’m more excited about the whole thing than she is.
I don’t know how to make things better on a national level, but I will make a difference every day I spend with my kids.
By the way, don’t bother leaving comments in favor of the right to bear arms because I’m not going to publish them. If you want to get all teary, hand to heart right before praising the Second Amendment, get your own blog.
[12/17/12/] After getting a talking to from my friend Matías about open dialogue and exchange of ideas, I’ve decided (reluctantly) that he’s right. I guess I’ll publish all comments, even if it pains me.
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