Cacophony

Another tragedy occurred today. Seems to be happening more and more frequently, these things. Another mass shooting by a single man, this time at a school. He wasn’t a student there anymore, he wasn’t your typical “troubled teen”, he was a man of 20 who lived with his divorced mother. His mother was a teacher at the school, and after he killed her with her own gun, he took that gun and the two others that she owned, went to the school, and embarked on a massacre. Now, thirty people are dead, including the gunman.

What we know about him or his motivations is very very little at this time. However, it hasn’t stopped the people of this country from using this as an opportunity to bang on and on about their opinions of what might have been wrong, what’s wrong with the country that this can happen again, gun control, the Second Amendment, President Obama, mental health drugs, and abortion.

Let me break this down for you so it’s very very simple: Sometimes, bad shit happens. Sometimes, people do bad things and we don’t know why. People will continue doing bad things, and they will do them no matter what laws you enact to try to stop them from doing so. End of line.

What we CAN ask ourselves when we enter into discourse is this: Are we helping? Are we helping fix the problem, or are we just using this as an opportunity to show off how smart, how American, how patriotic, how butch, how sane we are?

Here’s what I can tell you about gun control in this specific case: The shooter’s mother owned three guns, and kept them in the home. She was licensed to own them, she had permits for them. Yes, that is her right. Do I question what on earth a kindergarten teacher needs with two handguns and a semi-automatic rifle? Yes. But yes, it is her right to own them. Should she have kept them locked up securely and away from her seemingly normal 20-year old son? It’s quite possible that she did, actually, and he just managed to find the key or combination to the gun safe. But her Second Amendment rights were not violated. She had the right to own them, she owned them, and somehow, her son got hold of them and killed her with one of them. So I guess her ability to protect herself with them didn’t quite pan out.

If you can tell me what anyone in this country needs with a semi-automatic rifle (which can easily be made fully automatic in about 10 minutes if you’ve got a file and a little know-how), I might give you a cookie. None of this, “IT’S HER RIGHT TO OWN THEM”. That’s not in dispute, and you’re a smug asshole if that’s your only argument. Show your work. She was a kindergarten teacher in suburbia, not a high school teacher in the South Bronx, or DC, or Detroit. I’m not going to use that to take away her rights, but if you’re busy owning things just because it’s your RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN to own them, your priorities are jacked up, and maybe you need to sit down and think a little bit. While you do so, shut up for a while. You’re not helping.

If you’re calling for no guns at all in the U.S. because of this event and others before it, you’re living in some magical dreamland, and you need to also stop and think a little bit. While you’re doing so, stop posting on Facebook and Twitter. You’re adding to the cacophony, but you’re actively not helping.

If you are a reporter with CNN or ABC or any other news outlet and you thought that today, it was completely appropriate to shove microphones into the faces of former classmates of the shooter, children who survived the event, and parents who may or may not have lost children, shame on you. Shame on your lurid questions. Shame on your editors and producers who condoned such behaviour. If you’re the reporter from ABC who tried to solicit an interview on Twitter after you saw a tweet from a man who had a friend in that area whose child attends kindergarten there, shame on you. May you all have many many sleepless nights due to your own behaviour, and should a tragedy ever befall you, may you be visited with the same treatment that you gave others instead of letting them process and mourn in peace. You are not helping.

If you are a loudmouth fathead “infotainment” personality on any of the major news channels who used this event to blast your ignorant views about separation of church and state, I realise that you get paid for being a jackwagon, but I wish sleepless nights upon you as well, and perhaps a nice active bleeding ulcer or twelve. YOU? Not only are you not helping, you’re making the situation worse.

If you are a washed-up former failed comedienne who found God and have used this event to bleat endlessly about how this is nothing compared to the number of abortions that happen every year? Just. Shut. Up. I realise that it’s your RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN to speak your mind, but you should know that zealots rarely win converts when they use such tactics, and you are nothing but a loud, annoying zealot who just happens to have a national platform because of your former job and your spectacular failure at it. You weren’t misunderstood. Kaufman was misunderstood. You were just bad, and then you got religion, and honestly, it all looks like a publicity ploy and it always has. Until you’re adopting craptons of babies who would otherwise be aborted, you have no credence. Pipe down. You’re definitely not helping, and you’re making yourself look TERRIBLE in the process.

Blaming psychotropic drugs, are you? Stop it. You’re ridiculous. We need MORE awareness of mental health issues, easier access to mental health care, more alertness to the signs of mental disorders and chemical imbalances. We need LESS stigma attached to the treatment and medication of said disorders and imbalances. Enough people are untreated for their depression and other issues because they don’t want to be tagged with that label, enough people kill themselves because they can’t get help or they don’t know how to get help, and you want to blame the shooting of countless people on side effects? I’ve had depression and anxiety all of my adult life and most of my teen years. I have been on and off of various anti-depressants for years. Do you think less of me now? Are you now wary because you don’t know whether or not I’m on them, and I might just snap and start shooting people? My ex thought he was the authority on psychotropic drugs as well, and exerted every effort in his power to get me to not take them, to let my depression go untreated, up to and including questioning my trusted doctor’s credentials in prescribing such medications. That man thought that he could bully, harangue, and berate me (yeah, cuz THAT’S good for depression) until he got his way about what I was doing with my own body and brain. You? You’re doing the same. Classy. Really classy. Oh, and BTW, when you say you’re going to hold your tongue about the whole issue of the events that unfolded today but have already re-posted a meme about how the recent mass shooters have all been on psychotropic drugs? You’ve shown yourself to be even more of a self-righteous hypocrite than I originally thought, and I am now completely entitled to disregard pretty much everything you have to say with abandon and glee. You are NOT HELPING.

Until we can come to learn what it REALLY is that makes people do this sort of thing, nothing will stop it. We need to be aware, we need to take care of each other. We need to stop fucking up our kids, but HAHAHA that’s never going to happen because children are still seen as chattel in this day and age, and parents will fuck them up with impunity. We need to drop the stigma attached to mental health issues, we need to allow people to medicate in a smart and knowledgeable fashion (no, don’t just dope up your kids because they’re teenagers and you’re afraid of their strange ways and don’t like to listen to the song of their people) without judgement. We need to be on the lookout for warning signs, and be willing to say something when we see them. We need to stand by our friends and our families, to give them the help they need, the advice they request, a hand to hold, a calm voice on the phone. When we’re not doing those things, and instead treating the world to a giant plate of WHARGARRBL, we are not helping. We are hurting. We are making things worse. As has always been my motto, if you’re working on fixing it, then you get to bitch. If you’re not doing anything to fix your problem, you get to shut the hell up. If all you’re doing is whining on Facebook and Twitter about your rights or the rights you believe should be taken away from others, you’re not doing anything to fix the problem. Kindly, therefore, shut your piehole. Get to work and earn that right to bitch. When you stop adding to the cacophony, and work on the problem, you’re helping to create a harmony. Harmonies are much easier to listen to, and as such, just might get your message across a little more effectively.