Musings and Mirth
Recently, I found myself pregnant at a pretty old age – 47 years old. It came as a complete surprise, and because of the situation I was in, it wasn’t a very easy time. I noticed immediately that my body was reacting to it completely differently than it had when I was much younger. It was partly the age, I think, but partly because there was something not quite right. My doctor told me I had the fertility of a 25 year-old. But those eggs, they’re not young eggs. Either way, it was rough. The fetus died after the first month but my body didn’t figure it out for a whole other month. I think I almost died miscarrying that baby, partly because I didn’t want to go to the hospital and partly because I didn’t want to let go of it. I wanted there to be a baby, you see.
Even still, a whole year later it’s hard to come to terms with it. My body hasn’t fully adjusted yet and I still mourn what might have been. But one thing it did do was connect me quite dramatically with the shortness of life. I did the math – 47 + 20 = 67. That’s almost 70 by the time my kid would be 20. And from 70 to 80 and then…so short. So unbearably, horribly, unfathomably short. Would it have been worth it for the kid to know me for such a short time? Would it be easier to leave, harder? I didn’t know the answer to that – but I did know that suddenly life looked very differently to me.
And it still does.
The way the stories of three men played out in this country and in the media over the past few months has been almost unbearable. In the end, very likely all three men will be dead. One jumped in the river to kill himself. Another, gunned down by police with a suicide vest strapped to his chest, and the third, his younger brother to be most likely put to death by the federal government. Three dead men, three senseless deaths.
It must be said up front that the what the Boston bombers did was unforgivable – casually setting off two bombs that killed four people and destroyed the bodies and lives of many others. Their intent was to kill Americans to protest America’s killing of innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as our continued involvement in war. Al Qaeda’s agenda became their agenda by association. They are Public Enemy #1 and Public Enemy #2 – everything we are taught to fear, second only to a school shooter, of which there are too many.
By the very groovy, wise, entertaining Vi Hart
Gwyneth Paltrow, despite being a perfectly nice, harmless woman, is the object of scorn for many on the internets. I can dig it. The overpriced items on her website Goop are almost immoral. They seem only to serve the sin of envy – dangling in front of everywoman like a golden carrot readying to soil their credit rating as they scramble to keep up with people whose private buying business should really be kept private, for decency’s sake.
Her latest cookbook It’s All Good is truly offensive in all of the ways its critics claim. Yes, there are many impossibly gorgeous pictures of Ms. Paltrow. Yes, she talks about apple trees in her backyard and her celebrity buddies. Yes, her recipes bespeak the life of someone who doesn’t have to lift a goddmaned finger to cook or shop if she doesn’t want to and yes, she works out two hours every day and starves herself to look that way and then pretends it’s all easy. All of that is true.
We live in a country where they regulate cars more than they do guns. We live in a country that defends the rights of a mother to own semi-automatic rifles — to be happily part of a gun community and lecture “liberal sheep” on why “responsible gun owners” keep people safer. But when the son of that woman shoots her in the face with a gun she taught him how to safely fire, then goes on a rampage that leaves heroic teachers and too many helpless children dead those same “responsible gun owners” again trot out all of their bullshit reasons why the 2nd amendment and blah blah blah Zzzzz. When the founding fathers wrote that amendment it took fifteen seconds to load a single bullet. This son of a “responsible gun owner” within minutes fired between 3 and ten bullets into six and seven year olds.
The day after the shooting, gun rights defenders could nothing but crow about their freedom. I heard everything from “why don’t we ban forks to prevent obesity!” And people will still break laws even if they’re in place! And that’s true. But Jim Holmes was able to legally purchase rounds and rounds of ammo over a period of a month and no one knew about it. We have a war against terror – why don’t we have a war against murder, mass murder in our country? We all know why. We all know that we live in a “gun culture” and we always have.
Well-intentioned, believing that if she taught her children how to use guns responsibly it would protect them. But she didn’t know her children very well, did she. And that’s the thing. Guns might be, what one man called, the “innocent victims” here (my hand to God, he said that) but we also have a country full of misfit loners who are ready to take themselves out and untold amounts of innocents victims with him. 15,000 people die in the US every year because of gun violence that isn’t even defines as mass murder.
But 2012 is a record high for mass murders. It’s time for gun owners to admit there is a problem and to help solve that problem. It’s time for them to stop with their nonsense because no one needs a whole bunch of semi-automatic weapons to protect themselves. They just don’t. They need to get over themselves and stop trusting in “responsible gun owners” to always be in the right and realize how dangerous simply having a gun around can be. They spread false information that if you teach kids how to use guns early on they won’t misuse them. Maybe that is sometimes true but in ever instance in these recent shootings these are boys who either had guns in the home or were practiced at shooting. “Responsible gun owners” can also mean – they’re practicing and preparing to kill a lot of people. So it’s time for the NRA and the “gun community” to help law enforcement, not be so quick to side with guns over people, to be on the lookout for potential loose canons, work WITH us instead of against us.
One woman said she has a semi-auto at home with her four children and how it makes her feel safer. She asked me, “what are you doing to protect people?” But she’s not protecting anyone. She’s only making sure there’s one more gun out there that can fire 50 rounds in under a minute, there for the taking for anyone who might have an itch one day to do themselves in and become famous by taking a whole bunch of other people with him. Enough is enough. A change is coming. Either get out of the way or get on the right side of that change.
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