Know the response I expected? Oh, how horrible! How shocking! That's too bad. Are they okay?
Instead, I heard how I should now buy a gun or risk "being a victim." This logic escapes me. I'm sick of it, I honestly am. I don't care if you own a gun in your home for whatever your reasons may be, but, for God's sake, start using your fucking brain. Obama was elected in 2008 and all of you thought someone would come to take your guns away--umm...yeah, that never happened nor was it ever a "liberal conspiracy." Not every situation is an opportunity for you to sound like an ass.
"You'd better get a gun, carry it with you, be on guard, get them before they get you." Is that the kind of world you want to live in? Does that sound like the land of the free to you?
"Anything can be used against you, not just a gun, you need to fight back!" Another thing I heard when I said that, no, I'm fine living without a gun. At the moment, I'm sitting peacefully with my dogs--what am I scared of? I've lived in the mountains for years where I've encountered bears and mountain lions--they're still alive and so am I. Not every situation requires a gun-toting moron reacting in fear.
Believe me, I know how to fight if I need to, but this was a circumstance where two people were putting their groceries into their car and were assaulted from behind with zero warning. After all, we live in a small mountain town and it was a Sunday evening. Why should they have been armed to go to the grocery store? They were attacked by people who wanted to hurt someone. Period. Total strangers. Were the attackers armed? No.
"If I'd had my gun with me, those people in the parking lot would be dead." Yes, that's what someone said about my friend's attack. The assailants were not armed. They were assholes, yes, and they deserve to be jailed, but killed?! How about restrained? Apprehended? Why was the reaction immediately about guns and killing? They also went after a random man who got out of his car to help--just beat him up. That's what they wanted to do--hurt some strangers. Not with a weapon, but with their angry fists. All of this happened very fast--minutes--and then they sped off in their SUV.
We live in a culture where it seems to be okay to immediately blame the victims or react in an equally violent way. I can't stand it anymore.
I refuse to live in fear. I won't do it. I also won't look at someone who has been victimized and blame them for whatever senseless and unjustified event just happened to them.
I don't know what's going on anymore or how we arrived at this ugly place where compassion is sneered at and people think violence and hate are acceptable.
I was told by an old friend that "liberal open-mindedness is the root of our society's downfall." I finally snapped and stood up for what I believe. I usually remain quiet because I can't stand arguing. It is so simple to label people these days, point a finger, and hurl insults. It is almost a badge of honor for gun enthusiasts to react to this type of situation with talking about how they'd "kill" someone and then slapping up some photos of their machine guns on social media like that someohow makes them more manly or something. I'm ashamed that other countries call America the "land of guns and gangs." It's shameful! And, if you don't think so, you're really out of touch. The divide continues to grow--old friends become strangers or people we simply can't stand anymore, strangers become enemies simply by being different or having a different point of view.
I am sure the angels weep for us. We are one. We are all human beings sharing the same planet. Yet we allow hate and violence and fear to rule over kindness, compassion, and love.
When I heard my friend and her husband were attacked, I felt sad for our little town, for them being so taken off-guard, for society as a whole where anger seems to run the day. I didn't for one second think "what did you do to deserve it?" No one deserves to be attacked. We as a society shouldn't have to feel the need to react with violence over every little thing. We shouldn't say broad-sweeping statements that will alienate old friends with political stereotypes. Yet this is what we've become.
We've become angry, hateful, fearful--and I find it unacceptable. I won't play that game. Call me weak, fine. I disagree, though. I think it takes more strength to stay above the hatred and the fear and the blind, sweeping labels that rip relationships apart. I choose love. I choose compassion. I choose optimism.
As for the attackers at the grocery store, I hope they are apprehended because it sounds like they were pretty crazy and need to be investigated. But do they deserve to die over that? No. The fact that so many people thought that was an acceptable reaction is more frightening than the incident itself.
I am so sick of bullied for wanting unity and peace, for beliveing that love is stronger than hate and that hope is greater than fear. Compassion for victims is not a weakness--it's called kindness! I think it's time we all start thinking in terms of humanity rather than political agendas.
And, this isn't a debate. Any hateful pro-gun-kill-anyone-because-it's-my-right comments will be deleted. Guess what? It's my right to go to the grocery store or for a hike or whereever the hell I want and not worry that some fool with a concealed weapon will shoot me becasue he thinks I'm too blonde or laughing too loud. The situation is out of control. You may cling to your Second Amendment--well, this is me clinging to the First Amendement of Freedom of Speech. See how that works?