P1090464“I’ll be late,” the text said.

I was annoyed. Certainly this was an excuse to avoid chores. “Why?” I texted back, knowing full well that phones aren’t allowed in school.

No answer.

An hour later, my phone rang. I was even more annoyed. Almost nobody has my number, so when it rings, it’s either a telemarketer or a misdial.

It was school. There had been an accident. Please go to the emergency room.

We were led to a flourescent-lit room already crowded with other parents. Nobody knew anything. The panic, the angst, while waiting was terrible.

I brought my baby home a few hours later. Nothing serious; an abundance of caution. (No hospital bill, either, thank you socialized medicine.)

I thought about that day when I heard the familiar news of a school shooting. In America–where else. I can barely type for the tears, imagining those kids, those parents, desperate for another day together.

Are people not yet sick of their children being mowed down? Is that liberty?P1090498The definition of insanity  is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

 

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47 thoughts on “The Definition of Insanity

  1. Well said. But until the U.S. government stops licking the boots of the NRA, these shootings will continue. I am not anti-gun. Hunting is a dearly held tradition in my family, and in those I have married into. I believe in the right to own a handgun to protect yourself and your family and your home. But a line needs to be drawn and I am not sure how to handle this. No, guns don’t kill people. Angry, mentally ill people kill people with guns, and those with semi-automatic guns kill many people at once. Gun control is much, much easier than the control of mental illness, or anger, or whatever is compelling the shooter to shoot. This should not be a “right vs. left” argument. This should be approached as a human problem. But…money is everything. See my second sentence.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I vote in every election. Even the small municipal ones. Our country is supposed to be a representative democracy where our elected officials represent their constituents. Yet, for a very long time, I have felt that our elected officials represent special interests, moneyed interests, and not the people. Our country is very broken and I don’t know how to fix it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really hard to legitimately research candidates’ positions. In Philadelphia the Democratic primary is pretty much always the real election and the general election is a formality. We got a lot of attention for electing the most left-wing DA in the country but if all you do is read the candidates’ platforms in their own words they all sound the same. In lower profile elections the best I’ve been able to do was to compare and contrast endorsements from various special interest groups. The worst of these was voting for judges last fall. The candidates had partisan registrations but seemed to have done a great job burying their own positions in the name of keeping the elections non-partisan. The biggest determiner if they win or not was the order they appeared on the ballot. Because I’m an angry partisan, I tried to pick first based on whatever I could dig up on their views, then looked at the Bar Association’s rating on their experience and competence as a tiebreaker.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I could not agree more. I saw a post today that resonated in me:
    “Let’s take a moment to honor the sacrifice of our brave schoolchildren who lay down their lives to protect our rights to bear arms.”
    That is, indeed, insanity.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN-NOT JUST POLITICIANS, BUT ALSO THE VOTERS WHO VOTED THEM IN TOO-HAS THE BLOOD OF EVERY SINGLE MASSACRED CHILD ON THEIR HANDS. YOU VOTED THEM IN KNOWING THEY ARE SUPPORTED BY THE NRA, KNOWING THEY REFUSE TO CHANGE MURDEROUS GUN LAWS IN AMERICA. YOU SHARE THE BLAME AND THE BLOOD. CHILDREN. MASSACRED. YOU ALLOW IT. YOU OWN IT. EVERY DAY I WAKE UP AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SAY I VOTED AGAINST ANYONE WHO ALLOWS GUNS AND THE NRA TO SHAPE GUN LAWS THAT KILL INNOCENT CITIZENS. YOU NEED TO WAKE UP TO THE REALITY OF YOUR LIFE. SAY TO YOURSELF, EVERY DAY, IN THE MIRROR, “I VOTED TO ALLOW THE NRA AND REPUBS TO CONTINUE TO SLAUGHTER AMERICAN CITIZENS.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For goodness, sake, stop shouting! This is exactly why cogent and respectful conversations don’t happen. BOTH parties must work together and agree to enact sensible legislation to outlaw semi-automatic weapons or it won’t happen. Democrats could have enacted tougher laws while BO was president, but didn’t. Why? They were afraid that the NRA would use their resources to defeat them if they voted for tougher gun laws. And they were right! The murder rate in Chicago in 2017 was 650 people! 1.78 people per day. And most of those were not killed by semi-automatic weapons. They were handguns in the hands of mostly criminals – drug dealers and gang-bangers. Chicago is a liberal city, run historically by Democrats, and home to BO. Clearly, politics isn’t going to solve this. Neither is shouting.

      Like

      1. Chicago first of all is an outlier amid extremely low crime rates across the country–lower than anything since before I was born. And even though the murder rate in Chicago is too high, it’s far below the 850 in 1990. Also, most of the people who are killed by guns are either suicides or domestic abuse victims, not gangs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How sad, Catherine, that you have so little empathy that you cannot understand why people are shouting and that you show such bias in your comments.
        Chicago is #25 of cities with the highest murder rates in the US. It has distinct problems with complicated solutions. But it’s primarily black on black crime & home to Obama so the right loves to trot it out despite it’s irrelevance to the current discussion.
        Any attempt at gun control legislation during Obama’s term was blocked by Congress. After Newtown, Obama signed 23 Executive Orders on gun safety. I believed in his sincerity as he openly wept at the loss of those precious children and educators.
        All three branches of our government are now controlled by one party. They could enact change tomorrow if they wanted to. Last February Trump revoked the Obama order keeping the mentally ill from buying guns. Sadly, I have no expectation change will come from this administration.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. NOT, NOT, NOT THE TIME TO TELL ME TO STOP SHOUTING. I WILL NOT STOP SHOUTING. TOO LATE. EVERYONE HAS BEEN COGENT AND RESPECTFUL LONG ENOUGH. OBAMA TRIED, A REPUBLICAN CONGRESS THWARTED HIM AT EVERY TURN. “There is little more that Obama could have done on gun control,” UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler said. “The president’s power is limited, and the NRA wrote the laws to restrict what the executive can do.” By January 2016, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama still supported a ban, but Congress wouldn’t budge on the issue. Obama announced further actions that month, amid more tears for victims. AGAIN, AND LOUDER THIS TIME…EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN-NOT JUST POLITICIANS, BUT ALSO THE VOTERS WHO VOTED THEM IN TOO-HAS THE BLOOD OF EVERY SINGLE MASSACRED CHILD ON THEIR HANDS. YOU VOTED THEM IN KNOWING THEY ARE SUPPORTED BY THE NRA, KNOWING THEY REFUSE TO CHANGE MURDEROUS GUN LAWS IN AMERICA. YOU SHARE THE BLAME AND THE BLOOD. CHILDREN. MASSACRED. YOU ALLOW IT. YOU OWN IT. EVERY DAY I WAKE UP AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SAY I VOTED AGAINST ANYONE WHO ALLOWS GUNS AND THE NRA TO SHAPE GUN LAWS THAT KILL INNOCENT CITIZENS. YOU NEED TO WAKE UP TO THE REALITY OF YOUR LIFE. SAY TO YOURSELF, EVERY DAY, IN THE MIRROR, “I VOTED TO ALLOW THE NRA AND REPUBS TO CONTINUE TO SLAUGHTER AMERICAN CITIZENS.” NOW LEAVE ME ALONE, I HAVE A FUNERAL TO ATTEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. In winter I live 20 minutes from Parkland, Fl. and my neighbours just don’t get it. Last night one of them said to me “what about those using trucks to plow people down? Should we ban trucks?”
    I just feel despair and hopefulness.
    I completely agree with Jackie.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This does not happen in other developed countries. Not with this kind of regularity.

    If the massacre at Sandy Hook a few years ago wasn’t enough to make certain lawmakers think twice about accepting money from the NRA- which I consider to be nothing more than a terrorist organization- nothing ever will.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well said. It is ironic to read posts from Americans who are visiting Europe and wanting to know if a place is ‘safe’. I feel safe here in a way that I could never feel in the US. Despite the petty crime, the ever-prevalent terrorist threats — the scariest country in the world is on the other side of the pond.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have no words but I do have rage and disgust that any human being can continue to support the gun laws as they are in the US. Just that. Thank you for writing this and I am sorry that you went through some sort of a trauma with your own child though glad, of course that your did not lose them …. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and heartbreak of losing your baby to a person running amuck with a gun – all that hope blown away in a pointless attack by a deranged person who should not be allowed to wield a knife and fork let a lone a weapon that is only appropriate in war.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am a school teacher in a rural (hunting) community. I encourage my students to debate the issues discussed above when it comes up in their conversation. The majority of my students agree that assault weapons should be banned from purchase by anyone. They know that assault weapons are for killing people. They scoff at the well known phrase “Guns don’t kill people…”
    I have never felt afraid of a school shooting in my school or community until now. The description of the signs of trouble displayed by the shooter is way too familiar to me. I run out of digits counting the number of students who have some of those troubles and tendencies. Just yesterday I was reading court reports in the newspaper of a pair of former students and their parent who were involved in a brutal assault of a classmate and other former students. I am grateful that my high school teacher husband retires at the end of the school year.
    Perhaps I have given up, but if the murder of classrooms of first graders doesn’t matter to our policy makers, nothing will.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can not even comprehend the idea that every one should be armed to protect themselves. It is so absurd. I’m beyond horrified that some people believe that it’s their right.
    Ali

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m so glad your child was OK. Until we a) reform campaign finance laws so that politicians don’t need to sell themselves to the highest bidders and b) enact some common-sense gun control measures, I fear that these massacres will continue to happen. To my mind, the NRA now qualifies as a terrorist organization.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree. But still, everybody can inform themselves about candidates. From mainstream media and from the candidates’ own sites. It takes time but costs nothing. Candidates want money to buy ads, but you can’t learn nuances about policy from ads.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And based on the breaking news of the day it seems the Russians were part of the manipulative ads we endured on both sides of the issues during the elections. I was suspect of the ads that were not endorsed by any of the candidates but seemed to stir up emotions, not reason. Now we know!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Susan,
      You are only the second person I have heard bring up the issue of campaign-finance reform, in the past few days. I think this is, without question, a foundational issue and one that must be dealt with along with common sense gun policies (and other items like integration of all of these disparate systems — mental health, law enforcement—that don’t seem to be talking to each other.)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad to know your kid is ok.
    We will always worry, when they are kids, because they are so little, when they are gown ups and have flown the nest, just because we are mothers and they will always be our little ones.
    Sylvine

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading these thoughtful, often impassioned, comments heartens me. So many intelligent people feeling strongly about this subject should add up to something! The issue of gun availability is clearly tied to the issue of election reform, or so it seems to me. I have been active in exploring ways to make elections more free, transparent, and verifiable, and I am becoming active in exploring ways to approach gun availability sensibly – I am so hoping that all of these commenters are also taking action. We need the voices of people who care and are willing to communicate respectfully. Please, if you aren’t involving yourself, consider doing so!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. My apologies that I am late to your handling of this topic, C. Indeed, we do seem to exemplify the definition of crazy in the US, all too often, and no more so than on this subject.

    I have spent a great deal of time over the past 48 hours watching coverage on various news stations, and one thing I must say. Some of the students who have just lived through this horror are speaking out, and speaking out fearlessly, demonstrating, and planning more demonstrations.

    There was what the news referred to as a “lie in” earlier today in front of the White House. More accurately, I think it would be a “die in,” since local high school students took turns in a large group lying down as if they were dead, eyes closed, and hands crossed over their chest. It was extraordinarily moving and powerful to see. And I’ve been listening to some of those who are speaking out in Parkland, and calling out US politicians for their moral cowardice.

    If ever I felt an inkling of hope—as a human being and as a parent—that some small nudge in the right direction could be made, it is in seeing these 17 and 18-year-old kids doing what adults seem incapable of. They are facing what none of us should ever have to face, and they are calling BS. They are not afraid to act after what they’ve been through.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A final comment on the “right to bear arms” thingy: Check out the kinds of guns that were in use at the time the second amendment was passed. I could maybe go along with people having a couple of those.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 1 person

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