I told my wife this morning that I felt that I needed to take a step back from all this murder and mayhem. This is, after all, my summer vacation. I should be going to movies and concerts. I should be going to the grocery store. Or a parking lot in front of a church.
But all these places could get me killed in America. The indiscriminate spraying of high caliber ammunition is a threat to daily life, and going back to work at an elementary school doesn't seem to offer much in the way of safety. Ugly reminders are everywhere. The folks who handled my Entertainment Weekly subscription took it upon themselves to round out the rest of my run with issues of People Magazine. The first issue I pulled out of my mailbox last week featured the smiling faces of the fourth graders and their teachers who were killed at Robb Elementary. I was immediately thrust back in time to the day after the massacre when I was standing in front of the fourth grade table at my school. I did a cursory count of the students. Coincidence put the total at nineteen: the same number that were gunned down in Uvalde, Texas.
It wasn't long after that I was reading about the man in Oklahoma who drove to Tulsa from Muskogee with the rifle he had purchased just hours before to kill the surgeon who he blamed for his pain. And the receptionist. And another doctor. And two people in the waiting room.
Doctor's office visits now off the "safe list."
And the beat goes on. While there are breaks in the clouds, the suggestion made by so many that this is just what we have become lingers. It is easy enough to imagine that all this talk about gun law reform will spur a surge in the purchase of weapons created to shred human beings. Start stockpiling now in case those bleeding hearts decide to stop us from being able to buy them on the way to a school, church or doctor's office. Looking for ideas for how to carry out your mass murder? Keep an eye on the news. We are hungry for it.
People Magazine. Dead People Magazine.
No thank you.
If you need me, I'll be huddled under the couch cushions.