Others, elsewhere

Barnegat Light is not Parkland Florida, Brant Beach is not Virginia Tech, Beach Haven is not Uvalde Texas, and North Beach is not Newtown Connecticut…it’s always other people, somewhere else, according to the people in my neighborhood here at the Jersey Shore. I live in an area of south Jersey that is one of the “reddest” in a blue state. I am a blue woman from a red family in a red town in a red county in a blue state…it’s not easy to find your tribe in this sort of situation. In the area where I live there are numerous trucks that have “We the people” stickers on the back window, and maga flags hanging off a pole on the tailgate and I see too many nra and “freedom” bumper stickers on vehicles in the parking lots of the stores where I shop…the thing that makes me chuckle, but also feel gobsmacked with disbelief, is that I am willing to bet if I were to interview EVERY single person who drives one of these vehicles, the number of them who know the words that come AFTER “we the people” would be very small. I suspect that the ones with the nra stickers are neither constitutional scholars nor do they know the words that make up the second amendment or the historical intention of said amendment. These last days have felt hard and felt heavy…for me, an other, elsewhere…I can’t even imagine for one moment the devastation I might feel if I was one of them, there…

I think some of these people are so woefully misinformed about so much that they think it somehow makes them look more patriotic to have these stickers and flags and hats…I can tell you I love that I was born in the United States of America. I can also tell you that we are not very united and that makes me sad. There is not much recognition of a “greater good,” a “for the people” mindset…there is them, and there is us. That does not look like the kind of “United” states that I once felt so proud to live in. Do their stickers and flags and banners make them think that it “shows” people that they care about this country more than I do? Does voting for people who continue to NOT be concerned about the greater good, the majority of the people, seem patriotic to you??????? It certainly seems not to me, an other, elsewhere…

People who hunt for food and use guns to do so should want only other responsible people to have access to guns. People who work in law enforcement and carry guns should want only other responsible people to have access to guns. People who shoot guns for sporting should want only other responsible people to have access to guns. Yes, yes, yes…tell me about how criminals can still get, and will get guns, even if we make guns harder to get, yes, that is true, a criminal might always be able to still find a gun to buy illegally or to steal, but WHAT IS THE HARM IN MAKING LAWS THAT MAKE GUNS HARDER TO GET IN THE FIRST PLACE IF IT KEEPS ONE WRONG PERSON FROM GETTING ACCESS TO A WEAPON AND KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE??????? Common sense gun reform seems like basic common sense and most of the rest of the planet has modeled systems that seem to work for the most part. Most people who live in the “United States of America” think that there should be some changes in how easy it is in some places to buy guns. Period.

I feel pretty sure that any of these local people in my area who shoot guns for sport or hunting, or who are so fearful of “others” that they feel they need them for protection, well I feel rather confident that even with background checks, common sense would tell you that a person who wants to have a gun ought to at the very least have a background check, most of them, indeed probably a huge majority, would still be permitted to purchase and own a gun and they should want that for other people too!!! It is so basic to me that it’s embarrassing to even write it…when I applied to work as a substitute teacher in two local school systems in my area back in the 1990’s the number of hoops I had to jump through and the depth of the background check, to make $75 a day and work at a school, was shocking…to purchase and then own a gun that can kill, in minutes, all of the children in one of the classrooms I was tending, ought to have the same rigorous background checks as I had to go through to be there to try to protect them, no??!! Someday it might not be others, elsewhere, it might be your grandchild, here.

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