people sometimes ask me:
is your glass half full or half empty?
what’s in the glass?
Yesterday, in the U.S. Senate, the Manchin-Toomey bill for expanded background checks on citizens wishing to purchase firearms fell short of the 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster. This absolute insult to the American people is a direct result of power of National Rifle Association flexing its bully muscle yet again, by threatening to target lawmakers who voted in the bill’s favor.
Gabrielle Giffords, the AZ congresswoman who was shot in the head in 2012 at a public town meeting, wrote a very thoughtful piece about the Toomey-Manchin bill for the New York Times. In the second sentence of that article she (appropriately) mentions the Sandy Hook massacre, where a troubled young man stole his mother’s guns, killed her, and proceeded to an elementary school, where he slaughtered 20 children and 6 adults with at least one of those weapons. She expresses her frustration about the Senate vote outcome, and issues a call to action for citizens (9 out of 10 whom wanted the bill to pass) to let the opposed Senators know they lost their vote.
The Senate failure to pass legislation to make our country safer troubles me. Greatly. But what’s REALLY got me irritated this morning is what I am reading in social media about Ms. Giffords’ article and the Toomey-Manchin bill in general.
Giffords is being accused of ‘exploiting the murder of innocent children’ of Sandy Hook for a political play. <deep breaths, Andrea> Additionally, I just read a Facebook status, that among other things, asserts that Toomey-Manchin was a ‘rush to exlpoit deaths of innocents is a bad legislative strategy’ <more deep breaths, Andrea>
Citing the massacre of innocents to PREVENT more of those events?
Is citing a violent gang rape to tighten penalties for same exploitation? Is citing two planes careening into major office buildings to tighten airline security exploitation? Is citing deaths of teen athletes to get defibrillators on school campuses exploitation?
EXPLOITATION is what the NRA and the “they’re coming for our guns” paranoid legions are doing: using bomb massacres and knife massacres to MITIGATE gun massacres.
The inhuman act is ALWAYS overshadowed thousandfold by sweet humanity. A story I heard on CNN right before my self imposed news blackout (I am paraphrasing from what I remember) yesterday afternoon:
Runners all along the course were just sort of motioned off the streets in that confusing aftermath time, before buses and shuttles could be organized to take them to a central pickup location. At one place on the course, dozens of shivering, cold (and I suspect scared, too) runners were huddled up in an alley to warm each other (I have run a marathon, your body temp goes berserk) when all of a sudden that block of Boston neighbors started coming outside with blankets and towels, dry sweat shirts, water, bananas, coffee, snacks, offers of bathrooms, landline phones, etc., for the stranded marathoners. A runner asked one of the neighbors if she could get his name b/c she wanted to repay his family’s kindness.
His reply? “it’s what people do”.
So while you are praying for the victims, don’t forget to give the thanks to the universe for the helpers. They are everywhere. ♥