More Gun Violence Has Me Exhausted

More Gun Violence Has Me Exhausted

I had a hard time falling asleep last night and this is not an uncommon occurrence these days. As I process the events of the day while lying in bed, it is very easy to hit turbulence. I ponder the disasters, tragedies, wars, calamities, domestic coup attempts, and the inexorable march back to a time that may never have existed, and I wonder how I can make a difference. I try to reassure myself that everything counts in large amounts, after all, fifty billion raindrops will fill an Olympic swimming pool. However, the thought of trying to marshal another 49 billion raindrops is overwhelming to say the least.

Last night, I made the mistake of thinking that we had made it through the weekend without suffering another mass shooting. Another mistake followed when I looked for news on whether the Golden State Warriors had signed free agent center Demarcus Cousins, I think they should, only to find that there was a shooting at a shopping mall food court in Greenwood, Indiana — three fatalities and counting and another mass shooting.

Without reading anything about the latest gun-related tragedy I can guess the most salient points with relative certainty. I know that the killer probably didn’t use a 1791-era weapon that can fire three to four balls of lead per minute. I know that the killer may or may not have known the victims. I know that victims leave behind family, friends, and a community struggling to process this tragedy and to come to grips with the injustice of their loved one’s life being cut short by a senseless violent impulse aided by modern firearm technology.

I don’t need to read any of the commentary about this tragedy or even the comments that this column will invariably generate to know that while most people agree that disturbed individuals should not have access to military-grade assault weapons, a disproportionate percentage of the minority who believe that less constraints should be put on all weaponry will voice their opinion vociferously, and that I am un-American for politicizing mass shootings to further my political aims.

There are no political aims here. I am exhausted by this senseless violence to the marrow of my bones and my exhaustion is amplified by the inability of anyone to do anything about it. Yes, I heard your argument that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, that more guns are the answer, and that teachers with guns will make the schools safer. Let’s dispense with the debate and agree on this, killing someone ends their life.

The only group in the country that can end mass shootings is the pro-life movement. If they could expand their interest in human life to include the portion of life that occurs after one is born, we might have a chance. The same arguments used against abortion apply to mass shootings. Why allow the theoretical lives being theoretically saved by overturning Roe vs. Wade, only to be taken by a mass shooting. Think of the lives that can be saved.

Brian J. Kenny is an Alameda resident.