Today our nation awakes in confusion and sadness as we mourn the loss of 12 of our brothers and sisters in Colorado, with dozens more injured and in pain. Our hearts are heavy with grief and we all wear a veil of bewilderment. At moments like this, I wonder when we — as a nation — will finally have a candid conversation around gun control, masculinity, sexism, and racism.
This latest shooting by a white man also stirred up anger, frustration, and disappointment in the unbalanced conversation about violence in our country. Media blowhards and misguided authorities regularly vilify Muslims and disproportionately police African-American men when we seem to ignore the pattern of white male terrorists. I think about Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Scott Roeder of Operation Rescue, just to name a few. I also look at the case building against George ZImmerman and have to say that I’m much more fearful of young white heterosexual men than any other population.
Our obsession with guns is more than just a little disturbing, as many hide behind the false cloak of the 2nd Amendment. The number of online references to the potential to save life by walking armed in the wake of Aurora truly baffles and saddnes me. I have to wonder how many lives we could save if we made a real effort to manage what kinds of weapons really belong in the hands of the average citizen. We control drugs, alcohol, medicine, and access to health care but not devices of destruction that can, in minutes, change hundreds of lives?
My heart goes out to all of the families impacted by the tragedy in Aurora and I can only hope we evolve as a nation and work together to stop this pattern.