You should know that I started this blog to detail my adventures. But, I am finding more increasingly, that my adventures often entail emotional experience, rather than “real life.” This blog wasn’t started to combat, or to argue. It was started to inspire. To better us (and, realistically, to better myself, as writing often does). And so I find that I cannot stay silent on any matter that plagues me. Because the things I feel are a part of this wild heart of life are things we all subscribe to. I won’t apologize again for getting political. I won’t apologize, because my heart is no longer sorry for wanting to create a world more beautiful than the one in which we live.
I have been a proud member of the NRA for many years. After Orlando, I did not renew my membership. I did not renew, not because I do not believe in Second Amendment Rights, but because I do not believe in the shameless taking of a human life. These terms are NOT synonymous. Make no mistake, the few do not define the whole. But they have the propensity to make it far worse, as all action does.
So, I’m posting the letter that I wrote to Wayne LaPierre, who I do not think is a bad man by any stretch. Just a man who, perhaps, has not felt enough sadness on this matter. After all, all we are is an accumulation of experience. And every man’s is different. For those who have not felt the sorrow, they must listen to the ones who have. It takes effort, but that effort is not for want. (Edit: this letter is not all inclusive. There are other, more personal family stories regarding gun violence that I am respectfully declining to post upon a public outlet.)
I fully support our Second Amendment rights. I want to acknowledge that, right off the bat. I am a supporter of our right to own guns.
That being said, I have, or rather, do not have, a grandfather. I do not have him because he was so stricken with depression that he took his own life, when I was only two. I have never known the presence of a grandfather in my life. I gaze, longingly, at photographs, but that is not the same thing as a pair of hands to hold me. I wonder if you miss a thing like that. If you ever did. It would have meant the world to me to have another man in my life–but, I never got that chance.
I dated a man once, who’s AR15 would sit beside him in the bed each night. One night, I jumped onto the bed and landed on it, felt the rigid shape of its mass dig into my spine. Quite realistically, I’m lucky to be alive. He was careless, and, I won’t go into detail, but he had no business owning a thing such as that.
Mr. LaPierre, please do not ask me again to renew my membership. Not until I see you thinking of lives over rights. Of individuals over statistics. When you can acknowledge that mental illness is a real thing, I’ll renew. When you can acknowledge that right to bear arms does not mean right to own military grade assault weapons built solely for the purpose of removing human life, I will renew.
I cannot support a burden such as this.
Right to bear does not give us the right to neglect common sense and a desire for the well being of our fellow Americans. When protection becomes deflection, I find myself conflicted.
Your organization is exemplary in the manner in which it upholds constitutional rights. That makes me proud. But it is so very poor in the manner in which it protects the very people the amendment was drawn up to protect: ourselves.
I love my country. I love our Amendments. But nothing in this life is black and white, and it’s about time we stop acting like it is.
Please, I encourage each of you to keep on loving. We can protect our Amendments while still being reasonable. The only one trying to take away from us is the one stealing away the lives of fellow citizens. For just a moment, forget the politics. Remember the love. And remember the children who won’t receive the love that they deserve.