As American lawmakers and interest groups stick to their guns about their rights to bear arms, the nations weapons continue to waste no time making themselves heard. This week the same weapons have cut short the lives of 12 people in Washington DC Navy Yard as they ended 20 lives at Sandy Hook elementary school in December 2012 in what the media dubbed the most horrific massacre in the history of modern America. You would think that would have been a loud enough wake up call.
Yet today as it is every other month, what we will not say and do, our automatic weapons have said and done.
Once again lives have been cut short and others survived to narrate traumatic stories.
Once again flags fly half-mast, families are grieving and a nation is shaken.
Once again news headlines have been taken hostage by the gruesome details of the tragedy.
Once again we have enlisted experts to analyze and explain the mind and the motives of the shooter to a nation that is obstinately standing its ground with its arsenal of personal weapons.
However what we should be analyzing and investigating is the nation’s collective obsession with weapons and why we refuse to lay them down. We ought to be troubled at the ease with which it is to obtain multiple guns and ammunition. We aught to be investigating what make it possible and okay for a nation to have more gun shops than grocery stores.
It is time to lay our weapons down!
The tired and deadly argument still rings “ guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.
It is true that “guns don’t kill people”, but they know how to get people to use them to do what they were designed to do. Our assault and automatic weapons grow claustrophobic locked up in their safes. They know they are not living up to their purpose. As much as it is our second amendment right to own guns for whatever reason, it seems our weapons also know their right to exercise what they were designed to do: taunt, intimidate and destroy. They constantly seek ways to get out there and express their might and prowess.
You will not perceive this because you are responsible and mentally sound. However when you head off to work, the rifles, snipers and handguns clank loudly in their safes and creep out from the closets and under the beds. They know the Gun Whisperers, those around you who will hear their bold and incisive voice.
Out of your watch, the guns whisper to your young children about pretending to be superheroes.
The assault rifle makes appeals for justice and revenge to your offended colleagues.
The handgun guarantee easy answers to life’s perplexing questions to your teenagers.
Any accesible weapon promises relief to depressed and tormented loved ones.
At the close of day, the weapons always win the argument. We don’t.
It is time to lay those weapons down!
The nation’s weapons have spoken while that of innocent men, women and children has been eternally silenced.
Indeed for those who remain behind, it is mostly women and children and whose safety and well-being hang on strings of grace.
How many women and children own guns and commit mass murders?
Who remains with the bulk of the socio-economic and psychological burdens when dear ones have been sent to their early graves?
Who learns from repeated and publicized episodes of senseless murders that this is the new normal?
It is time to destroy these weapons!
I am not American and I do not own weapons save for the wares and tools found in everyone’s kitchen drawer. However as a migrant privileged to live and share space with Americans, the grief pierces my heart . I share the collective anxiety about safety in public spaces. The sound of multiple-rounds of bullets is something I wish far from my and your life.
And so I unite my voice with all those who say: It is time to lay our weapons down!
God bless America!