Heather hasn't been able to fall asleep tonight. Something has got her anxiety level up and she can't calm down and stay asleep. It's 3 hours past her bedtime and she's been out of her room at least a dozen times. I've carried her to bed twice and have sat in her room for some time.

Now I'm on the floor of her room again trying to help her get to sleep.

I'm tired; she's exhausted. And I'm running out of the necessary energy to stay calm and supportive for her.

But, I try to remember that, as frustrating and tiring as this is, there are too many other parents who would do anything to be in my place tonight. Too many other parents whose children aren't in their beds tonight. Too many other parents whose children aren't coming down the hallway every 10 minutes and interrupting the show they're watching. Because of a disease, or a careless driver, or a lunatic with a gun, their children aren't coming home again.

I'm tired, my patience is gone. But I'll figure out how to stay calm anyways. My children are here. My children are safe. I can't imagine it being otherwise. I hope I never find out.

Do We Really Care?

In September of 2001 the band P.O.D. released their song "Youth of the Nation" which begins with the lyrics:

Last day of the rest of my life
I wish I would've known
'Cause I would've kissed my mama goodbye

I didn't tell her that I loved her and how much I care
Or thank my pops for all the talks
And all the wisdom he shared

Unaware, I just did what I always do
Everyday, the same routine
Before I skate off to school

But who knew that this day wasn't like the rest
Instead of taking a test
I took two to the chest

Call me blind, but I didn't see it coming
Everybody was running
But I couldn't hear nothing

Except gun blasts, it happened so fast
I didn't really know this kid
He wasn't part of the class

Maybe this kid was reaching out for love
Or maybe for a moment
He forgot who he was
Or maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged

Towards the end of the song is this stanza

Who's to blame for the lives that tragedies claim
No matter what you say
It don't take away the pain

When this song came out I was in high school.  I could still remember the reaction to Columbine which occurred when I was in middle school.  How could I have envisioned then that 16 years later we, as a nation, would have paid lip service over hundreds of bodies of adults and children about "never again" and then done precisely nothing to actually change the course of our society?

Honestly, I'm getting tired of trying to be nuanced about which gun owners are responsible and which aren't, it's about people not guns, it's a mental-health issue, did the Founding Fathers intend for an armed population as a hedge against tyranny, blah, blah, blah, blah.  The endless blathering only seems to amount to yet another dead child, yet another dead mother, yet another dead father.

What we're doing now, which is nothing, is not making the situation any better.

People who want to have continued access to firearms as part of their lifestyle need to stop hiding behind rhetoric and start proposing and implementing solutions.  I'm getting tired of holding a nuanced view on the matter while more people senselessly die.  I imagine there are more like me who, as time goes on, think that a "repeal and replace" of the 2nd Amendment might be the only way anything actually changes.

Research available options, pick a potential solution, plan and fund an implementation, study the outcome.  It really isn't that hard.

Do we really care?

The answer seems to be, "No."