I already know this post isn’t going to be a profound and well-organized as it needs to be. But I have to express my sadness and frustration at the state of this country.
There are too many guns. There are too many murders. Presumably no one is safe.
There is a very real problem with (some) police officers and their undeniably unnecessary use of force, resulting in the deaths of innocent black men (and, less frequently, women.) If you are in denial of this fact, then the names Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, and Alton Sterling should not be stored in my memory without having to look them up. And there are more, so many more. None of these people should be dead.
The two this week are especially frustrating. They were killed because they had guns. They were not shooting, brandishing, or using them in a threatening manner. I keep hearing “more people need guns,” yet in this case these men were killed because they had guns. Castile even told the police officer he had a gun. And the insult added to all of these “injururies” is that the officers never seem to be held responsible. So these individuals died in vain. How would you feel if your loved one was killed by an officer for unfair reasons, and then no one was held responsible? What if your dad was selling cigarettes, then was choked to death while being restrained, then no one was punished? This enrages me.
I also wrote on my personal Facebook page on July 8 (the morning after Dallas,) “If you are outraged and heartbroken today, but you weren’t yesterday, you should reevaluate your priorities.” The murders of Dallas officers were senseless, awful, and served no purpose. I do not support the murder of innocent people. Just as it is wrong to stereotype and label all blacks, it is wrong to do the same of all police officers. But I have yet to see much condemnation of the “bad cops” by the “good ones.” All I hear is, “you don’t know what it’s like.” No, I don’t, but I know you can’t fucking KILL SOMEONE because you are afraid, when they have given you no reason to use such measures! Tamir Rice was a CHILD PLAYING WITH A TOY. Michael Brown had his arms in the air. I don’t know a ton about the rules of engagement in the military, but I’m pretty sure soldiers don’t go shooting every adult male who *may* have a gun or be a threat.
I also hate the “all lives matter” response to “Black Lives Matter.” If you respond with all lives matter, you are totally missing the point of Black Lives Matter. Black people are shown over and over, through unnecessary police force, through unbalanced prosecution of crimes, and reaching as far back as segregation and slavery, that their lives don’t matter (as much.) And “Blue Lives Matter,” NO FUCKING KIDDING, has anyone ever said they didn’t? (And if you quote the militant vigilantes who are trying to “get even” for black deaths, they don’t count. They are a sliver of the population. You don’t need a hashtag against them. Most Black Lives Matter proponents don’t think police lives don’t matter.) The vast majority, I would guess 99.999% of Americans, believe that blue lives matter. I do NOT for a second believe that the rate is that high that cares when black people are killed in traffic stops.
I have heard two compelling analogies: this one and this:
And this isn’t even touching on Orlando. Civilians do not need access to high-powered assault rifles. They were created for one purpose- to kill people. So why would a civilian need one? I don’t know m(any) people who use an AR-15 as a home defense weapon. Do you keep it locked and loaded beside your bed? (If so, you could go to jail if there is a child in the house (ever!), because that’s against the law.) No, most people who own guns for home defense use handguns. They are smaller, easier to maneuver, and easier to safely conceal while still being accessible. To all of those who argue it’s a second amendment right, that was when you had to load a musket after every round. The founding fathers also supported slavery and preventing women from voting or owning land. Some shit is outdated and needs to be revised.
I don’t even know what else to say. I think the most frustrating part is that I don’t know what I can do to make it any better. I can’t take the guns from the crazies. I can’t stop people from selling them. I can’t make people less racist. I can’t convince the angry people that not all cops are bad. I just hope Trump doesn’t win the presidency, because then this country is going to Hell in a hand basket. (I will save this for another day. But the two comments that scare me the most are when he claimed he knows more than the Generals about ISIS, and that he gets his military advice from “watching the shows,” whatever the fuck that means. Lord help us, I wish Mitt Romney were running. YES I JUST SAID THAT. You know it’s bad.)