My imagination went into overdrive. I wanted to ask them what they meant, but there were little kids present and they seemed to be talking in code around them. Instead I pulled out my phone and tried to look up the news…
anything about shooting. But it drew a blank.
What could they have meant? It wasn’t until hours later that I found one possibility; the shooting of the two coast guard officers in Alaska yesterday. Still, it is sad to say that they could also have been speaking about any number of other shootings. A quick Google search of shootings ‘April 12, 2012’ returns pages of possible results.
The fact that gun control laws are even open for debate in our country seems ridiculous to me. Some statistics here might help: According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2000 there were 2.97 firearm homicides per 100,000 people and a total of 4.55 homicides per 100,000 people overall in the U.S. (which allows private gun ownership) versus .52 and .12 firearm homicides per 100,000 people in Canada and the UK respectively
(which don’t allow private gun ownership). Their total homicides where much less as well; coming in at 1.58 and 1.45 per 100,000 people respectively.
I am a whimp when it comes to violence. Much as I loved The Hunger Games book, it took me until this week to actually get up the will to read it; and I am still not sure I want to see the movie. I don’t write violence in my own books. And ever since Columbine (which I still have nightmares about), I avoid watching T.V. news when there is any kind of big, violent event. I hate that I am raising my daughter in a world where video games callously normalize guns and violence; it was only last year, at seven, that she even got a squirt gun.
But on the other hand, I appreciate that we live in a country where our rights are protected; where we can debate these things openly and reach our own conclusions.
And with a good imagination that is just what I do. Last night I imagined the democrats and the republicans in congress having a huge water fight on the Mall in D.C.. The press wanted to hold a conference, but they were all