Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Dark Voice

Last night, I walked into the restaurant for our family Valentine’s Day dinner and gave my daughter a long, tight hug. She is only 6 and didn’t know what had happened in Parkland but I did. I knew about Parkland, Columbine, Newtown, Las Vegas, churches in South Carolina and Texas, and a nightclub in Orlando. (Did you realize that there have been eight shootings at schools just six weeks into 2018? Eight, where even one would have been a cause for horror in the past!)

It’s because I know of these things that I hear a dark, evil voice whispering to me every time I kiss my daughter and tell her I love her before school and at bedtime. The voice whispers, asking me if today is the day that something happens, if today our world comes apart, if today a gun goes off.

I hate that voice.

I hate the fear and that I’ll have to explain all of this to her someday.

I hate that she is growing up in a country where mass shootings are the new normal.

I hate that the freedom to carry guns has trumped the freedom for kids to go to school without having to practice lockdown drills.

I hate that children were texting their families to say “I love you” because they didn’t think they would ever be able to say it in person again.

I hate that parents who sent their children to school are now sitting in empty bedrooms staring at photos and videos, knowing they'll never hold their child again.

I hate that voice.

I wonder why the enablers of the gun lobby can’t hear it. Many of them have kids or grandkids. Does the voice not whisper the fear to them, too? Maybe it does but the sound of a Glock sliding into a holster, a magazine being inserted into an AR-15, and the clink of golden guineas in their re-election coffers drowns it out.

I hate that voice.

But I am stronger than that voice.

I love my daughter.

That's why I know we can be stronger than the guns. We need our voices to grow ever louder so that no parent has to hear that evil whisper the door to the school ever again.

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