My Day for Kicking the Hornet's Nest

I normally try to keep my mouth shut on political, or belief-based issues, 'cause everyone has the right to their opinion (so long as that opinion doesn't tell them it's okay to harm others, and then they go out and do so), and I have friends that are on both sides of some of these issues, and there's no way, in open debate to really throw your opposing opinion at your friend without getting them riled up. However, I feel like there are things that need to be said.

In light of having a few 'omg, don't touch that' topics I want to address, I will label each before jumping in. I cannot stress this too greatly, if you are going to read this post, then all I ask is that you read it to the end, read everything I have to say about the topic, before deciding you don't like what I said, or feeling the need to tear me a new one. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions, and these are mine. If you read my full points, and you want to open a debate, great, I'm all for a healthy debate. However, if you try to pick me, or my views apart just to start shit, because you're simply some shit-starting troll who thrives on stirring up drama, then expect to be ignored.

Gay Marriage

Luckily, I don't personally know anyone who is anti-gay marriage, so this shouldn't even be a view I'm addressing, but I'm going anyway. If you spend your life with someone, then you should be entitled to the same rights as everyone else- you should be allowed to be at their bedside in a hospital if they're dying. You should be allowed to keep the things you lovingly purchased as a unit, you should be allowed to claim each other as a couple come tax season. Gay marriage doesn't threaten hetero marriages. To say it does, doesn't even make sense. If peel back the layers, what's really being said is that anti-gay-marriage proponents think that society is better off is gay people just 'go along with' a straight life style and pretend to be happy. They would subject children to being born into a fake marriage, with none of the kind of love that should exist between a husband and wife.

It's been said before, and I'll paraphrase it here, 'cause it fits: being gay is not a 'life style choice', but trying to force others to live how you think they should, regardless of their actual freedoms, IS a choice. Our founding fathers put 'separation of church and state' in the Constitution for a reason. No one should be using religion-based belief to forge laws. That's what they do in the Middle East, but gods forbid you compare these bible-thumpers to Muslims.

And stop referring to gay marriage as 'special rights'. They're fucking not. Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders are still human, you conservative ass-hats. To say they're asking for 'special rights' because they want the same human freedoms and liberties that you have is, in fact, an attempt to dehumanize these people. The problem isn't that LGBT people want EQUAL rights, it's that things have not been equal for so long that those who have been privileged don't realized how simple they've had it, and now that society is going, "hey, let's be fair and make everyone even," they say "What? You want what I have? But that's not fair." Well, ya know what? Yes, it is fucking fair, that is the point.

Racism

I can already hear the quiet gasps going up. Now, it may not be obvious from my physical appearance, but I am, in fact, a child of mixed race-both of my parents are of each of European and Native American descent. Most people who have known me longer than a month learn that anyway, as I don't keep it a secret. As such, I feel I'm a person able to discuss this without stirring up too much shit. I've been picked on for being white, I've been picked on for being 'Indian', I've been picked on for having friends from every band of the ethnic rainbow; my husband is Puerto Rican, the woman I chose to be godmother to my youngest child is black, the woman I've called my sister for 23 years is Asian. I've heard it ALL.

Here's the thing that most people don't realize. Racism is a problem because WE as a society, keep letting it be. People want to make up for the past, or want someone to answer for the past, or make some sort of recompense for things that happened before our parents were even a gleam in our grandparents' eyes.

I guess you can see that I'm not a believer in Sins of the Father. I never have been. I can't find it acceptable in any way to hold one person responsible for the crimes of another. And don't for one second think that because of the color of my skin, I don't have any ethnic past wrong-doings to gripe about, if I so chose (look up slavery of the Irish, look at the native people of this land still living on reservations that the government that took over 'allowed' them to have [in other words, forced them to live on], look up the history of 'disputes' between Turkey and Armenia, open a history book to Hitler's march through Poland). I have a laundry list of ethnicities in my blood, I could go on all day, every day, about crimes against them.

But that's the point.

We ALL could. If every single one of us dug deep enough, we'd all find some terrible gaping wound in the past, and wonder how anyone could forgive it. And the reason that wound can't be healed? The reason forgiveness cannot be granted? It's because those are not our wounds. That forgiveness not ours to grant. The only way we're ever going to heal will be if we all make the effort to put the past behind us and leave it there. And that's never going to happen. Too many people want answers that cannot be given. Too many people simply want to BE angry, and they don't realize that they want to be angry. They want someone to yell at, someone to pay, someone to wound in a measure that equates what their ancestors suffered. And I can understand that, but the person now, the present-day individual that you make answer for a crime which had nothing to do with them, will learn resentment. And in their resentment, they may decide that 'your people' (black, white, yellow, blue, wtf-ever) are 'all the same', so the 'answer' leads to unresolved negative feelings. The question then becomes "Where does it end?"

The hate and the anger has to end somewhere, and as long as we keep poking at old wounds, that end will never come. We'll be hating and raging at one another 'til the sun burns out. We should MAKE it end with us. Stop teaching our children hate. Teach them HONEST history, if you must teach it, and let them draw their own conclusions. If you teach a child something with hatred, they will learn hate, even if you don't openly express that feeling.

I'm just one voice, and no one is going to hear me unless they listen. But, I want to raise my children in a world that isn't color blind, but that sees the different colors and appreciates the beauty in their differences.

And now, the stickiest subject of all:

Gun Control

This is an especially tense issue, and I do have friends on both sides of this. I've struggled with not saying anything when my gun-loving friends post anti-gov't 'don't you touch my gun' posts. And you love your gun? Great! Fantastic. Keep it. Luckily for me, I can say that most of my friends who own guns, KNOW how to use them, maintain them properly, and are responsible gun owners.

Here's the issue. Not everyone that legally owns guns is responsible, or actually knows how to handle them. Are there criminals and evil-minded folk out there with guns? Yes. Do some of them have assault weapons? I'm pretty sure. The government isn't saying they want to take your guns away. They're saying they want to take assault weapons away. And you know what? Private citizens should NOT have assault weapons to begin with. The Right to Bear Arms? That is written with the intent that you should have the right to own fire arms to protect yourself, your family, and your home. . . . And maybe for those of you who hunt, sure. Now, if there is some reason that for any of these things, you need MORE than a hand gun, shot gun & hunting rifle, maybe you need to move to a different neighborhood.

That was a joke, lighten up.

In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I cried. I looked at my son Mathias, who's the same age as many of the victims and thought about how much it would hurt to have to walk into his room and see his things, and hold his toys or his clothes and know that I would never get to see, or hold my baby boy again. The law makers can complain all they want that restrictions on gun ownership, and the types of firearms available to private citizens is not the answer. But they're not the parent who lost their child to a gun-toting lunatic who got his firearms from his mother's collection; his mother, who, until then, probably thought she was a responsible gun owner.

This also raises the question, that in the 'right to bear arms', do we really need a gun 'collection'? It's a very simple question.

The massacre at Sandyhook took place on my 35th birthday. It felt incredibly wrong and awful to celebrate another year of my life lived when so many young, thriving lives had been lost. I had to explain to my 6 year old and 8 year old what happened. They were scared, sad, and mostly confused. They couldn't understand why someone would do such a thing. And I couldn't explain it, 'cause I don't understand, either.

December 15th, the very next day, one of my friends posted something saying that conservative leaders would look at the tragedy and their reaction would be nothing more than "The liberal government is going to try to take our guns away!"  And that's what they've been telling the gun-loving members of the nation ever since.

And, stop getting uppity, I'm not done yet, and I asked that you read this all the way through.

My last point on this ooooh-so-touchy subject is this: You think every man, woman, and child, should bear arms? Okay. The problem isn't allowing citizens to arm themselves. The problem is that once you've allowed them to carry that weapon, who's going to ensure that they know how to use it? An untrained civilian holding a gun and trying to play hero when a crazy person shows up with an assault weapon has the potential for an even worse outcome.

And before you cite me the incidents in which situations have been stopped by armed civilians, or off-duty cops, or veterans who just happened to have their sidearm with them in the right place at the right time, I will point out that this IS what I mean. These are people who are trained (either through years of practice and skill acquired over years, or through some sort of post/job-related training) to handle such weapons.

The answer should be increased security at schools and other institutions thought safe before this happened. The problem there is that we're a nation that pays the people who entertain us billions of dollars, but don't have enough for school funding, which includes things like security staff.

The bottom line is, I don't think anyone really wants to see every single person in this country running around with a gun in their hand. Guns are kinda like alcohol, some of us can handle it, some of us can't. Think about it, whether you love guns or hate them, you know people that you'd never want to see anywhere NEAR a damn gun.

So, you don't want to give up your guns? Great, we don't want to take them away . . . We just want to try to limit the chance of crazy people getting their hands on them. We want to keep assault weapons (which were originally created for military use only, to begin with) away from the people who would use them for outright evil deads. I don't think that's too much to ask. Maybe stronger 'gun laws' aren't the answer, I don't know what the real answer to this is better than anyone else, but something needs to be done.






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