Before I go any further, I want to let you know that this is not one of my usual blog posts. Things that have happened this week have made me want to write this. It is strictly my own opinion, and you are not in any way expected or required to agree. So feel free to stop reading, because I would rather that than upsetting or deeply offending anyone.
First - the whole thing with the vote to increase background checks for gun owners. I don't understand why this would be a problem. If you are a "good guy" what do you have to hide in a background check? I have had to have them in order to be considered for various jobs over the years, and though I always hope I don't become famous or run for office - because like most people there are things in my past that I am embarrassed by and/or ashamed of - I know that I have nothing to really worry about, or that I don't need to worry that any "secrets" will be found. And though I am not someone in favor of hunting unless it is literally the only way you can survive, I cannot see the reason that any hunter needs an assault weapon. And as for the argument that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," a) give me a break, and b) guns aren't made to be benign. Unlike a knife that can be used to cut things, or a rope that can hold something together/pull things, a gun exists to be shot.
This particular image sums it up for me.
Second - the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon. This is truly horrible, no matter what your "theories" are. But I not only hate that these things happen in the first place, I hate the immediate blaming and fake patriotism that immediately occurs. I am not in any way discounting the fact that what happened was wrong, evil, and that the victims were innocent. I want the perpetrators to be caught and to face the consequences. What really bothers me is the sort of vigilante mentality that takes over. Usually from people who are condemning said mentality in all other situations. Sadly, there are parts of the world where such things happen several times a day. It is no less horrible and sad there, and the victims are no less innocent. It's like people on the news who say, "We never thought that kind of thing could happen HERE." There are no 100% safe places, and regardless what anyone would like to think, there never have been.
Third - the explosion at the fertilizer factory in Texas. An entire town pretty much wiped out. The victims guilty only of their choice of where they lived. And yet - it's barely a mention in news stories, or on news sites. Devastation is devastation, and none of the victims in that explosion are any less important than any person who was at the Boston Marathon.
And finally - if you are even still reading - I would like to share something that my mother told me the morning after my father died, when I was 13 years old. We got up that morning, and I wondered what we should do. My mother reminded me that even though our world had been turned upside down, for most other people in the world, it was just a regular day. And for some people, it was actually one of the best days of their lives. Babies would be born. Someone might get a job they wanted. Maybe people were getting married, or engaged. An acceptance letter to a desired school might be in the mail that day. Or someone might just wake up and think that it felt like a good day. She told me that there was nothing wrong with being happy, even when other people were sad, and that no one should feel guilty because of it.
At the time, this seemed like a revelation, though of course it was proven true when I looked around me. And I am sharing that with you now, because I think it is important to remember, on any given day. I truly believe that it's possible to be 100% empathetic, and still be a relatively happy person. If not, why would any of us get up in the morning at all?
Thus endeth my rant-filled post. As I said in the beginning, I did not write this to accuse anyone of anything, or to go out of my way to offend anyone. But I've gone through the entire week wanting to say it, and I appreciate that I can.
Have a good weekend. Remember to do something for those that need your help, and be grateful for what you can. And always remember that for the most part, the world is filled with good and caring people. Who are not Pollyannas. And who get up every single day hoping for a good outcome.