Something about Groundhog Day.

Well, no. Actually, it’s about guns. Again. This time, today, in Collierville, Tennessee.

It’s the Guns.

(Originally posted on August 4, 2019, after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. The version below has been lightly edited from the original.)

Trying to make things make sense, to sort it out in my head, or at least to find some solace,

I cooked (fresh zucchini), sliced tomatoes, made a cocktail.

I sewed – three dresses in one weekend – stitching like a madwoman to avoid feeling mad.

I went to church, read Ecclesiastes: “I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem, applied my mind to see and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.

Meditation; thoughts and prayers; a search for understanding.

I do not understand.

I do not understand why we are unable, again, to accept and act on what seems straightforward:

It isn’t any elected official or 8chan or a culture of hate.

It isn’t domestic violence, or the breakdown of the family unit, or working parents and latchkey kids.

It isn’t a crisis of faith, a lack of mental health services, or the first grade teacher who didn’t spend enough time teaching kindness.

It isn’t the gays, the immigrants, the incels, or a political party.

Flip any of those things to its opposite, and you still won’t change the ending.

It’s the guns.

Control for every other variable – get rid of the internet and TV – and the tragic story ends the same way, unless you take out the guns. It’s the only controllable variable that produces a different result.

And until we’re ready to confront that truth, we’re just wasting time.

It’s the guns.

Ready to do something? These are your people: Moms Demand Action / Everytown for Gun Safety

Need to read more first? Here’s a sampling:

America’s Gun Culture in Charts (2021)

Responsible Gun Ownership Is a Lie (2021)

Fighting America’s Gun Plague (2021)

Mass Shootings in the U.S. Have Risen Sharply in 2020. Why? (from 2020)

The Psychology of Guns: risk, fear, and motivated reasoning (from 2019)

It’s the Guns (from 2018)

A Timeline of Gun Control Laws in the U.S. (from 2018)

It’s the Guns. It’s Always Been the Guns. (from 2018)

One nation, under gun. (from 2012)

How to prevent gun deaths: Where experts and the public agree. (from 2017)

6 Things to Know About Mass Shootings in America (from 2016 – since updated)

Things More Heavily Regulated than Buying a Gun in America (from 2017)


This post is 45/56 in a self-directed challenge to write (or at least post) something (SOMETHING) every day – a birthday gift to me from me, because writing gives me a place to put the clutter that lives in my head.

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