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In 1984, when I was twelve, I spent the summer in Ireland visiting my grandmother. All anyone was talking about was the Olympics. Then one day, the banner headline in the Dublin paper screamed about a bunch of kids being killed at a McDonald’s in California. I was horrified. I was not at all political and didn’t really know anything about gun laws, so I processed it as a child would: I eat at McDonald’s, that could have been me. I read everything I could about the kids who had died. I felt awful.
I was driving home from work in 1999 when 1010 Wins started talking about a school shooting. It was happening in Colorado, at a high school named Columbine. I wasn’t a mom yet, so I didn’t have my own kids to project the tragedy on to – it didn’t quite have the gut-punch feeling that today’s events had on me – but I was devastated learning about all of the promising young lives cut short. And I thought to myself, maybe now people will really start doing something about guns.
After the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 I thought, this is it. This is the one that will cripple the NRA and lead to change, once and for all.
Then the movie theater massacre just this past July, again in Colorado. Surely, this time…
So, was today’s tragedy bad enough for the people who devote their lives to ensuring that guns are easy to get? Were the victims sympathetic enough? Young enough? Innocent enough? Were there enough of them?
If this doesn’t change our country’s thinking when it comes to guns, then I don’t know what will. I’m waiting. Waiting to see how the NRA defends this, puts the blame elsewhere. Waiting to see which politician or pundit trots out gun ownership lies that are so ridiculously easy to disprove. Because if this doesn’t convince them…
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