Thinking about: Staying ahead of despair

Of all the powerful memes and images that have spoken to me today, in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, one of the most heartbreaking ones was this—taken from the children’s-book-famous Mo Willems’ Pigeon twitter feed, @The_Pigeon—owing to the realization that it was the image that resonated the most.

This morning, listening to politicians’ condolences, eerily more hollow than ever, I found myself watching Hudson run into school with tears in my eyes and thinking back to that morning after Sandy Hook. The weight of imagining all of the families and friends who watched a loved one leave never to see him or her return, both then and now, is too heavy. And the powerlessness I feel when I think about seeing real change in our gun culture in my lifetime makes it difficult not to simply look away.

I watch the videos with the charts, read the articles about how other countries reacted to mass shootings, and keep thinking it all (all being things like more background checks on private and gun show sales and banning semi-automatic and assault-style weapons) seems so clear. Even if, depressingly, the violence no longer surprises me, that I’m so wrong on this point does. Instead I learn that gun stocks go up after mass shootings.

From Adam Gopnik today in The New Yorker, “Between the consolidated power of the pro-gun right, and the truth that gun control has slipped down the agenda of even anti-violence liberals, this means that the only American response to regular mass gun killings will be a shrug and faked sympathy. It is hard to know how to stay too far ahead of despair.”

Indeed, it is.

But if you’d like to try:

Julie Scott, a spokesperson for United Blood Services, has noted that victims are likely going to require surgeries in the weeks and months to come. Blood donations have a 42-day shelf life; United Blood Services is urging people to book appointments to donate blood in the coming days and weeks.

Call your representatives.

[Image by Mo Williams, via @The_Pigeon]

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category