Every day I work with people who are navigating various kinds of loss. I help folks cope with a loved one’s death, the stress of divorce, getting a scary health diagnosis, or raising children with special needs (to name just a few examples). We inevitably have to talk about accepting reality and adapting to it.
But after Wednesday’s horrific massacre in Florida, I’m beyond sad, shocked, and distressed yet again. I’m mad. Our country’s response to out of control gun violence is what’s shocking and doesn’t reflect basic human values.
It’s time to reject mass shootings as the new normal; it’s time to fight back.
How do we know when to accept something and when to fight back? Here are 4 signals it’s time to work on accepting:
While the families and friends of those gunned down this week must somehow accept and adapt to the reality of their deaths, we by no means have to accept that this is the future of life in the United States.
Gun violence doesn’t have to be the new normal; it is an aberration of human decency in the guise of human rights.
The argument that cites mental illness as the problematic variable doesn’t make sense. There is no more mental illness per capita in the United States than in any other developed country; yet there are exponentially more shootings here.
There is agreement, however, among many online sources that the US tops the list of countries with the most guns, owning about half the world’s guns while making up only 5% of the world population.
Mass shootings don’t happen where guns (especially assault rifles) aren’t available.
Returning to the 4 signals, here’s the truth:
I invite you to join me in the fight back. Leave a comment below or send me an email. Call or write your senators and house representatives today and keep the conversation going. Make sure this doesn’t get lost in the busyness of everyday life.
Essays on Grief Resilience