When I read about the church shooting in Charleston yesterday, I cried. In the comfort of my room, seemingly lightyears away, I found the computer screen blurring before my eyes. I exited the window and tried to forget.
I wish it were Tuesday, when Rachel Dolezal was the talk of the town, on the front page of The Atlantic, filling up Slate’s homepage. I wish The New Yorker were still covering Tiger Woods’ steep decline. I wish I could read the news, one of my favorite pastimes, without, well, crying. I’m not the kind of person to shut myself off from the world to keep from pain, and I never have before, but I don’t know how much longer it can go on.
Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Michael Brown. Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, a Tucson mall, a warm July day at the movies. I want to cover my ears, drown out the gunshots. I find myself searching Google for “why do people like guns” and “NRA reasons”. Searching for answers the only way I can. I read and I read and I keep coming up empty.
I was recently reading up on the presidential candidates, laughing at Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, but now, when Lindsey Graham turns a blind eye to the glaring need for better gun control, I just can’t watch.
I don’t know if I can write much more -- or should, considering the importance of my chosen subject. I’m no Jill Lepore, whose article on gun control in America made me sob into my pillow, or Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose writings on the vile Confederate flag made my temper flare against presumptuous white supremacists. I wish gun control and NRA lobbyists would listen to each other. I wish it were Tuesday, or April 11, 2015, or August 8, 2014, or December 13, 2012, or the day before the first shots of the Civil War were fired. I wish it were a world where these tragedies were rooted out before they could even happen.