Tears

I’ve been crying a lot lately.

When I was a teenager I spent a lot time crying also. I spent years learning to control my tears when I was angry, when I was happy, sad, frustrated. Because showing tears was weakness. I firmly believe that crying in front of my boss cost me my summer job one year in college.

But now that I can control it, I don’t care.

I cry because every day for the last three weeks or so I wake up to news of more violence. More black men murdered by police, more innocent lives taken by terrorists — police and civilians alike.

I cried on my way to work every day listening to the coverage of the RNC on NPR.

The hatred, the anger, the divisiveness, it all just makes me so frustrated, sad, and I cry.

I cried watching Michelle Obama’s speech the next day, because I watched a poised, intelligent, incredible women give a speech on how far we’ve come and still show us how far we have to go.

I cried after I saw the Ghostbusters reboot, trying to talk to Boyfriend about why a movie I didn’t think was that great as a kid meant so much to me now. Articulating the elation at seeing sexy, smart, strong women talk science on such a wide reaching platform, being the role models for girls I wish I had had as a young girl. The validation for my career change and path. The excitement, waiting for E to grow up enough to be allowed to see it, to show her that I am not an outlier. I am one of many and she can be whatever the fuck she wants.

I cried for many of the same reasons watching the video this morning that introduced Hillary Clinton’s live video feed last night. Watching the images of the 44 previous presidents shatter as she appeared on screen as the first female nominee for president by a major party. What it means. What it stands for.

I cry for a lot of reasons, but tears are not weakness.

Tears are strength.

Fuck Prayers.

You heard me. Fuck Prayers.

We spend our time mourning the loss of lives of people we should never have known the names of.

Of children. Of babies. Of people gunned down for their beliefs. Of people gunned down for who they love.

Banning assault rifles is not taking breaking your second amendment right. It’s placing reasonable restrictions on the ownership of guns.

If you need to empty 45 rounds into an animal to kill it, you need to work on your aim. If you practice enough, you don’t even need a gun. You can use a bow and arrow. Hell, I’ve killed deer with my car without even trying. I don’t need an AR-15 to do it, and neither do you.

Prayers do nothing to make change. Nothing to stop the massacres. They are so common now, that, as Stephen Colbert put it,

“What can you possibly say in the face of this horror? But then sadly, you realized that you know what to say. Because it’s been said too many times before[…]It’s as if there is a National script that we have learned.”

How can we have become so complacent that we expect that we will hear about a mass shooting on a daily basis?

How can we accept this as a norm?

How in the actual FUCK can you say that banning one type of gun when you can still own so many others is taking away your second amendment right and that is more important than the 475 people who died in 2015, the 207 people who died SO FAR in 2016 alone? Let us not forget the many, many wounded (1,870 in 2014, by the way).

I could go on with the statistics, but I know that they are not going to change anyone’s mind. Because as a country we lost our fucking soul when first graders were gunned down and we did NOTHING. NOTHING. My boyfriend’s daughter will be starting first grade in a couple of years. I am terrified. Fucking TERRIFIED. Her daycare has a combination entry door to prevent not only kidnapping, but you know, some jackass who decides that yeah, today I’m going to murder babies and toddlers. Because s/he can.

And the only reason I add s/ is because there has been ONE female mass shooter in recent years, and that was in San Bernadino, but I know that that’s the one thing that will get fixated on if I don’t include it.

Talking to boyfriend about this, he said one thing that resonated so hard with me.

“I don’t want to talk about love. Progressives have had to settle for talking about love. It’s clear that love is not enough anymore.” (emphasis mine)

Love isn’t enough anymore.

LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH ANYMORE.

I love so many people. Gay, Straight, Bi, Trans, Questioning, Black, Brown, Tan, White, Male, Female, Non-gendered people in between, but that does not keep them safe.

Your prayers are not enough.

I do not accept them.

Until your prayers are followed up by meaningful reform, action, standing up to keep the people you love, I love, I don’t fucking want to hear it.

Yes, this is a layered problem.

Yes, this is a hard problem.

No, that does not mean we don’t talk about it.

Fuck your prayers. Do something.

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