I'm sure many of you are aware that Kalamazoo is the latest (in a way too long line-up*) of cities-in-the-news because Senseless Gun Violence.
Today, as I write this post . . . well. Let's just say I'm rambling, and not really sure where it's going to go. Because This Is My Town, Damnit. And I'm still processing.
But I'm going to start here. With a BB.
One day last spring, I was out walking my dogs -- and I got shot in the leg with a BB. (That very BB. I saved it.) It hurt like hell. But, mostly, I was shocked. It could have been just kids playing around, an errant BB ricocheting off a tree. But I couldn't quite get over the feeling of . . . being shot AT. Like . . . on purpose. Someone with pretty good aim . . . considered me (or maybe my dogs) a target. I limped home that day, and called the police. They were nice -- but it was already too late for them to do anything. (And apparently they don't run ballistics on BB pellets.)
I was really angy about my BB incident. I mean . . . I was just out walking. In my neighborhood. Where I feel safe. And where I should never be shot at.
Because, you see, the Social Contract is in place. Organized society depends on - and is invested with - the right to secure mutual protection and welfare. In other words, I can walk the streets . . . and you won't shoot me.
I'm not trying to compare the my own silly little BB incident to the carnage here in my city on Saturday night. Not even close. But I am saying that random shootings - like we've had FAR TOO MANY OF - are a disruption of the Social Contract.
People should be able to load their children into the van . . .
Or shop for cars in a dealer's lot . . .
Or go out for dinner after seeing a show . . .
(Or go to school. Or to a movie. Or a Christmas party. I'm sure you get my drift.)
WITHOUT FEAR OF BEING SHOT AT!!!
Because these are NORMAL, every day activities.
Things we all do.
And we should be able to do them . . . without thought. Without pause. Without fear.
Because that's the Social Contract.
(I so thank all of you who contacted me via text, email, and Facebook yesterday. It meant so much. XO.)
* According to the Washington Post, the Kalamazoo shootings on Saturday night represented the 42nd "mass shooting" this year. It's only February, folks. That means . . . mass shootings have happened in the US in 2016 (so far) at pretty close to . . . well . . . once per day. This. Is. Appalling.