Idle Hands. Broken Hearts.


I'm trying here, friends. Just as we all are, I assume. I'm trying to move forward with some normalcy after last night's mass, mass, mass murder in Orlando. It isn't working.

I tried finishing up today's post on summertime plans. I can't do it.

A friend's sweet baby girl was born today. I'm welcoming her with a distracted, distraught, and broken heart. I welcome her with the half a heart I have left for welcoming.

Smartner and I took the Smartlings to a neighboring city for a zoo playdate with friends. We studiously kept the radio off. I kept track of exits and imagined what I could shield my children with in case of a shooter. Just as I did yesterday at swim lessons. Just as I did tonight at the restaurant where we ate dinner. Just as I do everywhere now.

My thoughts surged today toward my friends who are LGBTQ and I wondered what kind of love I could provide that would mitigate the fact that people want them dead because of who they are and who they love. And I knew that that kind of love, while worth reaching for, is out of my reach - out of any individual's reach.

I am angry at the tone-deaf anti-gun-control people on the Internet who are more interested in protecting their right to own semi-automatic firearms than mourning the dead.

I am angry at the tone-deaf pro-gun-control people on the Internet who write trite platitudes like "Love Will Overcome," when we have no evidence that that is true. When words like that are a nonsensical substitute for hard work.

And I'm angry at the hours I spend spewing words on Facebook rather than burning calories to solve the problems of rampant, irresponsible gun availability and institutional homophobia, sexism, and racism. I'm tired of not trying. I'm sick of not working. I'm sick of myself and my words and my soft, soft hands.

So, for now, until I know what else I can do, I'm joining Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Moms Demand Action, as it's generally known, is "a nonpartisan, grassroots movement to mobilize moms and families to advocate for stronger gun laws." It seems like a good fit. And, until I know how else I can contribute usefully to the causes and people whose opposition makes my heart ache on a sunny Sunday when my own life is peaceful and calm, I am happy to be a worker bee under the guidance of an established organization.

It's time to get working.

(Here is an excellent editorial that suggests other ways to enter the fight for logical, commonsense gun regulation. Perhaps Moms Demand Action isn't your crew, but you might find some other action you can take to be an ally of peace.)