Since IT happened one week ago, I’ve tried to largely ignore the media. I’m too sad, too outraged, too confused to process much of anything. In the few moments I’ve allowed myself to log on to Facebook (after posting some ridiculous Elf on the Shelf pictures…), I’ve found myself right back into the annoyance that, previously, I thought only came at election time. These days, instead of the hot-button election issues (how I long for the days of a good old gay marriage or women’s rights debate), everyone has an opinion on guns, and despite the fact that their personal
opinions will not persuade anyone to change their minds, people still post things that undoubtedly stir up drama and hurt feelings.
I’m a big believer in “It’s my Facebook page, I can post whatever the heck I want,” BUT, come on. Twenty kids were murdered. Six adults were murdered. Everyone has a right to be scared, pissed, focused on safety. But, regardless of your gun stance, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t think many people do, but there has been shit slung from all sides this past week.
For example, I’ve read:
1) That the liberal government planned and orchestrated this massacre to push their gun-control agenda (to which I can only say – WOW)
2) That as a teacher, it’s my duty purchase a gun and hide it in my desk (to which I can only say – WOW)
3) That anyone who is ‘pro-gun’ has blood on their hands (to which I can only say – WOW)
4) People who are legitimately friends call each other unspeakable names, all because they have a differing opinion. No joke – two of my husband’s fraternity ‘brothers’ told him to go to hell (and other mean things this nice teacher cannot commit to blog…) for his beliefs. (You guessed it – WOW.)
Despite the fact that it is your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your whatever post, have some courtesy. If you’re a proud gun-carrying member of society, understand that not everyone is. To those who aren’t, reading about how you’re rushing out to buy more guns is going to come off as not only crazy, but extremely insensitive given the current climate. If you are pushing for gun control/outright banning, posting statistics about how our country fares against other countries in terms of gun-related violence, or how the NRA churns out murderers, is going to make you seem ill-informed and weak, simply bating the other side to blow up your news feed.
Do you really have the energy for all of that? Do you really want to spend your time debating an issue that is likely to leave all parties banging their heads off of the wall in disgust? Face it – when it comes to the protection of our schools and children, there are two camps, and those camps have STRONG opinions that are separated by a gap that cannot easily be bridged.
I know where my opinion stands, and no amount of memes directed at our president, schools, or the NRA are going to persuade me otherwise.
So, instead of getting caught up in all of the negativity, fight the urge to comment. I know it’s tough – I’ve read some really crazy garbage on all sides, and it’s taken a steely mentality not to get down into the mud with people. How can they not see my side? Right? Wrong. More importantly, weed through the drama and find those people who are using this tragedy as a reminder to be grateful and pay it forward. I’ve read about some really great things people are doing for others – paying for people in the drive thru, sending thank you notes to teachers, volunteering at local charities. That’s the stuff I want to see, especially right now. Treat others with respect, kindness, and courtesy, and I promise your gun views will not matter.