Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Finding One's Voice After Another Shooting

 Have you ever talked back to the television? Or grumbled when you read a newspaper?

I have.

Particularly during newscasts or when reading a news article.


Take, for example, recent reports that Viktor Mihály Orbán, prime minister of Hungary, was blocking the swift absorption of Ukraine into the European Union favored by President Joe Biden. And that Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was stymying Sweden and Finland’s rapid entry into NATO, another Biden priority.

When I heard of those dual objectors I commented to Gilda that Orbán and Erdoğan are the Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of U.S. foreign relations, a reference to the two Democratic senators who repeatedly fail to support key parts of Biden’s domestic programs.

Tuesday, my response to the horrific massacre of innocent young children and their protectors at an elementary school is Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday was shocked silence, a miasmic feeling of “Oh God, this can’t be happening again.”  

Anguish, pain, grief, were palpable as President Joe Biden spoke to the nation Tuesday night.

If you didn’t equally feel his despair, and anger at our nation’s inability to behave rationally toward gun control, you are running on automaton mode. Or you simply lack any emotional content within your heart and mind. And soul.

When I woke in the middle of the night, as I often do, I could not escape thinking of the tragedy. I couldn’t help thinking of my grandchildren and wondering, wishing, if their schools had sufficient protocols to thwart a madman.

Biden seemed to wonder how parents of the slain children would be able to find any peaceful slumber. His own experience of sudden loss of a child and spouse embedded in him an understanding few if any presidents ever had. 

Bill Clinton was mocked for saying, “I feel your pain.” Biden’s emotional distress is not playacting. He knows all too well the sudden, tragic, loss of a spouse and young daughter, along with coping with the extensive recuperatory period two young sons underwent after the crash that cratered their family. His older son’s death from cancer, his younger son’s drug addiction have given him ample first hand knowledge of the trials and tribulations adult life can present.

Daily reports of the senseless, unprovoked carnage by Russia in Ukraine have not inured us to the senseless acts of troubled minds in America. Victims shopping in supermarkets, in schools and houses of worship, attending concerts, or packed in a subway car in no way offended random shooters. 

Each brazen attack on innocents underscores the need for voices to shout out, “Enough is enough. Remember those who refuse to enact moral gun control laws and vote them out of office.” 

First, however, we must get over the shock-induced silence from yet another mass murder shooting.