Friday, September 20, 2013

13 Shot in Chicago and Its All My Fault

13 people were shot last night in a Chicago area park.

Yet as a law abiding gun owner, living thousands of miles away, this is my fault.

13 shot in a Chicago park, and somehow I'm to believe that more laws will have prevented this carnage.

13 shot in a Chicago park and we're still hearing the cacophony of media whores desperately attempting to leave the bloodstains at the door step of the National Rifle Association.

The incongruous nature of these responses has me wondering if there's any sense left in the United States, if there are any people worthy of being considered intellectual, much less thinking beings to begin with. I own firearms, yes. I use them for self protection and for the sheer joy of owning pieces of history, but somehow that makes me a bad person, someone who doesn't care about the lives of other people.

 The cold hard facts are this, I do care about the lives of others, even those in Chicago, who have to put up with this endless cycle of violence on a regular basis. It has to be tough to be a Chicagoan, I know not all of them are bad, to have to hear about your city being touted as one of the most violent in the United States.

If I were from Chicago, I'd be pretty tired of hearing about the failings in my city's leadership, that have not only lacked the imagination to address violence, but have allowed the social fabric of the city to decay to the point where violence isn't just something that happens in certain areas, but is a way of life for most of the city.

So 13 die in Chicago and here I am in Worcester and somehow its all my fault because I own firearms legally, responsibly and for protection against my own slice of Chicago, should it come to my door. I'm to blame, even though I carry because our leadership has gone so out of whack as to limit CORI checks for employers, allowing known felons to walk among us unchecked. I'm to blame even though our schools are churning out the lowest quality product while proclaiming themselves the "smartest" state in the nation. I'm to blame because I know some of these low quality products will eventually decide that scraping by on minimum wage the rest of their lives is foolish when they live in a culture that glamourizes gang violence and street warfare on any number of cable stations or video games that are available to them.

Yes, its my fault. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that after a marked decline in gun deaths since the 1990s, that our leadership is not taking advantage of the situation and punishing those who commit crimes. I'm sorry that instead, our leadership has decided to focus on the object, the tool used in crime, instead of failing to actually address the root causes of violence in the United States. I'm sorry that there is more will to appear to do something by passing laws that affect only the law abiding while completely ignoring the cultural erosion that fosters and encourages young men to kill each other.

I have no way to atone for my sins other than with complete and utter defiance. I have no way to seek salvation except to stand true to the principals of my founding fathers, who died to ensure that I'd have a chance at pursuing happiness just as the ghetto-poor kid in Chicago does. I have no way to make peace with this until I make certain that those in fear of violence have some measure of keeping themselves safe.

 I am sorry. I am sorry that I have not fought hard enough to protect our Second Amendment rights, not just for myself, but for that same ghetto-poor kid on the South Side, for his parents for his family. Perhaps if they were aware that freedom means so much more than being free of government oppression, but from the societal failings of those around them. They too, have a right to be free from the tyranny of gang violence, police apathy and social decline.

So I am sorry for what happened in Chicago and what happens in the Chicagos across the United States on a daily basis. I am sorry and will seek forgiveness not from our government or the courts but from Jefferson, Washington, Adams and Franklin. I've failed to live to your vision and sacrifice and in so doing, let down those I should have looked out for. The true ethos of the American ideology is that we look out for one another as if they were our own and I'm committed living that vision again.

Until all of us are free to live our lives apart from tyranny, be it the tyranny of power hungry governments or from the ever looming specter of a failed culture of violence, we will never achieve what our fathers bled for. No longer can we sit back and do nothing. No longer can we look at places like Chicago and say "well, its their problem," because it IS our problem.

In the name of the Revolution and all who gave everything to secure my future, I re-commit myself to them and what they fought for.

I urge everyone to do the same.

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