“My world is being destroyed.”
This is it. I’ve had enough.
As I drove around a snowy Santa Fe today, I kept feeling chilled, not because I was cold but because I had already seen the news about the slaughter of the 20 elementary school children in Connecticut. This is not the post I intended for the day, but I knew it was coming.
On the subject of the massacre of the Sikhs in their temple in Milwaukee on August 5 (“What Will It Take?”), I wrote that “there’s a sense that this can’t go on, that there will be one last horrific event that makes the blood of the entire nation run cold, and then we will begin to move on gun control.”
“What’s ‘the big one’ going to look like?” I continued. “Where will it happen? How many people will die? Who will they be, so that everyone registers: That could be my child, my friend, my mate, my parents, my neighborhood, my . . .That’s the key word. ‘My.’ That’s the point we have to get to collectively: ‘My world is being destroyed.’”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m there. For years I taught as a volunteer at Acequia Madre Elementary in Santa Fe; and when I think of all those wonderful children, those bright faces, I know that they could as easily be trembling in terror at this moment as the children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut. The way things are, this could happen at any time, anywhere in this country.
Before the sun goes down on this tragic day, every member of Congress who represents New Mexico will have a letter in the mail from me saying basically, “Do something about gun control, and I mean now!” Change won’t happen through email transmissions composed by an organizer. This is going to take paper and stamps and individual expression. And I’m not stopping here. Every member of Congress is going to hear from me–by regular mail–before I’m done.
I closed my post on the Sikh massacre with a series of questions: “And if we believe in the idea of a soul’s contract, who among us has committed to the role of martyr that always invokes the most profound change in human thought? How many of them are there? Where do they live? How long will it be before we know their names? And which one or ones among us will call them out through an act of unprecedented evil?”
In a few hours, we’ll know. Right before the children’s most beloved holiday of the year, we’ll know.