This morning I was at work, we were getting ready to open, when a friend of mine came in with news that the guy who worked the produce department at the market I frequent had died of a heart attack. I barely knew Terry, I know that he was from New Jersey, that he smoked a lot, and that he could be counted on to round up some extra mushrooms or lettuce for the cafe if I hadn't ordered properly. He and the elderly cashier, Harold, would often trade good natured verbal jabs about who worked harder. His mother has cancer. He was around fifty. That's it, that's all I know.
I'm always taken aback at how unreal it is to get news like that, how I had just seen him a day or two before, or how she had posted on Facebook this morning, or how I didn't even know he was sick. I was thinking on this, how fast life can be lost, when I read the news of the school shooting at Sandy Hook. I am so sick and hurt right now, I cannot believe how man can be so evil, so cruel. I also cannot believe how many people posted on Facebook things along the line of, "So thankful that God was there to protect and comfort the survivors" or "Now is not the time to be talking about gun control."
Well, where was god while all the children and adults who didn't survive were being murdered? When is a good time to talk about gun control? An acquaintance posted a charming (sarcasm) little tale about how she grew up around guns and how it was disrespectful to be talking about changing gun laws as these victims hadn't even been buried yet. I wrote a comment stating that neither had the victims of the Oregon mall shooting on Tuesday, and the seven year old boy accidentally killed in front of a gun store last week likely hadn't been either. Should we wait until we had a fucking week without a gun-related tragedy to have this debate, or should we just squeeze it in between mass shootings. I argued that it was disrespectful to the victims to NOT be having a debate over gun laws right now, that perhaps if we had had this debate after Columbine, or Aurora, or any other number of mass shootings in this country, we might have avoided the one today. Then I deleted all I had written and logged out.
Later, I logged in again and read several posts along the same lines and wrote that I was deactivating my account as I was going to snap if I read one more post praising a Stone Age desert god that doesn't even bother to protect the most vulnerable of society's members or the need to maintain an 18th Century view on firearm ownership. I then deleted that one as well and logged back out.
I really do believe that social media has been at great force over the last few years, it has given so many people a voice who had never had one before, I just don't want to listen to those voices any longer.