I am whatever the opposite of political is.
It’s not that I don’t care about what happens in the world I live in, no, I do.
I get enough argument and headache at work and with trying to carry on a conversation with my four year old, so the last thing I want to do is argue politics with people outside of work who, quite frankly, aren’t going to change their minds anyway.
When I do want to vent about a situation, I try to do it by writing, and even then, in a mostly non-confrontational way. An example of this is when I finally had to write about the whole mess in Ferguson, MO.
That post was written during a tumultuous time in in the St. Louis area, but the media was blowing it way out of proportion. If you turned CNN on, you’d have thought that the City of St. Louis had become the Beirut of the United States. That was simply not the case, and it was my hope that by sharing my little story, people would understand that it wasn’t all as bleak as it seemed. Life was still happening. I tried to further that notion with this post reminding people who were angry about some of the better times we’d shared in the hopes that we’d not lose touch with them as we tried to move forward.
Those posts sort of turned this blog from a “humor” blog that was read by my grandma and four other people, into a blog more focused on my work life, but one where the posts were being read and shared by a lot more people.
It was bound to happen, and that’s why the name of the blog has always been “Donofalltrades.” I reserved the right to talk about whatever I wanted to, and that’s what’s going to continue to happen.
This blog has received more attention than I’d ever imagined it would or even could, and that has everything to do with posts I’ve written about my experiences working as a cop.
I know that.
Hundreds of thousands of people have read what I’ve written about my own singular experiences working what have become typical scenes in almost every large urban area. People seem to enjoy being let into areas of a crime scene where a journalist can’t take you, through no fault of their own.
My thoughts and experiences have made many of you laugh and cry. When I read that in a comment, it makes me happy. If you laugh, good. If you cry, good. It means you have a heart, and it gives me hope.
The stories really tell themselves, I’m just spewing words onto a page.
Whether it be about a mom getting shot while pumping gas or one of my simple car stops turning into a sweet moment, I want you to walk in my shoes a little bit and see that there is much good being done in law enforcement, along with some of the bad that does make for better headlines I suppose.
If you walk in the shoes of any working police officer in the City of St. Louis long enough, you’ll see plenty of shit that will make you want to throw your hands up in the air and just give up on humanity.
Many of those moments include gun violence.
Police officers shouldn’t have to worry that every time they put on their uniform, they’re inviting somebody out there to have a shot at them, but we do.
Gun violence is a very real problem in the United States.
We are so jaded in our high opinions of ourselves that we don’t recognize that when it comes to gun violence, the rest of the world is scratching their heads and wondering what the fuck is wrong with the United States?
Sure, gun violence happens elsewhere, but not like it does here.
I’m not even talking about the school shootings or the fact that you can’t take your family to a movie theater or other public gathering without worrying on some level whether or not some lunatic is going to show up and start randomly shooting people.
I’m more concerned with the everyday violence.
Thousands of people will be killed with a gun this year in the United States, yet nothing will be done about it.
Not a thing.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we don’t care about it as much as we should because when we turn on the news and listen to the every day stories about another person being killed, it’s almost always in the “bad” part of town, far from where those whose opinions really matter live.
You know, those black neighborhoods.
Heroin is a hot button issue today in no small part because it’s mostly rural and suburban white kids who are becoming hooked and dying from its use.
If suburban kids were being gunned down at half the rate as inner-city kids, we’d be inundated with stories and ideas for fixing the problem.
Guns don’t kill people, Don.
I get that.
Even though some comments on my blog posts have insinuated that I’m anti-gun, I’ve never said that.
I’m not, even a little bit.
To infer that I’m anti-gun because I find it fucked up that more women and children are getting shot and killed right along with the young men who’ve always been getting shot and killed is absurd, and part of the reason that gun related discussions aren’t happening.
There’s a difference between gun sense and gun regulation.
I do have guns in my house, obviously, and I worry about them being found by one of my kids, in spite of the measures I take to keep it from happening, because kids are kids. They’re curious.
Every few weeks we read about a child finding a gun and accidentally shooting himself or somebody else.
That’s fucked up.
That’s a lack of gun sense.
If a three year old finds a gun in your house and hurts or kills another person or themselves, then you should be punished.
If your three year old isn’t a lemur or a monkey, then he shouldn’t be able to get it from the top shelf of your closet, or from inside the safe, or he shouldn’t be able to manipulate the gun lock I’m sure you’re using when the gun is being stored.
Gun sense is simply not being negligent with your very dangerous instrument.
Sure, guns don’t kill people, but they make it a whole hell of a lot easier.
Drive by killings with Chinese throwing stars or steak knives or rocks are much more difficult than they are with guns.
It’s just a fucking fact.
Guns don’t belong in the hands of people who can’t be trusted to make rational decisions.
If you’re drunk with your gun, you’ll get arrested.
Certain felons can’t have guns.
Folks who have been institutionalized because they’re mentally deranged can’t have guns.
Possessing a gun unrestricted, isn’t your God given birth right, in spite of your beliefs to the contrary.
Should those of us who are responsible adults be able to own guns?
Any sort of gun we want?
Meh, probably not a great idea that we allow folks to own bazookas or aircraft cannons, but that’s not my call or my concern.
My concern is with the lack of respect people have for guns and their ability to end your life just like that.
My concern is that we aren’t talking about realistic ways to curb the violence and the death.
People making stupid choices with guns is my concern.
Gun suspects being allowed to plea to crimes that won’t prevent them from being able to possess a gun in the future is my concern.
I have many concerns.
My hope is that we can ignore the people on the extreme ends of this issue who won’t listen to anything contrary to their opinions and have an intelligent conversation among those of us in the middle, those of us who want what’s best for our kids and our society.
Whatever that may be.