Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
Recently, another senseless shooting took place in _________ claiming the lives of ___ people and injuring ___ more. The gunman, __ year old ___________________ is said to have been a quiet kid growing up and gave off no indication that this shooting would occur. Police are investigating the incident to see if this was a per-meditated attack. Reports are inconclusive as to whether or not this was terror related, though the secret terrorist group _____________ has taken to Twitter to praise the killings, promising that there will be more attacks in the future. It is currently believed that the shooter had the mental disorder ____________ and may not have been taking medication at the time of the killings.
In other news, President ___________ is currently at odds with congress over the need for stricter gun laws in the wake of this tragedy. The NRA is staging a pro-gun rally within driving distance of the massacre. Liberals are calling out the NRA for this tasteless rally, though the NRA claims this previously unscheduled event missing from their website was pre-scheduled months in advance. Meanwhile, liberal groups are finding themselves at odds over whether or not television, music and video games are to blame. A new bill to address the issue is being passed through the senate as petitions are gaining momentum via social media in support of the victims.
The above is the script we have all memorized in our sleep. Mass shootings, stemming from American-based terrorism, has become as much a symbol for this country as the bald eagle. The excuses from the media range from mental illness to race, religious or sexual based hatred, to bullying.
There are a few things we can do as a nation that can break this rhetoric, provide actual aid to the victims and their families, and maybe, with enough effort, spark the right conversations that can bring about sound change.
1. Donate blood and supplies.
Every time there is a crisis, the Red Cross is usually available to accept donations of cash and blood, while more regional crisis charities are looking for clean water and medicine. Be sure to do your research before donating, as scam artists pop up all over the internet during times like this.
2. Keep religion to yourself.
Whether you believe in the more popular gods or in your neighborhood Flying Spaghetti Monster, the fact remains that your religion has no barring on the current tragedy. It's kind of you to pray for the already slain victims, but the five or so minutes you either use in prayer or in trying to turn this debate into whether or not the media is attacking your religion can be spent in comforting those actually harmed by the tragedy or in providing blood and aid to the victims' families. See #1.
3. The gun debate.
I lost family to gun violence.
I've also shot more than one gun.
Even if I was more interested in gun collecting, I wouldn't be so savage as to praise the gun in the wake of a mass murder.
Yes, it's annoying to hear about the gun debate, but trust me, if the government wanted our guns, they'd have taken them 19 years ago, after Columbine.
Worse? Time wasted on the gun debate means time away from providing actual aid to those in need, and it makes you look heartless.
Below is a list of complaints we are finished with hearing from you guys:
A) The 2nd Amendment states you have the right to bear arms IN TIMES OF MILITIA. Militia is a pretty word that means during times where we have NO military at all, bearing arms is a good thing. We have the Army, Navy, National Guard, Air Force and enough governmental backing that we don’t need some conspiracy nut in a trailer hoarding all the guns sold at Walmart. This is 2nd grade knowledge. You had to be taught about the 2nd amendment in order to reach the 3rd grade. Behave as though you graduated both.
B) Nobody is coming to take your guns. Ever. We should, but that would require disarming Walmart first, and nobody has the time to listen to the crying over it at the big box retailer. This is America. And as stupid as an idea as it is, we will still let you purchase as many death toys as you want until you feel “safer” at night. Get over yourself. You're not that special.
C) No, not everybody needs a gun, hence where we just had another shooting. I promise that you can arm yourself with as many guns as you want, but if someone shoots you from behind, those guns will have meant absolutely garbage. Guns rarely save lives.
D) If your pretty little death toy couldn't save the recent shooting victims, then they aren't going to do any good the next time someone decides to start a massacre. With that said, please curb the Twitter hissy fit every time you get questioned for buying another gun the day after a killing.
E) Teaching children to shoot has never stopped a massacre. It certainly hasn't stopped any from being shot in the head.
6. Please show the world that you are a human and not an animal. Please wait until after the body count has been tallied before championing the gun like it's a new god. The mothers and fathers deserve at least enough time to find their child's toe tag before you chastise them for not outfitting them with an AR 15.
F) Yes, you can in theory kill a man with a rice cooker. But you don’t hear about mass rice cooker killings, now do you? No. You hear about gun nuts. I know you “think” you just made a “funny point” but you actually just failed. If this wasn't a funny joke in the 4th grade, it isn't worth typing today.
4. This is about human life. Act like it.
We don't need your bigoted, anti-LBGTQ/race-related/religious-based/gender-fueled hate. We can see on your timeline you're already a waste of space, we don't need you to reiterate it. You don't have to pray for the victims. In fact, you don't even have to like them. Just keep your outdated opinion to yourself, at least until we're finished mourning. See #1.
5. Re-purpose the awareness.
We're already aware of the massive amount of shooting victims. Selling a ribbon, lighting a candle and wearing a rubber bracelet isn't bringing anybody back or providing for the final costs for the families left behind. Instead, channel that cause-supporting “awareness” into a GoFundMe account to help pay down the funeral costs for the victims, host a rally in protest of whatever form of hatred prompted the killing and support of the killer on Twitter, or just offer emotional support to someone affected by the news.
We have to be our own change. This is where we start.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!