One of these times it’s going to be my kids. I’m going to hear the sirens and be choked by sick dread. I’m going to check the news and hear the worst words I’ve ever heard. I’m going to hate myself for keeping them in school when we could’ve had them use the internet, I’m going to wonder why the fuck we stayed in this shithole country when we knew almost 100 people get murdered by guns here every day, and none of it is going to matter. None of my self-hate or screaming is going to be matter, because my kids are going to be dead.
One of these times it’s going to be your kids or grandkids. You’re going to feel that bubble of fake security shatter, that invincible sense of “it won’t happen to us” vanish and leave you alone in a sea of thrashing horror. You’re going to stare into the camera of a news station that temporarily gives a shit; you’re going to sob and beg before the red eye of the camera turns away and moves on.
One of these times it’s going to be our nieces or nephews. A shadow passing so close it’ll freeze the blood in our veins. Will that be enough to make us write or call our representatives? Maybe even the ones that don’t directly represent us, but instead use their power daily to shut down any possibility of action on the floor of congress? If our precious niece with the chubby cheeks gets slaughtered in her kindergarten room, or our nephew who finally got to start driver’s ed is gunned down in the back while fleeing for his life across a football field, will that make us pick up the goddamn phone and stop acting like such complicit pieces of shit?
One of these times it’ll be our rep’s kid or grandkid. They’ll be the ones who have to watch the news, horror-stricken; they’ll be the ones who finally realize how fucking absurd it is to insist that more guns will solve the problem. And maybe they’ll finally even think about banning bump stocks or limiting clip sizes, briefly—before Wayne Lapierre steps on their necks.
Then, with tears still drying on their cheeks and the blood of their own kin still staining their hands, they’ll knee down and lick his shoe.