The Florida shooting was on my mind when I walked by the park and saw it there, pristine, empty of children but full of opportunity for squeals of laughter and the joy that comes from flying high when you're propelled by a loving, involved parent or caretaker.
I can't imagine losing a child. I can't imagine the emotions felt by the widowed spouse of a hero who gave his life to protect children from a fellow child armed with an assault rifle.
I can imagine a world without assault rifles, though. As I was walking I came across that old Facebook post claiming that ievery truck in a high school parking lot used to have a rifle in it and posing the question of "what happened?"
First, those were rural schools, and I went to one. Those rifles were hunting rifles. They were used by kids who hunted animals. I know that's a controversial to some, but that's not the argument today. They were used to kill squirrels and deer, that people ate. Some people relied on hunting for consistent protein in their diet.
Assault rifles are different. I don't know why anyone needs such a weapon. I know they don't belong in schools or at concerts or movie theaters. It's not that hard, people.
I want to know what's going on in the heads of the NRA leadership today and the elected officials who accept their millions of dollars. Are children just acceptable, collateral damage? This isn't a slippery slope. And if I'm wrong, and it is, that slope is slippery with the blood of children and innocents. Why can't we ban assault rifles?
In other Dispatch news from my (so-far) non-assaulted neighborhood:
- Bikes outnumbered dogs this morning of uncommonly warm temperatures.
- I saw a woman pushing a double stroller with an infant and young toddler aboard. She was maybe a size 2. I said "Good morning" and smiled brightly at her anyway.
- The East side of the Monon Trail near Broad Ripple Avenue has a fresh pile of dog droppings on it. Avoid that, and whoever owns that dog: pick up that shit, man. Seriously.