So, this is what seven hours sitting in my car is like

My oldest kid’s high school doesn’t have bus service (though grades k-8 do, go fig) so I drive him to school every morning and pick him up in the afternoon. Same with his little sister and her head start program. These school shootings strip me of pretty much any imagination I have for how much control or power I can exert over their lives. I had just taken my little girl into her head start class. She doesn’t want me waiting around any more while she works at signing her name. She tells me to go. I still get a hug. So there’s that.

Then I’m sitting in my car in a mostly empty parking lot, looking at the woods that border the place. It’s a bucolic setting in a small town. I sit there with the car off and I don’t want to leave. I don’t have a gun. I don’t even have a stick. If someone showed up with an assault rifle the biggest obstacle I could be would probably just be a very heavy carcass the gunman would have to climb over. But I still don’t want to leave.

I saw parts of the CNN town hall. I’ve caught bits and pieces of the news. It’s pretty much the same inane crap from the right that we hear after every shooting. Anything to protect the profits made from selling high powered assault rifles and to keep mainlining fear and horror to white America, I guess. While goosing them with Rambo fantasies of taking down rows of poorly prepared and theatrically dying gunmen.

I hear about the deputy who stood outside of the school for four minutes rather than enter the building. I hate him but I also empathize with him. It’s his job, but he’s probably got a relatively small pistol and he’s expecting to turn a corner and face a crazy bastard slinging, well, what he was slinging and decked out in surplus body armor. He’s looking at his death sentence. If he has a family he’s looking at his widow. If he has kids he’s seeing his own now fatherless children. He’s seeing his own death. I hate him because I know I can’t count on my own police to walk into danger to protect my kids but I also frighteningly agree with him. I wouldn’t want to walk in there either.

I think of how it’s never mentioned that all of those years ago Columbine had a guard and it changed nothing.

I sit in my car and I don’t want to leave. One of the little things in my daughter’s cubby to take home is this flying heart they made the day before and the wings are cutouts of the imprints of her hands. Her little hands and I remember how it felt the first time her little fingers curled around one of mine, I think of how it feels when her hand now holds my hand instead of just a finger. I can’t imagine what the families of the 17 deceased are going through right now. I don’t want to imagine it. I don’t want to know it. I don’t want to leave the parking lot of my little girl’s school.

I think of an article about elementary schools practicing lock down drills and how three nine year olds have the job of pushing the teacher’s desk in front of the door while the teacher gathers the rest of the students at the back of the room. How three students have volunteered to stand at the front of the group, to shield their friends. We have nine year olds volunteering to die for their friends.

And the response I see is that we need more guns. We need teachers with guns. If only more people had guns. I think of the deputy with a gun who refused to go into the building. I think of the armed guard at Columbine who was busy investigating something in the parking lot while two kids massacred their classmates. I think of the nine year olds volunteering to stand in front of the horror. I think of the hands of my little girl and how they feel in mine.

None of this conversation makes any fucking sense.

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