You'll have to forgive me if this post starts to ramble or is full of non-sequiturs...it's been one of those days.
Yesterday I returned home from an amazing and wonderful week at sea with my whole family. We had a great time and ate too much food and visited countries that while beautiful really made you appreciate what you have at home. Driving through Cozumel I was struck by the beauty of the ocean and the bleakness of the interior. Gas was more than $4 a gallon. I saw moms and dads driving really small motorbikes while holding very small kids. We saw ramshackle houses where people clearly lived in poverty. I even said to my husband "this really makes you appreciate what we have at home."
Today I woke up to the news of the mass shooting in Orlando. I saw a post on Facebook first that said 20 people killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Then I turned on the news and watched the story unfold. By early this afternoon that number had risen to 50.
50 people out for a night of fun who will never return home.
The headlines read: Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History.
There should probably be an asterisk after those words:*Until the next one.
I have to wonder what the people of those countries we visited - Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico - think when they see the news about today. I bet they appreciate what they have, even if it is just a little slice of paradise dependent on the tourists dumped on their shores by mega ships.
I bet they are thankful that they don't live in a place where 50 innocent people can be murdered by a madman wielding an assault rifle in a nightclub. I bet they are thankful that they don't live in a country where tomorrow the politicians and pundits will once again be debating "the right to bear arms" and arguing how it is a "Constitutional right" to buy an assault rifle. I bet they are thankful for their islands in the sun.
Me? I'm appalled and saddened about what happened in Orlando. I am repulsed by those who continue to argue that everyone should be able to buy guns. I'm sick of turning on the news and hearing about another mass shooting. And I'm quite certain that when the Second Amendment was written it was not meant to be interpreted as giving everyone the right to own an assault rifle because that is PURE INSANITY.
What happened in Orlando (and Sandy Hook, and Aurora, Colorado, and San Bernadino) should not happen. Ever.
It most certainly should not happen in a civilized country.
But there's the rub, isn't it?
I'm beginning to think that our country isn't so civilized after all. The amount of vitriol and hate and anger spouted on a daily basis by the presidential candidate who shall not be named and just about everyone else on the news and social media is astonishing. And sad. And exhausting. And I wonder where it will all end.
Here's hoping for peace, love, and understanding in this mad, mad world.