Last week, I took Aurelia to the pool. When I got there, I checked the exits and worked out what I might do if someone started spraying bullets. I decided I'd run for the farthest exit from the gunman, with Aurelia, scaling the fence if I had to.
I also decided that we'd both probably die. The expression "like shooting fish in a barrel" applies. No good guys with guns in the pool.
Today, I dropped her off at camp. She'll be under the care of strangers all day -- longer than she's ever been. I told her about all the fun she would have and the friends she would make, and I promised to pick her up at the end of the day. I double-checked that we had her lunch and her water bottle and Uncle Pig, her favorite stuffed animal, and her blanket, because she's 3, and she still takes naps.
I also wondered what I would do if I came back to collect her body instead of her pig.
What if I never heard her voice again? What if I had to arrange for a tiny coffin to hold her tiny, broken body? What if I had to tell my husband his baby was dead? What if people in handmade angel costumes had to shield me from protesters as I mourned the loss of everything?
I'm told this is freedom.
I don't want to hear your argument about why we need unrestricted access to weapons of mass destruction. I've heard them all. We've been having this conversation for decades, and we will continue to have it for decades more, after the next massacre, and the next, and the one after that. Because American exceptionalism means being the only developed Western nation incapable of doing anything to protect our own people. Your argument is boiler-plate. Take it elsewhere.
No, really. I'll delete your comments. Take that shit to Twitter where it belongs.
In the meantime, I'm sorry to all the pre-schoolers. We really should have sorted this disaster out by now, and that's our fault. I'm an American with the power to vote, so I carry some of the burden.