Enough is Enough

Life has been really challenging for the last two weeks, and yesterday was perhaps the worst. My son and I drove south on the Boulder turnpike yesterday afternoon, returning a borrowed car to the owner. An emergency vehicle, lights flashing, screamed past us on the turnpike, heading north towards Boulder.

A mass shooting in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, was underway. The grocery store is one that my son and I know well as it is situated a few blocks from where he used to live and is across the parking lot from the store where I learned how to knit and spin. I can’t count the number of times I crowded into the Starbucks shop in that store with my friends.

Boulder, Colorado is the home of the University of Colorado, and houses thousands of students and their educators. Boulder is a liberal city that enacted a law restricting people from possessing or selling an assault weapon within city limits three years ago; about 10 days ago that restriction was removed in a court ruling.

Boulder is the city that I moved to from California as a young wife and mother. I learned how to spin, dye, and weave fiber in Boulder. I bought my first fleece there and stopped every single year when I headed up to the Estes Park Wool Market.

I returned like a migrating bird every summer to Boulder to take continuing education classes there to maintain my Colorado teaching credentials. I camped with my friends at the high alpine lab facility in the mountains above Boulder and spent a summer there doing field research. My favorite sushi restaurant is in Boulder. My heart will always be in Boulder.

Today my heart is broken.

This is the third mass shooting to occur in my state of Colorado that I have an actual connection to. Other mass shootings have happened that I am more remotely associated with, but they are linked to other members of my family.

I wrote about my experience with and sorrow about the shooting at Columbine High School years ago. Then I wrote about my grief and outrage in the aftermath of the theater shooting where I live now, Aurora, Colorado. Today I am once again writing in the aftermath of an unbearable loss of life because someone with a weapon designed for war used it on other American citizens.

Ten people died yesterday, one of them the first police officer to respond to the shooting. He was the father of 7 children. In spite of his efforts, 9 other people are dead.

I once asked a class of students if they had ever seen someone who had been shot by a gun. Almost a third of them had.

An entire generation of students has now grown up practicing armed intruder drills and fearing for their safety in public places.

I refuse to believe that there is nothing that can be done to stop this.

I am angry. I have once again written all of my congressmen asking for reasonable gun control. I am ready to take to the streets.

Anyone care to join me?

I’m that lady with the purple cane and some fire in her eyes.

Enough is enough.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and an exceptionally spoiled kitten. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

17 thoughts on “Enough is Enough”

  1. I will never understand the gun situation in America, it is totally alien. I can’t think of another country in the world that sells guns so freely. I don’t think handguns are sold anywhere here legally and the only type of shop to sell guns are for hunting deer and I live in the Highlands where deer stalking happens yet I have no knowledge of where the posh people get their guns from. But here shooting is a sport for royalty and the upper classes and the very wealthy. That makes me think it is very expensive to own a gun and have a licence to shoot deer. This sense of entitlement because of an ancient rule in the US baffles me. But likewise so does so much in recent years, anti vaxxers, anti masks, pro Trump. In my lifetime in the UK there’s been one school shooting, in Dunblane. Andy Murray the tennis player was at that school so that shows how long ago it was. We don’t read about this happening in Australia, New Zealand, European countries, so why do we keep reading about it happening in America? It’s so terribly sad.

    1. This is happening in America because there is a large portion of the population that is consuming propaganda and alternative facts on a regular basis that support their version of reality. Sigh. You completely hit the nail on the head when you linked in anti-vaxxers, anti-masks, pro-Trump groups. This is all part of a piece: people who oppose science and government and who actively disparage experience and expertise. In my mind they are kind of arrested in early adolescence at that stage where kids want to have all the privileges of adulthood but none of the responsibility. They don’t really know enough to understand how the world works so they make stuff up to fit their version of reality and then attack anyone who questions them, and that means all authority figures come under fire. Things are really bad now in America because people like this have actually managed to get into positions of authority and are actively undermining responsible governance.

  2. Such a heartfelt and heart wrenching post. Don’t the lawmakers realise that the constitution gun section was created in a different time, with no automatic assault weapons, and essentially for defence?

    1. In my opinion, there are a group of lawmakers who are unhinged from reality and gunowners/advocates/sellers who twist truth to make the world what they want instead of what it really is. The ownership of these types of weapons is absolutely indefensible in the wake of the mass shooting that we are experiencing, but they twist the discussion to one where the shootings either didn’t really happen or are a plot by liberals to take away their guns. Sigh. Some days I fear for my nation…

  3. My son’s best friend since the age of 3 attends UC Boulder. I jumped on the phone with his mom as soon as I heard. Another friend’s daughter lost her assistant coach in another Colorado school shooting a few years ago. She continues to be traumatized every time one of these mass shootings happens. It’s hard to fathom this level of casual violence, the use of a gun to settle a score, a grievance, or for seemingly no reason at all. I’m so sorry your community has been violated once again and I’m sorry for your grief. I feel angry, stunned, frustrated, disappointed, and every other adjective you can think of. We can’t seem to move forward with reasonable gun legislation, and we refuse to address the underlying problems that seem to lead to this type of violence. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for writing and sharing what you’ve been going through. xo

    1. Thank you. It is so heart wrenching to deal with this again and again, and the triggering of young people who have been impacted the most as they suffer through active shooting drills and actual shootings is immense. Then there are the people who have actually had to deal with gun violence. The news stations here are broadcasting links to mental health and intervention numbers nonstop on the television. This is completely unacceptable that lawmakers insist that this situation must continue. True leaders make the hard decisions, speak the unpopular truths, and institute changes that will keep the citizens of the nation safe.

  4. I get emotional reading this. It is so hard for me when we have an active shooter drill at school; my brain isn’t wired to process the concept. I pray it never happens. I wish you peace as you and your community mourn and heal. xoxo Regina

    1. I understand completely! Not only have I done the drills, but twice after Columbine I have been in a locked down school while an active shooting situation was occurring in the neighborhood. Then there were the times when there was a gun actually in the classroom with one of the students… Hugs to you and may we reach a time of sane gun laws soon.

  5. Your post brought me to tears – the shooting was such a tragic event. The fact that gun violence is “normal” for kids breaks my heart.

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