Scouting Gun Control Issues

So I wrote the post (pictured above) after news of a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado. This is on the heels of a mass shooting in Georgia. I wrote it right before I went to bed, and I was feeling just done with the madness. Well, if you are a thinker or a writer, as usually happens, once I laid down in the quiet, the thoughts flooded in.

A little more on this….

Everything I said in that post is 100 percent how I feel. They’re my thoughts. My wish is that I knew what to do about it, knew how to effect actual, lasting change, but my belief is that it’s not a gun problem, but a heart and soul condition. (Shameless plug: I think I have a blog post about that somewhere.) I used to think that we just need to ban every single kind of firearm, but my thoughts on that have slowly, continually evolved. I still wish we lived in a world where they didn’t exist, never existed at all, but I can wish that until the cows come home and it won’t change a single thing. So….

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Learn better; do better. Thoughts evolve, and that’s okay.

My thoughts on gun control are evolving as over the years I have come to understand and see how these types of laws can affect communities that aren’t White, and communities that sit in the lower income brackets. This is true of so many of our laws and beliefs. I believe in our 2nd Amendment as I understand it (not in the fear-based, bastardized version so many self-appointed “patriots” vomit out), but I don’t believe just anyone deserves to own a firearm either. So what are the correct parameters? I doubt we’ll ever find agreement on this either.

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The Black Panthers showed up and we clutched our pearls.

Remember that time in 1967 when the Black Panthers showed up on the steps of the California State Capitol and then-Governor Reagan (R) and his NRA cronies decided we needed gun control laws right away? Well, I don’t remember because I was barely 3 years old, but it’s not hard information to find. But yes, the NRA wanted gun control laws after that incident! (If you never stopped to wonder “why,” here’s your chance.) What I do vividly remember many times is White men and women parading, storming, and protesting at various state capitol buildings, other federal buildings and lands armed to the freaking gills. What I also remember about those incidents is the government, the twisted NRA, and many so-called patriots saying NOTHING and doing NOTHING about it. Essentially, what I’ve seen is blatant inequality, and the silence I hear is actually an action, a stand.

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Well now, that’s a problem.

So there I was with a pretty strong thought about guns and owners, heels dug in, rock solid sentiments. The problem is it centers my own personal fears and knee-jerk reactions rather than the whole picture. It leaves out the welfare of a whole lot of people. Is this the crossroads or a complete shift? I guess I’m not totally sure yet, but I know it is different, and I know that if my thoughts or actions contribute to hurting another group through inequality or inequity, then that’s a clue that some shift needs to happen. It’s a clue tapping at me letting me know that something is unbalanced, unfair, and requires more thought. I have always chosen to be a scout rather than a follower — someone who continually seeks out a higher consciousness and willing to change direction when or where I see I can do better. I’m not afraid to find out I’m wrong. I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to realize my thoughts may have been imitated without thought and it’s okay to change direction. All of that might piss off some folks, but that isn’t always what’s most important. So I adjust, transform, or switch directions.

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So here I am with little direction, nagging thoughts, armed with a scout mentality.

I’m going to stay in this inquiry until I have a solid direction. It’s important to me that the footprint I leave on others isn’t one on their backs. It’s important to me that my activism supports our Black and Brown communities in equality. It’s important to me to self-examine regularly and make sure I’m in alignment with what I say I want in the world, and that I’m not aligned out of fear. I’m going to have a conversation with a friend of mine whose ideas have also changed around gun ownership, whose ideas were much like mine and have also evolved quite a bit over the past year or so. I was invited to go to a shooting range event by that friend, and my husband and I are going to attend. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never shot a gun in my life, and they’ve always scared me. I have no clue what I might learn, who I might get to talk to, but I’m open to it all because personal evolution is calling. I’ll blog about my experiences and thoughts.

Always choose to be a scout.

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Revolution won’t happen without evolution, revelations, and reevaluation.
Debora Lynn Garcia

In the Heart Lives Justice

You can enslave a body.
You can even trick a mind into believing it’s so.
But you’ll never enslave a heart that knows its right to be free.

You can cage a body.
You can manipulate the mind to believe it’s locked.
But you’ll never smother a heart from being free.

You can cast a body into darkness.
You can convince the mind that it’s in an abyss.
But you’ll never consume the light from the heart.

You can refuse to see the effects of bondage.
You can let your mind choose deafness.
But you’ll never silence a heart that longs for justice.

You can turn away from the past.
You can silence your mind to the facts.
But the heart that has been chained will not let you rest.

You can busy the body endlessly.
You can overwhelm the mind with details.
But you can’t silence a heart that grows toward the sunlight.

You can use a body as a barrier.
You can chain a mind to the fools.
But another’s heart you cannot own.

You can kill the body.
You can kill the mind.
But the heart’s beat will be heard beyond its life.

You can take a body.
You can take over a mind.
But the heart chooses why it beats.

You can jail a body.
You can incarcerate a mind.
The heart roams where it wants.

You can beat a body.
You can gaslight a mind.
But the heart is made of freedom.

You can chain a body.
You can warp the mind.
You can’t fool the heart.

You can blind the body.
You can persuade the mind it’s captive.
But the heart will always know it beats for the whole.

You can keep a body in poverty.
You can train a mind to believe it’s stuck.
The heart will always know it belongs to the universe.

You can separate a body from its birthright.
You can teach a mind to hate.
But the heart yearns to be free from that bondage.

You can engulf the body in hegemony.
You can train the mind to ignore bias.
The heart absorbs the toxins.

You can dress a body like it’s free.
You can teach a mind to live in the masses.
But the heart will continue to cry out: No justice, no peace.

Debora Lynn Garcia