Rajat Parr's Black Lentil Soup
Dinner: A Love Story

The Shootings


I have started and stopped this post five times so far, because every time I try to start telling you about the fruit cake I made (and loved) last week, I am overcome with the feeling that it is nothing less than obscene of me to be writing about food and holidays and other such similar nonsense when the details of this story refuse to leave my mind's eye.

The thing is, I am so angry. I'm sad, yes, but tangibly, physically, speaking, I am filled with rage. Trembly, white-hot rage. I am so sick of these guns, these guns that pollute the United States, that threaten our schools and movie theaters, of the disgusting hypocrisy of politicians who bleat and bray about the sanctity of life when it comes to the contents of a woman's womb, but are silent - silent - when a classful of children are murdered, all shot multiple times, in a matter of minutes. The craven dishonesty, the glibness behind lines like "guns don't kill people, people kill people" revolt me. Tell that line to any of the parents who were ushered into a separate room last week once all the living children of the Sandy Hook elementary school had been reunited with their parents. Tell that to the children, the babies, really, who hid in a closet silently while their classmates were slaughtered on the other side of the door. Just the thought of children staring down big, black guns loaded with round after round of ammunition in their school and my heart races with fear and revulsion, but mostly rage.

I personally am of the persuasion that guns should not be available to the citizenry at all. That the Second Amendment has long outlived its purpose. I realize I am in the minority among my fellow citizens and that's alright. But what is not alright is that ordinary Americans are being made to live in fear because of the refusal of our politicans to deal with what should be matters of common sense. What is not alright is that once again we all are left to wonder how many more children will be killed before any meaningful change takes place. What is not alright is that the gun lobby has more money and power than any of the other players at the table, unfairly skewing the debate before it even starts.

When I sit back and take a breath, it feels futile and silly to write all this down. What on earth will my little rant do? It will not bring back the dead, it will not comfort the survivors, it will not effect any political change. It's simply more noise added to an already cacophonous exchange that flares up with each incident and then dies down again when the heat cools off. And that may be the worst thing of all.