f*** your thoughts and prayers

Dear President Trump,

You know by now that I put a great deal of stock into the idea that loving thoughts and prayers are important and potentially powerful, but I have to tell you, when it comes to the inane, cowardly phrase “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible tragedy” I want to scream and say “f*** your thoughts and prayers, enact some god damn gun control legislation, already.” Really. We can’t keep this up. We can’t continue to be held hostage by the NRA and the gun lobby and we can’t continue to have 2nd amendment nutters calling all the shots, literally. The idea that limiting the types of allowable weapons and insisting on sound background checks is infringing on their liberties is absolutely unconscionable when not enacting such commonsense laws means thousands of people will have their liberties permanently infringed upon because they are dead, having been killed by someone who got his hands on an automatic rifle or fourteen and decided to shoot into a crowd of church goers or concert attendees or factory workers. And these are just the big instances that capture headlines.

I don’t think I’ve told you this about myself before but I am an expert untangler. I was always the kid everyone gave their hopelessly tangled hanks of yarn to for salvaging in 4th grade when we were all knitting squares for Red Cross blankets. I know it’s not exactly going to get me into a hall of fame, but it is a handy skill and I wish I could use it to cogently untangle the insane hold the NRA has over us. I can see the different balled up strands of money interests, racism, patriarchy, individualism, fear, and entitlement and have glimpses into how they mutually reinforce each other to keep us stuck and in mortal danger, but I don’t know how to follow the threads through to pull them free. After the Las Vegas massacre I hoped the country music community would step up and make meaningful positive changes in gun culture but this hasn’t happened. And we can be damn sure you and the other Republicans who are propped up by the NRA aren’t going to do anything but mouth your rote “prayers” because tragically, this tangled mess suits you just fine.

May we be safe from automatic weapons.
May we be able to be happy and content in our places of worship.
May we not have to worry about being mowed down by bullets.
May we all get that life is precious and support laws that are consonant with this.

Tracy Simpson

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