May it not be too much to ask that we simply be safe

Dear President Trump,

Why, pray tell, are you feeling so bat-shit crazy anxious on this fine May Day morn that you fired off 60+ Tweets in an hour? It wouldn’t have anything to do with Barr testifying before Congress, would it? Did your panties get in a twist over the release of Mueller’s late-March letter to Barr in which he unequivocally states that Barr’s pro-you summary misrepresented the report? It’s going to be hard for Barr to say UNDER OATH today that he didn’t know how Mueller felt about his summary when Congress asked him this in early April, the timeline being what it is.

And while these machinations to shield you continue, kids continue to be shot dead in their classrooms. Last night when Laura told me about the shooting that had just happened in UNC Charlottesville my first reactions were horror and sadness for the students and their families. Right on the heels of those emotions I flashed on my daughter sitting in similar classrooms and Laura teaching in similar classrooms. My third fully formed thought was a lame attempt to distance them from the possibility of being victims of such a thing; I thought about base rates and how many hundreds of thousands of classes meet across the country each day and how vanishingly small the likelihood is that any one of them (let alone one my daughter or partner happen to be in) will endure a shooting.

The thing is, this analysis is technically correct and it doesn’t f*cking matter that it’s technically correct.

We are a country that regularly, routinely hosts shooting sprees in schools, houses of worship, movie theaters, malls, VA’s, homes, coffee houses, street corners, you name it and there’s probably been gun violence there. No one ever knows when and where these attacks will take place, which location will subsequently be overtaken by flowers, candles, and signs in honor of the dead, promising, again, that this one will be the last one. We are a country that’s determined it’s better for our kindergartners to learn how to be silent and still during “routine” active shooter drills than institute responsible, sensible gun laws. We are a country that’s decided its ok that hundreds of thousands of kids can’t play outside because we prioritize easy access to guns over their safety. Personally, I’d like to see every last gun in the country melted down. Short of this, though, there are dozens of corrections to the current situation that could be enacted if you and the GOP Congress (and frankly, some Democrats) grew spines and rejected the NRA blood money that has heretofore been a mainstay of your death-grip on power.

May it not be too much to ask that we simply be safe.
May we be willing to stand strong against nihilistic values that elevate violence over life.
May we see that it is a sick culture that requires its children to endure active shooter drills.
May we learn to see one another, to wish one another well, to put down the weapons and make peace.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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