We drove downtown today so I could donate blood. It was my fifteenth donation. There’s always a big need for blood, but especially now with the current pandemic. Please consider donating. My little blog entry continues below.
There was a young kid who sat near me today, going through the check-in/screener process like I was doing. His shirt said: “Protect kids, not guns.” They sat him by me when we both went back to recline on the donor chairs, or what I like to call the “Saving Private Ryan” beds. I called out “I like your shirt!” as he walked past me. My voice came out a bit muffled behind my mask and he couldn’t see my encouraging, friendly smile. I wanted to ask him if he had been on any protest walks or demonstrations, but the environment (masks, donating, pandemic stress and my shyness) hindered that.
The saint and I drove to one of our favorite restaurants afterwards to pick up some food for refueling. On the way there, we passed a car with a memorial decal on the rear windshield. It was a memorial for a victim of a mass shooting. Other details were written in with car markers on the side windows that I noticed as we both rolled up to a stop light.
I looked over at the driver. I wanted to flash him a sign, or give him a hug. Something. Something to show how sorry I was. To convey that he wasn’t alone. The driver was keeping his friend’s/partner’s/husband’s/uncle’s/brother’s/son’s/nephew’s memory alive. And he was keeping the shootings, and the extreme bullshit of our country’s ineptitude to pass common sense gun legislation, alive. The idea of not accepting guns as a main contributor to violence in America is pure delusion and nonsense.
The light turned green. He drove ahead and life continued. He went to wherever he was going and we turned off into a parking garage next to the restaurant. I sat for awhile and thought.
I thought of the kid with the shirt and what it said. “Protect kids, not guns.” I thought about my country, the range of mostly negative emotions I have felt regarding American politics; white privilege; the “Christians” in name only supporting the president blindly; Canada recently passing gun legislation in the wake of their recent mass shooting; and the protests popping up in America over the stay-at-home orders. It’s a tumultuous time, to say the least.
I thought of the kid with the shirt and what it said. “Protect kids, not guns.” And I felt a little bit of hope.