I’m tired of the hate.
I’m tired of the excuses.
I’m tired of the pro- and anti- gun working against one another instead of finding compromised.
I’m tired of seeing one more death.
I’m tired of seeing one more person using their God to excuse their heinous crime.
I’m tired of having to explain to my tween why someone was killed because they were white, because they were black, because they were Latino, because they were Muslim, because they loved women, men or both.
I’m steadfast in my belief that humanity will triumph over fear.
I’m resolute in my determination to raise children who know that there are differences but those differences will be embraced and not feared.
I will not allow one person’s misuse of their God tarnish their entire faith.
I will not live in fear.
I will not stop going to the Pub, the Mall, the Supermarket.
I will not fall into the trap of terror.
I will not stop living my life because one person decided they were judge and jury.
I know that terror is not white, black, Asian, Indian or Muslim. It is anyone who decides they are superior to the person next to them.
I know that there will always be prejudice and fear.
I know that my gay friends will always wonder if they are going to be harmed. My not-white friends worry that they will always be harmed. My disabled friends worry that they will always be harmed. My white friends friends will worry that they will be harmed.
I know that some of my friends will be more apt to be harmed than others.
I know that my disabled child is more apt to be harmed than my typical child.
I refuse to fall into the trap.
I refuse to succumb to the belief that one viewpoint is 100% correct and the opposing viewpoint is 100% wrong.
I refuse to believe that all of my friends will be harmed because they might be different. I refuse to believe that we cannot make a difference. I refuse to believe that my children will not be more inclusive and accepting.
Terror will not win.
Peace is not always the answer.
But the pursuit of peace is always the beginning.
I think back to the 1980’s when my friend was afraid to be gay because that meant he had (and would spread) AIDS. I think back to when in high school a boy wouldn’t date me because he was African-American and I was Caucasian and he understood better than I did the repercussions of that decision.
We have come far. But not far enough.
I believe the answer isn’t to ban all guns or all thoughts or it has to be this way or that. I believe there is room for compromise.
But there is never room for an excuse when a person uses an excuse to kill another because they do not conform.
I do not think we will find the answer to peace today.
But I do believe if we stop believing in peace and acceptance we will never win.
I plan on winning.
I plan on a world where both my children are safe.
I plan on a world where my child can love whomever she wants, regardless of race, color, creed or sex.
I think back to the Nazis and fear this is how it started.
But I am determined that I will be a voice that says not on my watch.
You will not exclude my friend that is white, Muslim, Jewish, Indian, Japanese, Lesbian, Gay or Transgender. You will not convince me that Republicans are all bad or Democrats are all good.
I believe everyone one of us can be accepting of the differences that make this world we live in so amazing.
We just have to stand against fear and for humanity. Because if we stop speaking out, no one will speak for us.