Viva Las Vegas

Taken earlier this Summer.

On Monday morning, I was planning on sharing some beautiful photographs I had taken over the weekend during a long hike through the forest and a visit to a local pumpkin patch and farmer’s market. Instead, I was woken up by a series of texts and calls from friends in Las Vegas who were making the rounds to let as many people as they could know that they were okay and not to panic. It was pretty early in the morning- earlier than I usually wake up during the week- and I wasn’t sure what was happening until I checked social media on my phone and my heart sank at the news.

59 lives lost and over 500 people injured in what is now, to date, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The people I know who live and/or work in the area are all thankfully safe, sound, and unharmed- but it has shaken me to my core that 59 families cannot experience that relief and that hundreds and hundreds of people will never quite be the same again.

I love Las Vegas. Not only because of the people I know there but because it is just a stifling hot, glitzy, kinda’ crazy, non-stop circus and it’s perfect in every way because if you need a break from it all- you can head out to the desert and enjoy the calm- and everything will still be waiting for you when you head back to the strip- just as bright and as busy as ever. The only other place I can think of that is like that is NYC- but at least Vegas doesn’t get snow.

Vegas is where I plan to relocate. It holds a special place in my heart.

I digress. I try not to get too political on Blondie Birdie- since I’ve stated in the past that this is my escape from the harsh realities of the world and I want to keep it as lighthearted as possible- but enough is enough. How many more people have to die? How many more families have to be ripped apart and how many more friendships have to be altered forever because we, as a Nation, cannot get it together when it comes to proper gun control?

I am by no means saying that I want SWAT teams going door to door and seizing everyone’s guns- and I get that’s a popular misconception when talking about enforcing stricter gun control laws and regulations- but there is absolutely no legitimate reason why people should have access to military style, semi-automatic weapons and to be able to stock pile ammunition. I don’t understand how people fail to comprehend how utterly insane that is. You don’t need an AK-47 to go hunting and you certainly don’t need to fire 100 bullets in under 30 seconds to protect your home or your family. Those weapons are designed for one thing and one thing only- killing as many targets as possible in the shortest amount of time. They serve NO other purpose apart from that.

The Second Amendment was written when muskets were still a thing. Muskets. The gun that takes practically 45 minutes to load and another several to fire properly- and it was first enforced during a time in our history when having the hiccups could kill you. Isn’t it time we update those things- even if it’s just a little bit- to fit in with our current day and age?

The most common argument (that I’ve seen, anyway) to that suggestion is “well, people will just get them illegally anyway-” and sure- that’s very much a possibility- but that’s like saying “well, there’s a million other ways I could get cancer so I’m just going to keep smoking.” Wouldn’t you want to at least TRY to lessen your chances of death and destruction by restricting access to a thing that could potentially kill you? Wouldn’t you want that for your loved ones?

Like universal healthcare, so many other countries have figured out gun control and have not suffered loss, after loss, after loss, after loss, etc. the way that we have here in the United States. Isn’t it time we join the rest of the world’s example and become a country that takes the necessary actions to protect it’s citizens from harm? Can’t we all tell our leaders that we want to be able to go to school, or work, or church, or a movie theater, or a concert- and NOT risk our lives every time we do?

Sandy Hook should have been the wake up call. Small children being slaughtered in their classrooms should have been the final straw. Why is this still happening?

I’m just tired. I’m tired of awful things happening to innocent people and nobody doing a damned thing about it. I’m tired of “thoughts and prayers” when they have solved nothing in the aftermath of each of these tragedies. I’m tired of watching coverage of people describing their lost loved ones as they fight back tears.

I guess that most of all- I’m tired that this will be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history until the next one, and then the next one, and then the next one- because we are failing to act, and ultimately- we are failing each other.

I’m sorry for this. I’m sorry I had to write this. I hope I’ll never have to write anything like it ever again. I hope that things can finally change in America- because I want to live a nice, long life and be happy- and I want all of you to live nice, long lives and be happy, too.

Hug your loved ones. Be good to each other- and stay safe. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled blog posts shortly.

xx

– Ashley –

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