Hashtags

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Some hashtags are funny. Some are useful. But, some are just a phrase to hide behind. I’m so tired of the hashtags, the need for them – they are becoming hollow and trite.

#prayforVegas #prayforOrlando #prayforParis

When will they stop? When will the need for another hashtag end?

The thing about hashtags…they sterilize the event. The individuals disappear. The weapons and blood and screams and terror all get swept up in the multitude of hashtags and are washed away. It’s not just mass shootings…

#prayforHouston #prayforFL #prayforPR

IMG_1421Hashtags lump all those hundreds and thousands of individuals into one phrase. Hashtags make it easier for our hearts and minds to take it all in. I remember the first anniversary of 9/11 when they read each name aloud – it hurt. Each name came with families and friends who were suffering. Each name represented a son, daughter, mother, father, friend. Each name was a future cut off – a future that may have included a cure or government policy to protect us.

#neverforget

I suppose hashtags help protect our psyche in some way. It’s too much for us to hear of deaths and killings and mass shootings – to truly take that in would cripple most of us. We have to put up some kind of boundary, a boundary that will separate us a little from the possibility that this could happen here, could happen anywhere.

1929764_35738640354_5463_n22,000 people took a vacation, or at least a weekend away, to listen to their favorite musicians. I used to do this all the time. Bonnaroo, 10K Music Festival, Rothbury Music Festival, Gentlemen of the Road Tour, Vegoose (in Vegas), Kokua Festival. Not to mention the countless local concerts at Deer Creek and White River. I’ve stood among thousands of fans waiting to hear Dave Matthews Band, Sarah McLachlan, Umphrey’s McGee, John Mayer, the Dead, Indigo Girls, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and so many more.

We could’ve been a hashtag. It could’ve easily been you or me or someone you love. Maybe it was.

Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to change the laws, so why would this one be any different? Lawmakers are okay with children being shot down, so why would they have an issue with 59 adults?

#sandyhook

And please, let’s not forget the countless African Americans killed – hashtags abound.

#trayvonmartin #altonsterling #blacklivesmatter

Aren’t you tired of this? I am. I’m tired of this news month after month, year after year.

I’m also really confused. Why don’t the policy makers see the issue? Why don’t they understand this isn’t an issue of our freedoms? No civilian needs a gun that can kill 59 people in less than 10 minutes. I know I didn’t go to law school and I don’t have political experience, but I think this is something most people can understand without many years of education and experience. We don’t need access to these kinds of weapons. And, by limiting access to automatic rifles, we aren’t limiting self-defense or hunting. I know I’m in over my head here – I’m not going to pretend to understand all the intricacies of the politics. I just want killings to stop.

No more hashtags, ok? Prayers and thoughts are good, but they aren’t changing the policy. I’m going to do more research. I’m going to call and write my representatives. But, you won’t see a hashtag or a call for prayer from me.

I’m tired of being numb to it all. I’m tired of this being routine.

peace.
really, peace.


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