There are no words that haven’t been said since last Sunday. I don’t think I have anything new or inspiring to contribute. So I’ll tell you a story instead.
When I was about sixteen, I did a lot of work with a murder mystery dinner theatre company. I played a drug dealer and sold bag of oregano to guests to raise money for charity. I was a super genius who invented a brain in a box. It was a great time.
There was one show I did with them – I think it might have been the last production I was in – where we were performing on a college campus instead of in a schnazzy, rich people bar. It didn’t really change the show that much. The food was chicken fingers, and the table clothes were gross, but whatever. I honestly don’t even remember what the show was about or what my character did. I remember that there was a coffin on stage right from the beginning, it was a very bloody show, and the director added a full company rap at the end instead of typical bows.
The rap started off normal enough, talking about the show and how we hoped they had enjoyed it, the blood and gore of it all. But then it changed, asking the audience why they thought our gore was funny when there were so many terrible things happening in the real world. Was our humor making the real violence seem less awful? And then we listed names of places. I don’t remember any of them but the last. Littleton, Colorado. We listed every school shooting I had heard of, and then walked out. The audience never once applauded, and I suppose that was the point. We entertained them, and then we shocked them.
I don’t know if it was right or not. To turn someone’s evening of fun into a devastating message on violence in our country. Sure theatre is meant to transform, but it was a murder mystery, not Ibsen.
I guess the thing is, when I was in that show, I thought maybe in a small way we would make an impact. I thought mass shootings were a curse of my generation and we would somehow grow out of it. The world would move on, and it would all just be a terrible memory, immortalized in a few deep meaningful plays that no one really wanted to see.
But we didn’t grow out of it. We didn’t mature or move on. Things are getting worse.
Whatever you believe, I think we can all agree that taking the lives of innocent people is wrong. And murdering in mass so quickly is a modern curse that has to be ended. Imagine a man with a musket trying to kill forty-nine people. It would be crazy! But not so today. It’s disgustingly normal, and we need to make a change. So I beg you, please contact your Congressman, start a petition, stand on a roof and shout that this is wrong. This is a travesty that has to end. Please don’t post on Facebook and move on. Talk, petition, protest. Make this the horror that forces the change.
This is a link that provides information on contacting congress. Send a letter, make a call. Make them hear you.