A bulletproof blanket?!?

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for two or three weeks. I’m trying to think it through and see all sides of the guns-in-America problem.photo-35 But the only thing I can see is the need for change, for our children to be safe, for no more parents to suffer the loss of their babies. This issue came to a head for me via Facebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I have truly enjoyed getting in touch with people I haven’t seen in years–family and friends. It’s been fun to learn which cousins/relatives think very much as I do, and which are my polar opposites philosophically and politically. I love all of them. They’re family.

I squealed with delight when I started to understand how much alike my cousin S and I are. I was perhaps more subdued when I noticed that one of my cousins is a gun-rights person. But I thought about it and nodded as if to say to myself, “Yep. That’s my boy.” He’s my way of coming to realize that not all gun people are crazy, though some seem to be. But I know my cousin’s heart and I know he’s not a knee-jerk crazy. He’s family and I love him.

Befriended “friends” (sorry for the redundancy) are not always like family. We don’t get to choose family. We can, whether we realize it or not, choose friends, whatever the venue.

. I seldom “friend” anyone on Facebook. Why is that? On the one hand, there’s a niggling feeling inside me that fears they won’t respond. Would I feel rejected if someone didn’t take me on? I’d like to think I’m mature enough not to care that much. Heck, I might not even remember that I asked. On the other hand, there’s a more than niggling feeling that some may be right-wing nut cases. (I didn’t intend to name call, but there you have it. That’s the real me.) I’m also well aware that they may have similar concerns about me.

The real me often feels conflicted when an acquaintance (old or new) sends me a friend request. I’m happy to hear from all of them and to learn how they are and what they’re doing. At the same time I wonder how I’m supposed to deal with those I find disagreeable. Generally I can ignore the posts I consider crazy or mean-spirited or hateful or unkind. I think that’s probably the best approach. Occasionally, though, I have a gut-wrenching need to respond in some way.

About three weeks ago a “friend” from my childhood posted about the now infamous bulletproof blankets designed for school children.screen shot 2014-06-10 at 7.30.47 am
When I first saw the photo shown here I wanted to sit down and cry. Then I wanted to go find the person who promoted this product on his/her FB page and scream, “Have you lost your freaking mind?!?” And that’s why I didn’t write anything right away.

Even now, as I write, I feel a roiling in my stomach and an increase in blood pressure. I feel sad. I have an anguished mental vision of parents and teachers trying to explain to children why they need these $1000 “blankets.” I don’t feel anger so much toward my “friend” anymore but I still have livid, blood-boiling anger for the companies who are trying to make money off parents’ and children’s fears. They’re putting a very expensive band-aid on a bleeding, gaping wound instead of putting aside politics in order to find a permanent solution to this horrible scourge.

This is not, should not, be a political issue. This is a uniquely American problem that MUST be fixed. When will we ever learn?

There you have it. I’m spent. Exhausted. Please tell me what you think whether you agree with me or not.




10 thoughts on “A bulletproof blanket?!?

  1. The pro-gun movement is definitely something hard to fathom from our side of the Alnatic : people keep saying why don’t they do something about it every time there’s a shooting… Anyway, on a more cheerful note, I’m certainly no right wing nut job so we can be FB buddies ! 😉


  2. I cried too when I got to the blankets…rather than stronger gun laws they’ve made colorful armor in Crayola inspired hues…too bad the Sandy Hook kids didn’t have them…I’m not a gun promoter. The papers…what we read should change everyone’s mind, even the cousin you like.

    And FB is a pain in the ass. It is…I put my blog on it but I have no friends…some LIKES…I’ll put an essay up from time to time…my eBook went up the other day only because I felt pressure in the promotion of it. Social Networking is very intrusive and time consuming. After all, we could be reading. You write so well, and forgive me for always reading your pieces late…I’m always enthralled when I do 🙂


      • Hi Susannah. I’m honored that you read my post a second time. I think I cry about the children and guns and those stupid blankets because I feel so helpless . I want to make it better and can’t do a darn thing.

        I hope to write something new one of these days. Seems I’m always on the go. I drove from Charlotte to Chapel Hill today to meet up with my daughter and granddaughter. We’re headed to San Francisco–a high school graduation trip for my granddaughter. Flying out tomorrow morning. Early.

        Good to hear from you. Keep writing. I don’t always comment but I enjoy reading.


  3. Our gun laws in Australia are okay, However this does not mean that criminal gangs do not own guns unlawfully. But at least we try to keep a lid on it.
    I agree with you to try to make money out of Parents’ and children’s fears is wrong.


  4. I’m with you on everything. Except for Facebook. I’m the last of the “ain’t gonna” crowd.

    I don’t think we will ever learn until such issues are no longer political issues. How can the safety of our children be right or left? How can the scientific evidence of global warming be right or left? How can the care of the poor be right or left? How can preservation of our environment be right or left? I could go on and on.

    When will we ever learn? When everyone begins to see past the PAC-money ads and rhetoric and to look at candidates for what they really are. From the smallest local office to those of the Federal government. When we stop being single-issue or single-party voters and vote for those who stand up for children, the poor, the environment, etc.


  5. I was positive after Sandy Hook that something would CHANGE w/ the gun laws, but sadly, they have not. What the hell is wrong w/ a country that would rather pay for bullet proof blankets than get guns off the street? I don’t get it. And I’m ANGRY as hell.

    I mean, if Sandy Hook hasn’t taught us anything, NOTHING WILL.

    Xxx Love from MN.


  6. Firstly, I always a bit cheered when I see a post from you, and secondly I’m pretty sure we are friends on FB. As to the gun thing, I just shake my head, I met with an American friend last week during his visit to London, and he was telling me how polarised opinions are in the States. I can’t really say, one way or the other, but this issue seems to be taking a lot of sorting out


  7. I share your pain but i have no answer. Why can’t we try a little Australian solution? other countries–I can’t name them just now–who have tried to eliminate guns in their societies and have been reasonably successful have a very low kill rate for doing so. Why do people need guns to enhance their self image or their perception of their strength? Why are so many people so frightened of other people that they feel the need to carry a gun with them all the time? I’m sure someone will come on and ‘splain thin’s to me Lucy. That would be good.


  8. In Australia we have a terrible massacre in 1996 and, propelled by the grief of the nation, the government at the time changed gun laws and had a massive buy-back of guns. Millions of people handed in their guns. We have not had a massacre since and gun-deaths have dropped significantly. Whenever I hear of school shootings in America and the focus zooms to mental health issues or protective measures (such as the image you have posted), I want to scream out for the American culture to look at the example of Australia.


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