I am sitting here, as our Christmas trip to Omaha approaches, surrounded by lush handknits that I’ve finally summoned the motivation to finish, block, and wrap in tissue paper. But I haven’t had the heart to blog about knitting, or even knit much, since the tragedy in Newtown. I’m sure that you, and our readers, have had the same feelings in these past days. Horror, anger, fear–and a powerful desire to do something.
In nine-plus years, we have never talked about politics on our blog. There are plenty of places to get information and opinion on the important subjects of the day, but so few places, comparatively, to have a fun chat about whether a picot hem is the best of all possible hems. Once in a while we go crazy and say something admiring about the First Lady’s clothes — and we hear about it. We’ve gotten grumblings, and the occasional flounce, from a few who’ve merely guessed at our individual views (we are two people, after all) and somehow felt that they could no longer stomach our witterings about yarn as a result. If you know me personally, you know that I share my political opinions freely. FREE. LEE. As in, will she ever shut up. But it has never seemed like this is the place to do that.
I’m going to try not to do that today. But I need to say this: we need to do something about the situation in our country. We cannot experience, again and again, the horror of mass shootings, and the equal but less widely perceived horror of daily shootings, and tell ourselves that we can do nothing to stop it. I am trying, in my anger and sorrow — emotions I feel from a distance because I cannot bring myself to read very much about the funerals of six year olds — to open my own mind and heart to consider what can be done, and to do all I can to support it.
That’s what I’m asking of myself. Do kind things for other people–yes. But also think about all the possible actions that we could take–through our government and individually–to address this problem. Don’t limit ourselves to the beliefs we’ve always held. Don’t be satisfied with catchphrases or simplistic, one-issue approaches. Do something. Think hard. Find common ground. Support what we believe in.
When terrorists attacked on 9/11, we were kind to each other, we grieved. We also demanded action. We supported measures intended to make ourselves safer, even though we knew that no single approach was going to be foolproof or solve the entire problem. We still felt it was worth looking at the situation with careful urgency and then taking the steps and making the sacrifices that were thought and hoped to be effective. Our lives changed, and our culture changed. That’s what has to happen now. It should have happened a long time ago. Let’s look at all the options, without rancor or name-calling, and move forward.
Let’s look at assault weapons and so-called sporting weapons like the AR-15, and big magazines and certain particularly lethal bullets. Let’s look at mental health, let’s look at registration loopholes, let’s look at whether video games really play a role. Let’s look at it all. It’s a complex problem. But let’s do something. Let’s demand that actions be taken, and let’s support those actions. Let’s change.
OK, back to my knitting tomorrow. Got some nearly dry Honey Cowls to show off, and I just might have succumbed to a second Decibella the Mega Cowl. Oh, and there are FOUR PARTIALLY KNITTED ICELANDIC SWEATERS I WAS SUPPOSED TO FINISH BY NEW YEAR’S. (You didn’t see that last one coming, did you?)