As Dorothy was on her way to the Emerald City, to seek help from the great and magnificent Oz, she came upon a fork in the yellow brick road. She pondered aloud, “Which way should I go?” A scarecrow, perched on a pole behind her said, “You can go this way, or you can go that way.” As he uttered those words, his arms crossed in front of him as he pointed in opposite directions.
In the 1939 movie, the scarecrow laments his lack of a brain in a song. One verse goes like this:
I would not be just a Nuthin’,
My head all full of stuffin’,
My heart all full of pain,
And perhaps I’d deserve you and be
Even worthy of you
If I only had a brain.
I’m an “Oz” girl. As a child, I either read the books or my brother read them to me. What I never knew until today, was L. Frank Baum (the author of The Wizard of Oz) was a political activist in the 1890s, and it is thought by many that the story is allegorical for the political, social, and economic happenings of that period.
Todays political, social, and economic happenings are fraught with prejudice, hatred, and anger. Last Sunday more than thirty died in two mass shootings. In El Paso, three young children are parentless, as both their mother and father were among those killed. Countless families are grieving the loss of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, moms, and dads. As a nation, we sit, asking, “Why?” As a people, we ask, “How many people have to die?” I wonder when our representatives will get a collective brain and DO SOMETHING!
In my serendipitous world, I, as Dorothy, would come across not a scarecrow, but an octopus. Because, in answer to my question, “why is this happening?” the octopus points to White Nationalism, the internet, social media, the use of military-type automatic weapons, mental illness, gun show loopholes, the lack of universal background checks, violent internet games. The octopus pointing in so many different directions gets tangled in his arms and can’t go with me to get a brain. Once again, nothing gets done.
According to polls, the tide is turning, and Americans believe universal background checks are necessary when purchasing guns. Why not start there?
In politics, there are constituents and representatives. As constituents, we put representatives in office. They work for us, and as such, their behavior indicates if they deserve and are worthy of our votes. It’s easy to let them know what you think. Google your representatives, go to their websites. You will find local and Washington phone numbers, and addresses. Call or write, but do something. If enough constituents let their representatives know a vote for them in the next election is dependent upon them doing their jobs, Washington politicians might just get a collective brain.
Today is the 219th day of the year. To date, there have been 251 mass shootings in the United States. More than 250 people are dead, and more than 1000 have been injured. Do you prefer to act or live in a potential war zone?