For keeping the discussion civil on my last post. I got a lot of comments from people I know, some from people I don’t know, and at least one from a guy I’ve known since elementary school! Everyone agrees that we have to do something to prevent another tragedy like what happened in Newtown.
So, since we need to be the change we want to see in the world, I’m going to start doing my part to work against the glorification of the gun in my own work. I’m not sure exactly what form that’s going to take – it’s not like Bubba is suddenly going to stop carrying a gun. That would be silly, and out of character. But he might solve a few more problems with brains than bullets, and maybe Jimmy won’t be carrying a shotgun on the cover of the next Black Knight Chronicles book.
Let’s be clear – I don’t think urban fantasy novels are big contributor to gun violence in America. But we may be a tiny part. And maybe that butterfly effect is real. Maybe a small change in my books can create a large change in my world. I have to think so. I have to hope so. Because my ranting on Facebook isn’t enough. Victor Cruz writing on his shoes isn’t enough. Tom Brady wearing a sticker on his helmet isn’t enough. Bob Costas talking isn’t enough. President Obama tearing up on camera isn’t enough. We as a nation have gotten to a place where life isn’t precious to everyone anymore. And I don’t just mean the lives of the children and teachers that were lost. I mean the shooter, too. The mentally ill young man who didn’t get the help he needed.
We failed them all.
That’s why it hurts so much, because you failed them too. I did. I failed my society because I haven’t done everything I can for people who need my help. I’ve turned away from people who are mentally unstable because they make me uncomfortable, without doing everything I can to help. I’ve done my part to make guns “cool,” by putting them in the hands of my wisecracking characters and showing little to no consequence for their reckless handling of heavy weaponry.
Now look, I don’t want everybody to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” For the first point, I don’t know where your hands have been. But I do think that this is an opportunity for every one of us to look at the issues in the world around us and see if we’re doing anything to make them better. We bitch a lot. I know, I’m on Facebook, so I know exactly how much some of you bitch. And I bitch a lot, too. Now’s the time to stop bitching and make the world better.
This is a ramble, but it’s my blog, so get over it. But I think I may have meandered around to a point. Here’s my promise to you – I will be a more responsible writer in the future, and I will continue to use my writing to try and change my world for the better. Bubba will still be armed, and Jimmy will still have a shoot-first, ask questions later attitude, but I can show more consequences, and I can make it clear that I understand that I don’t live or work in a vacuum. I have already used my bully pulpit to try to subtly advance the cause of marriage equality and gay rights (and if you missed that in Back in Black, then you really weren’t paying attention), so this isn’t really a new thing for me.
What are you going to do? How are you going to be the change? Let me know in the comments, so I can hold you accountable. Because I know for damn sure my readers will hold me to it.