In the last few years, it has become uncomfortable to be an Arizonan. In the last year, it has become embarrassing, because when I tell people where I’m from, the response is something along the lines of, “What’s up with that?” or “What the hell is wrong with you people out there?” And I don’t know how to answer. But lately I have had an increasing amount of anxiety, some of which I know is unfounded, especially when I am stopped at an intersection and see a car with violent, militant, pro-gun, and/or Tea Party bumper stickers on it. I am literally scared that they might hear me playing Juanes on my car stereo, or they will just see that I’m brown, and they’ll shoot me. I know that that’s a bit over the top, but it’s an anxiety that has developed out of living in a place where people literally think that certain groups of people don’t deserve respect or basic human rights.
Lack of gun control scares me. “Journalists” and “politicians” who recommend militant action and then pretend to be shocked when crazies go out and commit acts of violence terrify me. People who think that the right to bear arms somehow translates to the right to kill senselessly scare me. People who think that political change can be achieved through assassination are awful. People who think that political problems are the responsibility or fault of one single person are misinformed. People who want to harm other people who are trying to serve sadden me. And anyone who thinks violence solves problems is an inhumane person. I am so sad about what happened today, and I am so scared to live in a place where something like this can happen. I love Tucson, but I am scared that I can’t move away fast enough, and it saddens me to think that if the country doesn’t realize where it’s headed, home might be a place I never feel safe going back to once I move away.