Last night was a challenge to get through. While I should have been celebrating the last Friday evening with all my friends in Paris or the fact that I purchased my first-ever Justin Bieber concert tickets (haters welcome), instead my mind kept wandering back home, wishing I was with my mom and dad giving them a hug. I’m sure so many Americans around the world felt a tug on their heartstrings as everyone got emotional over the events of yesterday morning. I couldn’t even manage to hold in my tears as I walked back from the restaurant into my apartment and sat down to watch Obama’s quick, yet heart-wrenching, speech. Our country has been through a lot this past year, these past few MONTHS, and it’s been hard to watch from the sidelines in Europe as events pass. Yesterday was one of those days that made me think my departure from Paris couldn’t come soon enough.
The gun control debate was actually discussed in class earlier this week. Someone presented his position on the right to bear arms, which I not-so-respectfully disagree with. When I went to Germany in the first month here, I talked about this issue with the German friend I was staying with. He told me that if you want to own a gun in Germany (not an easy task), you have to be psychoanalyzed as part of the process in obtaining one. He basically said it’s impossible. In France, “To obtain such a license, people have to practice shooting during at least six months in a club of the official French Federation of Shooting. After the Federation has given its favorable opinion, the police investigate on criminal or mental records. If the police do not find anything, they give an authorization valid for five years. The owner must then buy his gun in a limited period of three months if he doesn’t want his authorization to expire. There is also a limitation regarding the number: a maximum of twelve guns can be detained, while in Norway, such restriction does not exist. Since the French law of 1995, it is nowadays compulsory to keep guns into a locked safe.” Just reading that I got a headache.
It’s been an interesting comparison between the major violent events that keep happening in America and seeing the stances of the governments here in Europe. I don’t know much about politics, but I do know that things should change.
If anyone hasn’t watched Obama’s speech yet, I highly urge you to. It won’t take more than a few minutes to watch.
I’m not a parent (yet), but the tragedy still hit so close to home. With my mom as a preschool teacher and someone whose life revolves around children, it just about broke my heart.
Sending lots of love, shabbat shalom wishes, happy last night of Hanukkah, peace, and healing from Paris.