I think as a whole, writers are an optimistic bunch. Just the fact that we keep sending our babies/stories out into the world--whether it's as a blind submission, a query, a critique, or a published book--we have to have hope that someone somewhere will be touched by what we created.
Romance writers are especially optimistic. In world plagued by divorce and unhappy endings, we strive to make readers believe in the Happily-Ever-After.
When I picture the future, I see two scenarios--
1--Escape From New York. Violence. Poverty. Riots.
or 2--Star Trek. A world where we've overcome our violent tenancies and prejudices to live in a world/universe united for the common good. I REALLY, REALLY want this future.
As much of an optimist as I try to be, I am also a realist. And I fear we are headed toward the world of the Canadian drama, Continuum. Where the country is ruled not by a democracy but by a corporate congress.
But while election day pretty much broke my heart, I was so proud of my state. Washington State became the first state to close the gun-show loophole. It's a small step and maybe the vote went that way because we had two school shootings in recent months.
I"m not naive or stupid. I know criminals will still get their weapons illegally. But I figure if you have nothing to hide, why do you protest so much at the regulation?
I see this vote as a public acknowledgement that changes have to made in our gun culture.
Last year, Martin Short appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and he compared gun control with tobacco of the past. He said--and I'm paraphrasing--"it's all about cultural changes, much in the same way the United States changed the culture about smoking."
Remember the 70's? You could smoke on airplanes, schools had smoking areas, and if you were seated next to a smoker in a restaurant, well, you sucked down their smoke with your meal.
And the Tobacco lobby? They had our government by the nads--and well, let's be honest, donations. Much like the NRA does today.
In 1976, would you have envisioned a future where smoking in public was all but out-lawed?
This gives me hope for a day where weapons of mass-destruction. Let me repeat, MASS DESTRUCTION, will be harder, if not impossible to obtain.
It may not happen in my life time, but I hope my descendants--should I ever have any--will look back and remember when assault weapons were banned and mass shootings in public places began to dwindle down until there were none.
I know it won't happen tomorrow or the next day. But, thanks to my fellow voters in Washington State, I am hopeful that it one day come to pass.
Like I said, I am an optimist. A patient optimist.