My mother was assaulted tonight. Someone snuck into her apartment and she’s called me in a panic. She is so upset – and her first worry is my kids and whether or not this could happen to them. It’s taken me a half hour now to calm her down and understand fully what’s happened to her.
The worst part about this whole ordeal is, THEY’RE STILL THERE IN HER LIVING ROOM!!
Okay, so let’s take a minute to gather our thoughts…
If, in fact, someone had physically been lying in wait for Nana as she entered her home, alone, after a long and tiring day, and proceeded to act in a way that both frightened and upset her, I would be able to call the police, get help, and try to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
But I can’t. Because, as far as I know, there is nothing illegal about this assault.
Mom grabbed her mail on her way in. She kicked off her shoes, settled herself, and checked through the envelopes, which included a sealed, plain white envelope on which was printed a single quote with a red arrow:
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
— Abraham Lincoln
As there is an election coming up, Mom figured it had something to do with that, and opened it. Inside was postcard, and, before she could fully understand what she was looking at, she had already committed to memory the gruesome photo of a butchered baby in a trash can. She threw it on the table, only to face a second photo on the reverse. She called me to warn me not to open my mail with the kids around. And to, once again, live through all the reasons this is so upsetting to her, still, after all these years, haunted by two traumatically difficult miscarriages before she was finally able to deliver me.
Now, I don’t give a rat’s ass what your stance is on the abortion issue. That’s not what I’m writing about today.
What I am fed up with, is the sheer audacity that the right-to-life movement has in taking up these horrendous scare tactics to attack my family. Whether they’re hanging banners over the railings of bridges as I drive by, or gathering outside of high schools where my children – and they are still children – have no choice but to attend, and now, invading the personal security of our own homes, they have no right to assault me or my children in this fashion.
To see such graphic photos in any media, there are warnings as to the disturbing nature to follow. I can choose to change the channel, log off, or turn the page. My kids don’t have that option at school – if you want to get your message to my children, there are proper procedures for that: contact the school board, gain approval, schedule a presentation, and give me the option to protect my child from your extremist views. If you would like to advertise anything on public property, there is a municipal sign permit process for such things. And if Canada Post doesn’t start insisting on clear and accurate return information on every piece of mail they deliver, we should be looking at changes there.
As far as I’m concerned, any group can defend whomever they please. But I must defend my children, my family, against displays and demonstrations that are unfit for their eyes. We should all have the right to free speech – something that is not as free in Canada as it is in the U.S., by the way. But with that right comes responsibility. When your right to free speech impinges on my right to safety and security, and my right to raise my children as I choose, to introduce them to life as I deem appropriate, my children’s rights must win out.
Take your stand. Spread your word. But get out of my face. Stay away from my family. And get the hell out of my house.