More senseless deaths.
More Facebook warriors demanding justice. “More mental health awareness!” “More gun laws!” “Less gun laws! Second Amendment, by Gawd!” “Get God back in the schools!” “Get God out of schools!”
Lather, rinse, repeat.
We all get so desensitized to what is happening because it happens SO OFTEN. We are a country where a mass shooting headline on the news is just another mass shooting headline on the news. “Oh man, another school shooting. That’s so sad. Thoughts and prayers. Let’s see what’s on the game show network…”
Look at who we are. Look at what we’ve done.
And note that I say “we.” Not “you.” I’m including myself in this. I’m just as guilty.
I sat and argued on Facebook this morning. I think that no one – a person with mental health issues, a criminal background, or none of the above – should have access to automatic killing machines. I’m a big ole liberal. Guilty as charged. And if you are hugging your guns and spouting the 2nd amendment after something like this happens, I truly think you suck.
But after a few pointless comments here and there pointing all that out, I stopped.
It doesn’t work.
Instead, I changed gears.
I started reading about the victims.
As I started scrolling through the names that have been released so far, I, for once in my life, didn’t just skim them. I really read them. I read the names. I looked the pictures. And I saw their stories.
I saw beautiful, 15-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff. Her long dark hair reminded me of my long, dark-haired 15-year-old step-daughter Lauren.
I read about Nicholas Dworet. I saw that he was a swimmer and that his swimming had improved dramatically over the past few years. He even got a swimming scholarship and was headed to the University of Indianapolis after graduation. My thoughts immediately went to my 17-year-old step-son Riley. I thought about the awards ceremony we attended last year where he was chosen as the representative for the “Best of the Best” swimming candidate for our county.
Then I saw little Cara Loughran with her red hair and freckles. And suddenly I was looking at my own little redheaded, freckled 18-year-old daughter Kelly.
Then I looked at the 19-year-old perpetrator. 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. A 19-year-old boy who will now be charged as a man who committed at least 17 murders. And as angry as I am at him…as absolutely furious as I am that this man took the lives of all those poor innocent people…I can’t help but see something else.
I have a 19-year-old son too.
And while my 19-year-old son Jeff is very mature and a great kid, he’s still just that. A kid. This was not a man that committed this act. This was a child.
A messed up child just grabbed an automatic killing machine and took out 17 people while we were sitting here wondering what our significant other was going to get us for Valentine’s Day. Or while we were sitting here moaning because we were single on Valentine’s Day. Or while we were sitting here groaning at all the lovey dovey couple stuff posted on social media and raising hell about this Hallmark holiday that is just a money racket.
While we were living our every day, mundane lives that we take for granted, hundreds of lives were just completely changed forever.
What is the answer?
What will stop this?
I don’t know. I have theories, but what the hell do I know? What do you know? Yes, you, Facebook warrior. What do you know? What is the answer?
WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
Dear God, I don’t know.
But here’s something I do know. And that is that there are parents sitting somewhere today who don’t need the “what ifs.” They aren’t comparing these children to the ages of their children like I am. Why?
Because these were their children.
This isn’t a what if. This isn’t a it could have happened to us. This is the real deal for them. Their babies are gone.
THEY ARE GONE.
And we’re not doing a damn thing about it except fighting on Facebook.
We are a bunch of friggin morons.
Sorry, nothing Earth-shattering in this blog. No answers to be found here.
Just one mother who knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am the luckiest woman on the planet to be able to go home and hug my babies today after work.
And who also knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that this could have been my family on the news today.
And until each and every one of you out there, greedy NRA ass-kissing politicians included, realize that fact too, nothing is going to happen.
‘We can say, yes, we’re going to do all of these things…thoughts and prayers, but what we really need is action. PLEASE. This is the 18th [shooting] this year. That’s unacceptable. We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, get over your politics and get something done.”
– David Hogg,
student survivor of the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
February 14, 2018