So Wednesday was hard. Not the Valentine’s part of it, but the national news part. I won’t mention it here because you already know what happened in Florida. How can you not?
The media (it really doesn’t matter which station or paper you’re familiar with) capitalizes on it, even perpetuates it with live coverage. The shooter then gets the “fame” and attention he is after. And what do we do?
We sit back and watch it happen. And we shake our heads and we pray. And we send empty condolences to people we don’t know and will never think about again.
And nothing changes.
Half of us (a very loose estimation) have been touting stronger gun control since Columbine High School in 1999. I was a senior in high school when it happened. The shock from that was felt all throughout the country. The other half (again, a very loose estimation) will argue that guns have been around ages longer than our shameful new “normal” and remind us that making things illegal does not make them go away. I fully admit that I used to be one who honestly believed that my part was fulfilled at thoughts & prayers. The big-wigs have the power to take care of the rest. They’ve got it from here.
Except, they don’t have it. We’re still waiting for Policy & Change to make a difference.
I still can’t look at a trench coat the same way and it’s been almost 20 years. As we all know, it wasn’t the last. I’m not going to get into the exact numbers or statistics of school shootings here because that’s not my point.
I’m not a gun control activist. Neither am I a cheerleader for the NRA. And I’m certainly not saying to give up praying, or that thoughts and prayers don’t work.
But I am a mother and I’m saying, “We can’t stop there.”
Obviously, our cyclical reactions to these recurring tragedies have so far led us nowhere – except to each other’s throats. I feel like we’ve been so caught up in whether our rights are being infringed upon or not that we are completely missing the point: we’ve got to put aside our differences and find a common ground. That’s the only way we’ll get through this.
I don’t like to fill my Facebook page with political posts, so I’ll invite any of my connections to come here to add their voice to the sounding board. If you’re reading this, that invitation extends to you, too.
There will be no hate, no name calling, no trolling tolerated in the comments. I only ask that we all be respectful and open-minded as we listen to what others have to say. Understand where each other is coming from. See more than one side.
The goal? Brainstorm together. Share experiences, knowledge, and ideas to break this cycle, and then flood our government leaders’ ears with it.