"Just Another Shooting"
Imagine sending your kids to school. You go about your day, and you drive to work, listening to the radio or music from your own playlist. Imagine making it to work, greeting your co-workers with a smile. Imagine starting your work day, and as you're working you're thinking about what you're going to cook for dinner and how you have to take the kids to practice, and in the middle of your normal daily routine, you hear that there has been a shooting at your child's school. Your heart drops. You race to the school, and you watch as the children are being escorted out. You watch as children reunite with their anxious parents. You watch. You wait.. You wait for your child to run out of the building and into your waiting arms, but your child never runs out. Your child never makes it out of the building, and your life is forever changed. That is a reality that is unfathomable to me, but it is the reality of parents of children who didn't survive some of the worst school shootings in America, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech, the Douglas High School, and Columbine High School.
We all know that cars can be potentially dangerous, if we heard of someone dying in a car accident, we wouldn't be surprised because although cars are equipped with safety features such seat belts and airbags, there is a possibility that a car accident can be fatal. The fact of the matter is, one day we will all die. We don’t know when and we don’t know how, but we can all be certain that the day will come. It’s a sobering thought. Although none of us know when , there are certain places where we have traditionally felt relatively safe. We don’t expect to be gunned down during Bible Study. We don’t expect to be gunned down in our schools, we certainly don’t expect to be gunned down while playing on the playground. More and more we here of violent occurrences taking place in places we have traditionally considered to be "safe havens".
Do you know what I find unfortunate? Reports like these are happening more frequently everyday. We are hearing about people who were busy going about their daily routines, and their day ending abruptly because they were shot and killed. Recently, in Chicago, a doctor, policeman, and pharmacist were shot and killed at Mercy Hospital. Hospitals are places where people go to get help they go to healed,and yet this place of healing is a symbol of tragedy and loss. There's been some debate about whether this young man was mentally ill or whether this was just a case of someone who couldn't handle rejection. Maybe it was a combination of both, I don't know. What I do know is there are now three people dead for no good reason. I believe the bigger issue is that as a society we are becoming desensitized. In psychology, desensitization is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or positive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. We are not even outraged or shocked because “It’s just another shooting.”
It’s difficult for me to be a room full of people who are complaining, it drives me crazy. I can listen to belly-aching for just so long. Let's be honest, most times people can agree there is a problem. I find that most times people want to beat a problem to death or they want to point fingers. I'm a solution oriented person, I'm interested in solving the problem. What will do? What can we do to end or minimize gun violence? How do we get our “safe havens” back? Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes! Do we need to keep guns out the hands of people who are mentally ill? Yes! How do we do it? I don’t have the answer, but I’m willing to have the conversation, I’m willing to be a part of the solution, before there is “Just another shooting”.