I am angry with myself.
Yesterday I was hurting over yet another senseless shooting. I hurt for the families of the dead, for those who were injured, and for the responders, some of whom will suffer trauma at what they have witnessed.
Then they released the numbers and I was floored. I simply could not wrap my head around how someone would shoot over 100 people, killing half of them, in that short amount of time.
But thanks to the miracle of social media, I didn’t have to think about it for long. I could join in with the arguing about who is to blame. From Texas’ Lt. Governor Patrick’s tweet blaming the victims for their lifestyle, to Ronnie Dunn’s public rebuke of our president for daring to mention guns as a contributing factor, there was no lack of voices out there spreading their noise pollution.
And of course there was the argument over whether this was a hate crime against the LGBT community or international terrorism. The shooter was Muslim. But then his ex-wife told us he was bipolar and using steroids! So, which is it?
Suddenly I was no longer hurt. I was mad. Let’s argue about this!
But then I read an article on the AP app that quoted Sandy Phillips, mother of a victim of the Aurora mass murder in 2012. When asked why this keeps happening, her response was, “because we allow it.”
Yeah, that’s me. I allow it.
I have decided it’s time to respond differently. I have resolved to hold accountable my elected officials and challenge them to do SOMETHING to stop one more person from being gunned down while out living life. Not one more mother should have to wonder all day about her son after he texts her while hiding in a bathroom. Not one more law enforcement officer, medical professional or other first responder should have to suffer the trauma that comes from having to respond to the call of an active shooter.
Not one more person should be allowed to kill others because life didn’t go the way he (or she) wanted it to.
And not one more person who lives through such a tragedy should be marginalized because I’m too busy arguing about my agenda to be there for them.