I'm done with my own inaction regarding events like today. I'm done with putting up a solidarity photo on Facebook (which I never do), or a post telling "friends" that I hate what has happened (I don't do those either). What I usually do is listen and read voraciously about the event (s) and perhaps talk about it briefly, barely skimming the surface of the bigger issues with others and then, do nothing.
50 people died today. 50 humans that were likely only at the Pulse Nightclub for two reasons: either they were working or there were there to enjoy themselves. Think of the potential that each of those 50 lives had for the rest of their lives? As of now, the list of who died only consists of seven of the fifty, but my soul aches for the family members of every one of them. I have two sons and the thought of being on the other end of a phone call, telling me that my son had been killed at either his place of work or when he was out having fun, horrifies me.
Does it really matter why this person decided to go kill people and was successful?
Does it really matter what his motive was?
He killed 50 people.
He ended 50 lives and permanently affected hundreds perhaps thousands of lives as a result of his act.
In 1984, there was a mass shooting at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California. My best friends had moved to an area close to there a few years before and we were in continual touch by phone. When I learned that their father drove past that McDonald's every day on his commute to work and sometimes stopped in there, I was scared. My friends shared with me via phone, all of the details of the victims and the shooter, etc. In my fifteen years of life, I had never been made aware of anything like this happening, anywhere. I remember wanting to know the reason why someone would do such a horrible act.
Again, does it really matter why this person decided to go kill people and was successful?
Does it really matter what their motive was?
- Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at a high school in Columbine, Colorado.
- Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech University in Blacksbury, Virginia.
- Adam Lanza killed 26 people at a elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
This list is only the largest of the mass shootings in the United States and today is grew again. As of today, 672 people have been killed in Los Angeles County in the last 12 months. How many thousands of lives have been permanently affected by those killings?
I'm a new teacher and I remember in the beginning of the school year when a student directly asked me how I would protect them if a "crazy guy" decided to come into our school and kill people. His question scared the heck out of me. I searched out the police officer who is routinely on patrol on our campus and asked what I could do in this situation. He directed me to watch an "Active Shooter" video as that would be the best way I could protect my students. I did watch it and have watched it a few times since September so I don't forget the instructions.
But is that the only thing I can do? React with knowledge (via the Active Shooter video) to events if they happen to me?
Today that is no longer good enough.
As of right now I am not sure how I am going to act, but today I start with this.
It is time for me to do something.