On Tragedy and Change

To see messages of condolences regarding a mass shooting among messages of love in celebration of Valentine’s Day was jarring to say the least.

On a day that purports to celebrate the beauty of love, innocent children and educators within the walls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School cowered in fear under tables in locked classrooms. Others ran in horror, passing dead bodies as they made a mad dash for safety. Still others hid in closets or sacrificed themselves to shield students from harm (Coach Aaron Feis, you are a hero). 17 of them didn’t get to see the sun set on that day.

All of them experienced the complete opposite of love. They experienced terror.

I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident, one that we’ve never seen before in our lives, a tragedy so heinous and unimaginable…

Then I remember Columbine. And Sandy Hook. And Pulse. And Virginia Tech. And Charleston. And Sutherland Springs. And the many others whose names escape me because there have been so many. Too many.

Even one of them was too many.

In the aftermath, I see it all. Thoughts and prayers, and those who believe that such are useless. Calls for gun control and arguments against it, for fear that it would take away one’s fundamental Second Amendment rights. Calls for mental health reform and those who are skeptical that such would only unfairly stigmatize a population.

Clearly, change needs to be made. Thoughts, prayers and policy change.

My question is this: who has to die for us to collectively and finally get it?

Your grandparent?

Your parent?

Your sibling?

Your nephew or niece?

Your aunt or uncle?

Your cousin?

Your friend?

Your teacher?

Your pastor?

Your spouse?

You?

Me?

 

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