I don’t want to write this. I don’t want to say anything about this or acknowledge that it is even a thing that happened or is happening.. but I have to. It is my responsibility as a mother, a citizen, a person…a human. Yesterday we had another mass shooting in America. A troubled teenager walked into his former high school and killed 17 people before attempting to blend in with the crowd and escape in Parkland, Florida. I have to admit, when I got the news alert–I glanced at it quickly but didn’t immediately go to the news. I didn’t even know if it would be covered. I said a prayer and moved on with my day. It seems there are so many “mass shootings” at this point that they aren’t even newsworthy unless they are the “second deadliest” or “fifth deadliest” or have some sort of statistical significance. This, in itself, is alarming. There shouldn’t be so many mass shootings that I have grown used to them. There shouldn’t be any at all.
Yet, here we are. This is one of many mass shootings in 2018 alone, and we are only in the second month of the year. Why? Why is this happening? I am a lot of things when I hear of another one of these events but I am never shocked. The shock faded many shootings ago. For this reason, I am angry. I am furious that yesterday …mothers and fathers sent their babies to school and they didn’t come home. I am furious that mothers and fathers have lived in hell every day since losing their babies to senseless gun violence. I am sick for them. I am sick for our country. I am just… sick.
When I took my daughter to bed last night I held her so close. When she insisted on putting her dolls to sleep, repeatedly, I didn’t get frustrated. I didn’t raise my voice. I played with her. I thanked God that I had this time with her. I thanked God she was here and she was healthy and happy and playing. I thanked God that she had no idea what happened yesterday and I prayed that she would NEVER know what that fear is like. I prayed she would be safe… always. When I came downstairs and my son was still awake talking to my husband… I started to cry. I love his voice. I asked him to cuddle and he held me so tight. I held him and prayed I’d always have the opportunity to do so. I stared at his face. He has the shape of my eyes. He has my nose. He has my feet. He has his daddy’s ears and eye color. We made him. We prayed for him and over him. I grew him…I birthed him, I held him, I fed him, I loved him from the moment I found out he was with me. The love I have for my children is deeper than I ever thought I could feel about any person. They are MY babies. I made them. I love them. I grew them. They are PRECIOUS. How DARE someone take someone’s baby from them? How dare someone steal someone’s heart and soul with a single bullet and not think twice about it. How could he? How could he do this?
I took my son to school this morning and I could hear him breathing in the back seat. (mouth breather, poor kid lol) I’d never heard anything more beautiful. I looked over at the school and all the sweet kids running inside. One child had a poster board– some project he was turning in that day. Another was yelling at another kid about messing up the carpool line. I wanted to take my son’s hand and run for it. I wanted to drive away and be far away from school. I looked back at him and he was oblivious to every thought. As he should be. I smiled and asked him what he was most looking forward to today and then I walked him inside.
Now, I sit. I’ve been reading and googling and trying to find ways I can do something about this …but I can’t do it alone. I don’t even know where to begin. All I know is that I cannot sit back quietly while this is happening. We are BETTER than this.
Take a look at this study and you’ll learn that we lead the world in mass shootings. We have 240 million more firearms than the next highest country, India. Read the information and then TELL me we don’t have a problem. If you do, you’re lying.
Yes, we need better mental health services. Yes, we need gun control. Yes, we need a lot of things. I am not interested in getting in internet arguments over which we need more. We need both. We need LOVE. We need to be there for our friends, families and neighbors. We need to support them, love them and help them. We do NOT need to revoke restrictions on mentally unstable people with firearms. We NEED gun control. I don’t care that the NRA funded this politician or that politician– these politicians, that we vote for and expect to do right by us need to get their heads out of their asses and DO something. Dan Rather (I believe it was him) pointed out that when ebola was killing people in the masses and could potentially be a threat to us, we took action. Yet, here we are. These shooters have taken our children and our parents and our loved ones over, and over and over again and we aren’t doing a damn thing about it.
I don’t care what your stance on guns is. I don’t care what your political affiliation is. I literally don’t care AT all. All I care about is that another parent doesn’t go through this. The numbers are there. We have more guns and more mass shootings than any other country. Do your own research. I won’t sway you with what I’ve seen. If guns aren’t the problem…. what do you think is the problem? WHAT can we do to fix it?
I don’t have all the answers, or any of the answers. I just know I’m sick of sitting back while this continues to happen. My babies are out there… I need them. This HAS to stop.
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We have to step up. We have to be the change. Prayer is a beautiful, wonderful, powerful thing but we also need ACTION. How many more lives will it take for us to change this?