The EIGHTY-SEVENTH! According to a recent post from Mother Jones, the Marysville, Washington, school shooting marks the 87th since the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. So in less than two years, 87 school shootings.
How many have died and been injured and traumatized as a result? How many parents get up every morning and no longer have a child to get ready for school, pack a lunch for? How many classrooms no longer have a caring, dedicated teacher in them? Outside of those most closely involved with these horrific incidents, does anyone think about this and realize these experiences will never go away?
What is happening? When did this become the way for children (adults!) to solve their problems? I don’t understand. We need to come together to stop this. Talk to each other. Talk to our kids. How is everybody doing? Someone hurt you? Something angering or humiliating happened? Someone treated you badly? I’m sorry. I want to help. You’re not alone. You are not alone.
It’s not just gun control, of which I am a huge advocate. It’s well beyond that. It’s figuring out what is going on in our culture that is leading children and adults to see this as a solution to solving problems. Does anyone really want to get at this? Politicians and policies and laws won’t fix it. Who advocates for this? Who teaches their children to think this way? I imagine most think they do not. And yet, we somehow are. And it keeps happening. Again. And again.
In our fast-paced, hyper-technical, me-tastic society, can we pause long enough to pay attention to these behaviors by simply checking in with each other—our kids, our family, our friends, our co-workers, a stranger who looks like he or she could use a listening ear—and talking? Not texting. Not posting. Not emailing. Not commenting. Talking for just a few minutes to connect, see the other’s face and eyes, and remind each other that we are not alone.
I don’t want to see any more children dead—or other innocents for that matter—because no one is paying attention. Because no one is talking with each other. Because people are busy making plans and policies. Because guns are so accessible. Because we just don’t want to make the time to stop and ask, “How are you?” and mean it.