Seventeen this time. Seventeen lives lost because a mentally ill boy had access to a gun.
And the president sends his “prayers and condolences,” and congress sends their thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are a good sound bite, but they can’t bring back the dead. Thoughts and prayers are nothing to a family who will grieve the rest of their lives because they sent their child to school. So, like, take your thoughts and prayers and shove them up your ass.
We have moved beyond thoughts and prayers. We have moved into a space where none of us are really safe anymore. These shootings are taking place everywhere. Schools, movie theaters, churches, nightclubs, concerts.
But it’s probably not time to talk about it. You know, the dead and all. We should just send our thoughts and prayers and not be disruptive. We can talk about it when the grieving is over, except for it will never be over and this mass shooting will turn into the next mass shooting and the next and the next.
Did you know that 15 of the 20 worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred since Columbine in 1999? The five worst shootings have all occurred since 2007, and three of those five were in 2016 and 2017.
People say if we didn’t do anything after Sandy Hook, where little kids were the victims, we never will. But the thing is, we can. We can do something and it’s up to each of us to react. This is a take to the streets moment. Because if you think, you think you’re safe, your kids aren’t going to be the victims, those you love would never be in this situation, you’re kidding yourself. You. Are. Kidding. Yourself.
This is not an easy problem to solve, but doing nothing and relying on thoughts and prayers to battle the issues of mental health and easy access to guns is not even trying.
We have to do better before this escalates. And make no mistake, it is escalating. If you’re depressed, it is now an option to wipe out a public place with a gun that’s as easy to get as a box of Wheaties.
What can you do today?
Call your congressman. Call your senators. Watch out for one another. Be alert. If there is strange behavior in a neighbor or a child’s friend, or your child, a co-worker or anyone else you come into contact with, consider what you can do, who you could tell. Help to de-stigmatize mental illness by talking about it openly.
We need to take care of each other. It’s our only hope. Us. Each of us.