Once again, the nation is reeling in the wake of a school shooting.
Only we’re not really, because it happened again.
Once again, we send our thoughts and prayers into the ether.
Only it doesn’t quite mean what it used to, because it happened again.
Once again, the left attacks the right for insufficient gun control, and the right attacks the left for not allowing teachers to defend themselves.
Only no one really cares, because it happened again.
And no one pays attention to what matters: children died horrifically violently, and their parents are left with a void in their souls that will never, ever be filled.
How many times have we chanted ’never again’? How many times have we vowed for change – on all sides – only to turn around to see it happen over, and over, and over again. There’s no sadness left; no tears, no fury, no righteous anger at the world that allows this to happen, because it seems that, finally, we’ve just … given up. It won’t change. Children will continue to die in schools, and I predict with 100% certainty that it will happen again before the year is out. Hell, perhaps even before the month is out.
And why am I so certain? Well … probably because I’m not going to do anything about it. I’ll talk about it for a few days, then go back to my life. I’ll read about it in the news for next few weeks, and then it will fade away. Only the families affected will really care for any meaningful amount of time, and if they try to do anything about it, they’ll probably be shut down, targeted, called ’crisis actors’, or even threatened. Only the families will be left with tragedy that you never, ever get over.
Because in this country, we’ve become so incredibly desensitized to it that it outright fails to leave any indelible mark on our collective psyche. The last crisis that I can recall united the nation under mourning was the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 – and that was over twenty years ago. Columbine, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and now Ulvade; what does it day that I had to Google one of those, because I remembered it happening but couldn’t remember where? The Wikipedia entry on school shootings – since 2000 alone – is too long to scroll through. It sanitarily describes where the shootings took place, how many were killed and how many were injured, and a rundown of the events themselves. It’s as distant from the horror of a schoolroom massacre as you can get.
This is my reality. This is what I live with every day, week, month and year. I live with the knowledge that well, it’s just going to happen again, and nothing’s ever going to change, so how can I feel anything about it? How can I be upset, when there is so much upset to go around? I have to protect myself in the only way I know how – by tuning it out and pretending it doesn’t affect me.
Until it happens all over again.
Maybe one day – one day – this country will band together to understand that guns do not belong in the hands of civilians. The fear that has been mongered for centuries around violent crime has led to far-too-accessible access to firearms, and it has led to a wide part of the population believing if they don’t have guns, they’ll be at the mercy of ‘bad guys’ who do.
Well, here’s the thing: I would far rather die, defenseless in my own home, than see my own guns used to murder children. I would rather see a small number of civilian deaths occur, isolated and infrequent, than mass shootings take place every single day. It works in England; it works in France. It works in almost every country in the world.
IT CAN WORK HERE.
Except it won’t. It won’t, because politics and people in power will ensure it can’t. So long as there’s money in fear, we will continue to live in fear; fear of the nameless, unknown perpetrator who might enter our homes (and therefore we need our guns), and subsequently our children will live in fear that they might die in school.
I just can’t anymore.
I give up.
I probably won’t do anything, because right now, it feels like there’s nothing to be done.