It happened again today. In the last few weeks, mass shootings have taken place globally and nationally. They have become so common that I am not sure we will even bother with the discussions that follow these events anymore…in other words, whose fault it is. In the US, mass shootings are generally blamed on either mental illness or access to guns. And of yet, nothing has been done to rectify the daily dose of mass killings that are occurring.
In case you weren’t aware, today’s shooting in San Bernardino, CA is the 352nd mass shooting in the United States. Does this strike anyone else as something of major significance that needs to be addressed? If you remember, there are 365 days in a year and we just started December. Mass shootings are tracked by the Reddit-based Mass Shooting Tracker and thus are able to provide us with this interesting data piece.
Today, when I heard the news from a co-worker in a meeting as it came across her phone, we then turned our discussion to how it seems that the frequency has greatly increased.
Tonight, I write this blog with a smidgen of fear in my heart. I never ask anymore why because obviously that question is not curbing the intensity or frequency of the issue. It is a complex problem requiring collaboration and taking our share of the blame in letting them continue. Yes, I am aware that they won’t be eliminated completely; however, it can get less frequent.
After Sandy Hook, I thought how could we allow these shootings to continue and it turned into a political piece in which nothing resulted. And when we don’t respond when children are put in harm’s way, that should really disturb us to action. But alas, it has become a major incident in a long string of mass violence incidents that we are tolerating.
I hope you have noticed I am not laying blame with one specific entity because it has reached the point where we are all to blame to a degree. And that is hard to hear and this is why………
We organize ourselves along the fault lines of::: it is mental illness, or lack of gun control laws, or terrorist thus BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE for actions that are affecting lots of people. Now why would I say this:::because accepting responsibility for playing a part in a violent world takes courage. Addressing something of this magnitude requires a willingness to create a different reality and well, it is just easier to blame someone else than to do the hard work that it is going to require to change this course we are on.
My fear comes from now living in the reality that no matter where I am, violence of this magnitude can occur. And if I would let it, it could consume me and that is not beneficial to me or to the world we live in.
So as we mark this one as the 352nd mass shooting, we will mourn the loss of lives, wonder why, and continue on our way pushing it back in our minds as it fades in the news to which it falls off our radar until the 353rd occurs and the cycle repeats itself.
I wish I had a magic wand and knew what the solution is. All I do know is that all these people who have pulled the triggers were children at some point. And if you want to change the course of the future, get involved with a child. Be someone who engages with a child and help them to learn to have empathy. Take the risk of getting involved in the lives of another, because this seems to be one of the easiest thing each of us can do.
But I will warn you, it is hard work. It requires us to teach each other compassionately even when at times that is extremely difficult. It might require us to involve ourselves in the lives of others so to help us learn that there are alternatives to this craziness.
And one more thing, most of us look to our political system to enact laws to make this stop. And yes, that is a possible solution, but nothing, and I mean nothing, will alter another’s course in life than a positive relationship with someone. Be that someone!!!!!