“Shots have been fired at…”
“Bystanders have been killed…”
Those were phrases that would have once stopped me in my tracks. News that would have been shocking and a jolt to my soul. These days, not so much. Now it’s just another day in America.
As I write this, news has just broke that there has been a shooting at a children’s hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The hospital went into lock-down mode, thankfully no one was hurt. But that there would be guns fired at a hospital — a place where people go to get healed, not hurt — is incredibly sad. This happened less than 24 hours after a shooting at a high school in Pittsburgh, PA where three students were shot (thankfully none of them fatally). A children’s hospital and a school? Why do these instances keep happening at places that are supposed to be safe havens?
Just a couple of weeks ago — after the shooting at LAX — I got supremely bummed out. It wasn’t just for the terror that was inflicted or for the innocent life that was lost. But it was because I was numb when hearing the news. A shooting at LAX? Of course there would be a shooting at LAX, why wouldn’t there be? Even after hearing about the Pittsburgh school shooting or that there were shots fired outside of a children’s hospital, the news did not come as a shock. And I don’t think it’s just me, I think we as a culture are — sadly — becoming quite accustomed to tragedy.
And I have to ask, didn’t Sandy Hook teach us anything? After 26 children and adults lost their lives in this incredibly senseless shooting spree, I had hopes that there would be a change. That all of us would rally together for stronger gun control laws. That the killing would stop. That our children, our friends and our families would be safe. But the shootings continue.
In the wake of these tragic events I wonder how we got here. “Someone needs to invent a goddamn machine that will dig up Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin and George Washington and get the truth once and for all,” wrote Babble’s own Serge Bielanko,“that’s what the hell has to happen.” But as much as Serge would like some sci-fi intervention to bring our forefathers back to explain what they really meant by the right to bear arms, that ain’t gonna happen.
Some are trying to make a change, but it’s a tough fight especially when one side comes to the battle unarmed. A couple of days ago the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a meeting at the Blue Mesa Grill in Dallas and they were greeted by pro-gun activists from Open Carry, baring their guns in what seemed like an act of intimidation. The NRA is an extremely powerful (and well-armed) organization and as Slate notes, is considered to be the most powerful lobbying group in the country. And while America will never be a gun-free zone, there is no reason why automatic firearms, or even semi-automatic guns should be available to the public. A gun should not be easy to get; they can cause such devastation, and they shouldn’t be so easily obtained by people with terrible intentions. Yes, there will always be a black market, but something rather than nothing should be done.
Not only do I hate that I’ve become numb and desensitized to the news of more shootings, but I don’t want my daughter growing up with this as part of her life. I don’t want her to think, “another shooting, another killing, another day in America.”
What do you think we need to do to fix what is obviously so very broken?
Photo Source: Wiki Commons/ Kr6