This may end up being the most political-leaning post you will see out of me.
I tend to shy away from topics that tend to be polarizing. I don’t do mass-conflict well (it’s one thing I hate about social media).
But after I saw reports of yet another school-related shooting I knew I just had to write something. I had wanted to write one after I saw something last week, but I was so slammed with work and being sick that I never got around to it. I let it drop. I’d hoped that another opportunity wouldn’t come up for a long while. Obviously I didn’t get that wish.
I am not here to say we need stricter gun laws or that teachers need to be armed or any other solution people are spreading across Facebook…I am here to say that we as a nation need to do a better job at preventing gun violence. We need to put aside so much and really think about the world we want our children (or our friends’ children) to grow up in. We absolutely cannot let this keep happening.
I want the solution to be so simple: looking out for each other. Looking out for when we know someone is hurting or when someone really needs more attention. At first blush it seems so easy and I wish it was achievable, but I know it isn’t as easy as that.
I don’t want to be afraid to send Keely to school because of the possibility of extreme violence. I don’t want to be afraid to go to the park. I don’t want to be afraid to live our lives because some person who is clearly hurting in a multitude of ways has decided that shooting another person is what they need to do.
I know some of what I am feeling is more because of the 24-hour and more accessible news cycle. We learn more about what’s going on across the country, but that doesn’t change the fact that it does happen. George Gerbner’s Mean World Syndrome is one of my favorites in Mass Communication Theory. Basically it theorizes that people who consume more media think the world is a “meaner” place. So I am sure a lot of what I am feeling is this plus being a new mom, but I still feel so strongly and so sad that this world is not as safe as I once thought it was.
My only solution is this: let’s be better people. Let’s look out for one another. I know it won’t stop it all, but just maybe it will stop one situation from escalating. I sure I have so much more I could say on the subject. I could do more research. I could come up with a plausible solution. I could do so much more on the subject, but thinking about it too much just causes so much anxiety. I truly hope that we as a nation can do something in the next few years to find a solution.