I’m visiting my parents, so while everyone naps, I’ve snuck away to the computer to blog a little. This morning I woke up, and as I almost always do, I hopped on my phone to read the news. It was loading a little slowly, and I saw “Breaking” and I thought, well, that’s probably not good news. Sure enough, the information about the shooting in Orlando was what was breaking.
It makes me really sad to think of the young people who were and are in pain. It’s horrifying that there is an attack on the LGBT community at a time when people should feel most safe and joyful in their identities. And yet, it also makes me sad that this kind of thing is not so violently shocking. It’s violent, certainly, and I’m shocked, but I’m also numb. I feel like the last 18 years have chipped away at my innocence with regard to gun violence. Columbine was the first I really remember feeling, because I was just out of high school myself. When I lived in New Mexico, we lost a beloved professor and student to gun violence, and I still get nauseated thinking about it. The Amish schoolgirls, the Sandy Hook children and teachers: I’m not afraid to send my kids to school but I cannot imagine those parents’ pain. I have first grader, and I’ll have three more. Someday, they’ll be young adults out in the world, and I wish that world were a little safer (not that I want a police state, because I don’t think that makes us safer). I hope that we can have more respect for each other’s humanity and worth. It’s so easy to feel like its someone else and somewhere else, but in the end, violence degrades us.
I’m not saying anything new here. But it’s not going to change unless we care a lot about making the changes happen that we want to see.