May 18, 2018

TGIF? Not Tonight

I had ideas for tonight's TGIF post -- thoughts I had scribbled yesterday, last night, this morning. And then, of course, the news came of yet another mass shooting, more people murdered at a school, by  someone known to those who died, or at least known to the school community.

The shooter is alive, his supposed dreams of shooting up the school and then committing suicide, dashed. Whether it was a lack of courage, or strong convincing by law enforcement or pure luck, he's alive, and ten others are dead.

And we add another name to the list, we add the name Santa Fe High School to the list, just above or just below the name Marjory Stoneman Douglas, depending on how you track these horrific incidents - chronological order? Most recent to longest ago? Updating the list, again, already, less than 100 days after the last name was added. 

I'm not going to argue guns, or mental health, or how many doors a school should have, or whether a law enforcement officer doing his or her job is a hero, or whether a bully made him do it.

I'm not going to worry about whether he wore a trench coat when it was 90 degrees out, or whether he really thought he was Born to Kill like the t-shirt he posted on social media.

Do we want to understand why people do this? Sure, I guess. Maybe the insight will be helpful.

Do we want to know if anyone missed any red flags? Sure, I guess. Maybe it will make people feel better to blame someone for not stopping it, like they blamed everyone and their brother for not finding the shooter, for not reading the signs, for not entering the building, for for for whatever was or wasn't done in Parkland to prevent that one from happening.

Do we want to know how he got hold of the guns, his father's legally purchased guns?  Sure, I guess that would be helpful too, and maybe we'd learn something about... something (treading lightly here, about parents and kids and stuff).

Do we want to know what it feels like to be a student or teacher or school employee at Santa Fe, or to be the parent of one of the above? No, not really - not that I'm unfeeling or uncaring, but that the last thing I want for them is the media in their face, in their anguish, in their sorrow, in the grief, and yes, in their quiet joy if they are among the fortunate ones, loved ones still whole, still hugs to give and get, still I love yous to be spoken, to be heard.
We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families and personnel at Santa Fe High School - we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever.
Four hours later the Griever in Chief had moved on to America being a nation of redemption and believing in second chances and that the best is yet to come (ironic for this town, this school, these families), and then to Making the United Nations Great Again (I kid you not), yet another insult to our friends, allies, the world - but then it was California's governor and 250 years of clean coal and energy dominance and we are officially -  just like that - very far removed from grieving or thoughts and prayers. The flags are at half staff already.  Did that, moving on.

Forever seems like such a short time, doesn't it?

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