I woke up this morning and went to my computer. One of the first things I do when I go online is to check my Twitter timeline, hoping that I didn’t miss any news while I was asleep. When I started reading tweets about a school shooting and that the victims were mostly children, my immediate reaction was “What the fuck? ANOTHER ONE?”
Since 1999’s infamous Columbine High School shooting, there have been 31 school shootings. Let me repeat that. THIRTY-ONE. That’s on average of over two per year. Yeah, another one happened today.
There are a lot of thoughts on various topics on this that are going through my head right now and I feel like I have to share them. Whether you agree with them or not, at least I want to be able to express my concern over this matter.
I’m gonna start with the minor topics before I hit the harder ones down the post. If you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to.
My first thought (and subsequent online responses) to this is gun control. People are calling for the elimination of the public the right to bear arms. I wonder why now?
Here’s the thing. Gun control, in a political American rights sense, makes sense. We have the right to “protect” ourselves with guns. The problem, especially in these recent weeks, show that guns are not something that should be taken lightly. We had the Aurora movie theater shooting. We had Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend and himself two weeks ago. The mall shooting earlier this week. We have this.
As much as I am for protecting ourselves, the guns also lead to violence for those who can’t be protected. Should we be walking around with handguns everywhere we go? The paranoia is too strong.
Here’s the thing with guns. It gives people power. It makes them feel better when in reality, it fuels the paranoia. I can’t say that all gun owners are nuts, but when there is one violent outburst like this, then we know that it’s not healthy for us in America. I would imagine this world would be a lot better if guns weren’t around.
The problem we face with people owning guns is that despite background checks, we can’t determine what a person can go through in between that time before violent outbursts. Sometimes you can’t detect stress and torture in a soul. Other times you just “snap” at a moment and that can’t be prevented.
The power that a gun provides someone could lead them to believe that using it is a solution and hurting others would relieve the pain. That’s not the case.
Getting trigger happy has been an ongoing issue even in our police force. It’s known that officers most times never need to use their guns. In fact, very few cases require them to use it. But because of boredom or the desire to feel power, they use it when they don’t need to. If that’s the case with people who are trained to have it, imagine how bad it is for a gun owner that has no training?
I never understood the reasoning why a person needed to own an AK-47 or anything like that in their home. Sure, owning a handgun could protect you from a burglar. But after incidents like this, I’d hope you’d think different.
I know that I could have worded that better but that’s how I feel right now. Growing up, I have always despised violence. Maybe it’s because of my upbringing (and possibly naive) thinking that the world is good, that everyone is good. So whenever I see violence, it tears me apart because it’s against what I believe. And during war-time, I was a mess because I hated it all.
Here’s the thing about violence. It kills people. Not only physically, but emotionally. Death can destroy one’s soul. It can destroy their mind. It destroys. And sometimes when people are destroyed inside, they are violent to others.
Violence doesn’t do anything but cause harm. It’s part of a psychological belief that if you weaken your opposition, they will submit. Or if you hurt others, that empowers you. None of that works here. You can’t believe that any form of violence works. You can be hard on someone, but hurting them doesn’t solve anything.
Seriously, we can’t even live in a society where we feel safe sending our children to school? Violence will cripple us.
NEVER UNDERSTANDING THE SHOOTER
From what has been reported, one of the alleged shooter(s) is 24 years old (or 20 depending which report is right). Holy crap, that’s a young age for a mind so distorted. And I hope that nobody truly tries to judge this man immediately for his actions. We don’t know.
This takes me back to all other tragedies, most recently the one with Jovan Belcher. I remember reading comments on how people were quick to judge him for his murder suicide without understanding him. Yes, what he did was horrible. But there was more than just a violent outburst.
Because of this, that is how I want to carefully approach this incident.
I am so glad of my upbringing where I interacted with so many different people in my lifetime. I am so glad that I got a chance to study human behavior at SJSU. Because of that, I can say that my best response to all of this is “I don’t get it”. And I am not supposed to get it.
I can’t pick into the mind of the shooter and figure out his motives. I can’t see why he decided to shoot people today or see if he was a bad person. I can’t judge his parents either. There’s so much I don’t get and I know I’ll never get.
Have you ever walked in the shoes of a man disturbed? Never. I am not meant to understand what he was going through. He must have been going through something so terrible that it flipped a bad switch in him. And because I don’t understand him, let alone even know who he is, why would I be able to judge him? I don’t want that empowerment.
I am not better than he is. He might have been just like me and then one or two things occurred and he changed. I could be him. You never know, so don’t act like you do.
Just remember that he was a troubled soul and somewhere along the line, he lost his path. What he did was horrible but until I get to understand why he changed, I can’t judge. But since I know I will never be able to walk in his shoes, I simply won’t judge. It’s not in my place to do so.
This probably tears me up inside the most. Children, mostly kindergarteners, sitting in a classroom seeing their friends get shot to death. The guns, the fear, the death. Man, this is all bad.
I can’t imagine what these kids are going through. Their lives will be scarred forever because of this. Their young fragile minds will now be infested with this violence and that could mess them up in the future. They might turn schizophrenic or sadly one day when they grow up, they could reciprocate the violence. They might have trouble living in society, speaking to people and being normal.
There’s no way of really understanding this and I won’t. But I do know that these kids will need to feel loved. They need to be told and shown that they are never alone. They have to understand that this was a one-time thing and that the world will get better. There’s a hope there.
I love children and I think the world of them. Kids bring joy to my heart because they have this innocence that we have lost. But knowing now that that innocence has been destroyed hurts me the most. How can these kids live on their lives with this in their mind forever? I don’t even know.
I hope that these kids have a great supporting community to help them grow and live with this. They need to know that they are not alone and they don’t have to live in fear. The parents, the family, the friends. They all have to live with this.
And as for the adults also, they need the same love and support also. Families will be forever changed because of this and I still wonder if they can ever return to normalcy. I don’t see it happening.
WHERE IS OUR FAITH?
This is probably the only thing I know I can hold onto and rely on. Part of my upbringing in believing the world is good is because God created a good world. God created good. But it’s because our decision to do bad is what separates us from our Creator.
We are living in a pretty fucked up world right now. There are so many bad things that shadow the good things God is all about. We are in a really bad place. This world needs a revival.
I am not going to get super preachy here but I want to say that there is a healing that God gives. I don’t have a blueprint on it because it’s different for everyone. It’s sometimes in a form of prayer, other times it’s a hug from a friend and maybe it’s just getting back to normalcy. But I can say this with full confidence that God does heal and God will provide better days.
In this nation full of shit — actually, in this world full of shit — we need our constant reminder that God will never abandon us. Unfortunately, sometimes we turn to God because of these bad decisions that people make. I hope we can turn to God every day.
I am not proposing a solution to prevent shootings or any kind of violence from happening because I don’t know one. But I know when we do come to one, God is the reason for it. I am trusting God to heal us, take care of us, guide and bring us to peace. There are way too many things out in this world that is out of our control. There are too many things that we will never understand. That’s not for us to try to figure out. What we know is that this world is in God’s hands and He’s got it under control.
What we can do now is pray that God continues to heal us and breathe love into this struggling world. We get so caught up in so many things that God is out of the picture. This world right now needs God more than ever to save up from hate and despair.
I pray for the victims, their families and all those involved. I also pray for the killers and their families. There’s too much pain right now. God will heal us. I believe it. He’s not abandoning us. He never will.
Throughout this entire ordeal of things I will never understand, God is the only thing that makes perfect sense. And at this time right now, that’s the only thing I know that will save me and the rest of this world.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 27:4-5 (New International Version)
Let’s remember that in times of trouble, God will protect us, heal us and give us new life.