You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy.
The Valentines Day Massacre. February 14th 2018.
It’s a warm and sunny day in Parkland Florida. Suddenly another school day is obliterated, becoming a war zone filled with body bags and bullets.
It’s Valentines Day. It’s Ash Wednesday. It’s the end of days for many families.
It should be a day of hearts and candy and dedication to spirituality.
At the very least it should be mundane. Reading, writing and arithmetic.
Instead it’s another horrific abortion bleeding out on the streets of the American Consciousness.
More dead babies. More mommas crying. More finger pointing and accusations of who knew what and when?
He was a quiet boy. He was a weirdo. Where did he get the gun? How do we stop this madness?
It’s a question that doesn’t seem to have any answers. We need to get some answers.
School Shootings. Kids dying. Roadside memorials.
When is enough is enough?
The push alert on my phone is startling. multiple fatalities in Florida School shooting.
The monitors suddenly transform from soap operas and Dr. Phil with the breaking news graphics and frightening imagery that changes the tone in every newsroom.
Oh, no. Not again, I think.
The images are the same. Aerial shots of kids running and police with assault weapons in riot gear rushing into a school house.
Suddenly I am watching images of curbside triage, and ambulances being loaded with children and mothers with Ash Wednesday crosses on their foreheads crying hysterically.
Is this really happening again? I think.
I am saddened by the breaking news. But I am not appalled. At least not to the degree I should be. Sadly, I am not shocked or horrified or immediately repulsed. Perhaps I am, but not to the extent 17 deaths should make me feel.
When Sandy Hook began to unfold and little kids were being assassinated, I jumped up from my chair and started banging on the wall, pacing the newsroom like a crazed pit bull. I was angry and sad. I felt like leveling some prehistoric justice on the madman responsible.
This time, I just sit at my computer and glance up at the tv screens. I watch the unfolding carnage and the longer abc news stays with this story, the more I realize that this is bad. It’s really bad! But I don’t get up. I don’t punch the wall. I don’t scream “I’m tired as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” I am somehow obdurate, desensitized.
Sandy Hook and Columbine and Marshal County Kentucky just 2 weeks ago has made this atrocity the new normal in the United States.
Bloody faced children, the new norm? That is horribly sad.
There is almost a playbook for emotional response now. Talk softly and whisper “this is horrible,” to anyone who is nearby. Then we hold vigils and light candles and release balloons.
Are there enough Teddy Bears to lay at another makeshift memorial? Perhaps we should all buy stock in the Teddy Bear Corporation of America.
Soon the anchors invade another once quiet town. They sit in director’s chairs in front of crime tape and chaos. They talk to survivors and witnesses and heroes.
There will be tears and passion. I understand the anger. I understand the despair and the vitriol.
And I understand the almost immediate outcry to promote change.
A survivor in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting is on TV Sunday morning crying saying “Democrats and Republicans both have children.”
“Compromise can bring change,” her older brother adds.
Perhaps this is the abomination that will raise the bar past talk to action. Perhaps 17 people dying in a Florida school will push us past the point of no return.
You would think so, right? But not so fast.
June 2016: 49 die at the Pulse Nightclub Shooting. It was the worst massacre in American history. And then there was the Vegas holocaust where a sniper blew away innocent concert goers in the dark of night set to a honky tonk beat.
It’s been a year of carnage, and not much has changed. We spin the barrel, place it to our collective head and pull the trigger, hoping it doesn’t happen here, happen again.
But it does. It will again.
I interview School Resource Officers and a sheriff. They tell me something they’ve never told me in the wake of this latest horror.
“IT’S NOT IF. BUT WHEN?”
The stark reality is a lot to digest.
The law officers tell me there is a need for armed officers in every school.
“I’ve not met the mass murderer who knowingly goes into the school where he knows he might be met with lethal force,” the sheriff tells me.
Fight fire with fire the sheriff advocates.
At least he is offering a solution. It’s not the answer everyone wants to hear. But it is dialogue. A call for something.
And almost immediately, the millions of voices that fill the ether resonate across the spectrum.
It’s too soon. It’s not too soon. It’s the NRA. it’s the Democrats. It’s the Republicans. Guns kill. Guns don’t kill. Pray for the victims.
Where is God?
It’s a broken record, because children continue to be mowed down in classrooms carrying back packs filled with hope.
While the words and facebook memes fil the void, parents bury babies who will never come home, never grow up, never kiss their loved ones again.
What act is enough? What image is so vile that it turns the stomach of the populous to the point that something transcends words and becomes action.
What’s the answer?
You won’t learn that here.
This is just a place for me to pound the keyboard, to scream and empty my despondency in a written waterfall of rage.
I have friends that say make it harder to get assault style weapons.
I have friends who say guns don’t kill, people kill.
I have friends tell me massacres are less likely to happen in a place where there’s an armed guard.
I have friends who say you can’t stop evil.
There’s now a movement calling for students across the land to leave school in unison and promote action.
HASHTAG: Whatever it takes.
I like the 2nd amendment. I also like kids not going to school and being shot in the eye.
Time for talk is over. Time for action is upon us.
People are going to church today who will pray to a God who might let them die.
So with the approaching spring and warmer temperatures, here is what I can tell you. Children are going to school to learn in a classroom where someone somewhere might take their life.
Citizens of the greatest country in the world will congregate somewhere publicly, doing something innocuous, only to be cut down in mid sentence by a lunatic with bad intentions.
I don’t have the answers. I am an American. I want something done. I want it done before the next breaking news graphic spills across the collective consciousness of our lives and makes me mad and sad at the same time.
It’s time to feel something. Don’t just see something say something.