I used to blog on LiveJournal and I would post there every single day, often multiple times a day. This was before Twitter or Facebook, where I could deposit brief thoughts and this was also before I had a job or the life that I have now. I was a young mom and my days were very baby-centric, revolving around naps and nursing and diapers. In between those shifts I would write and think and write. I would offer up my thoughts on almost everything and very few world events passed without my input.
Now, I don’t feel comfortable expressing my feelings about huge events that much. I quickly grow weary of hearing everyone else’s opinions and then don’t wish to add my voice. Now it’s so frustrating to watch the dialogue degenerate from the communal shock and grief, to outrage, to the various factions of outrage, to the bitterness over how no one is saying anything right anymore.
Get rid of guns!
No! We need guns and 2nd Amendment and this poorly drawn analogy!
We need better access to mental health resources!
I’m not paying for some monster to talk about his feelings!
Illness is illness, why must you categorize it as mental?
Not enough religion!
I don’t want to say anything because it will inevitably be the wrong thing according to someone. And unfortunately I don’t think that any real changes will come from this, still, because of that fear. Because we continue to allow a flawed set of ideals dominate. We won’t try something new (just try!) because a bunch of people don’t want to. I guess that’s freedom. But I hope that the folks who will fight to keep guns in our hands and money out of our healthcare and pollution in our environment are right about their, “everything will be fine if we change nothing,” approach. I honestly do. Since we won’t take a chance on trying something different, I hope that they’re right. But honestly I don’t think that they are.
The scariest part was how often the word “normal” popped up in my thoughts and words surrounding this latest glimpse of hell.
I said “usually” but I started to write “normally.” “I’m normally pretty stoic when a bunch of kids get killed.” Because this is normal now. It’s not everyday, not on this scale, but it’s normal.
I’m not so naive that I think at some point we’ll become totally peaceful and horrible things will cease to happen. And I’ve had to adopt some kind of rational outlook about that. I can’t exist in a bubble because bad things happen and I have no way of knowing whether one will happen to me or someone I love. But please could we at least try to get to a point where we can no longer gauge our reactions to the latest mass shooting? Could we try getting rid of guns? Could we try putting our money toward each other’s health and wellbeing? Just try? And if it’s a failure we’ll go back?
I asked the kid if he had any questions or wanted to talk about it. He just kind of shrugged and said that it was really sad. I told him that I wasn’t sure how to relate to his perspective since stuff like that didn’t happen when I was a kid and that was only 20 years ago so I don’t know how and what kind of scary it is for him. But I think he sees it something that happens sometimes. And that gave me chills.