I have spent the past hour watching some of the most heart-wrenching videos on the internet.
Three different cities. Three different communities. Unfortunately, the same terrible tragedy. And that’s only the tip of the horrible iceberg that we are enduring.
Places of worship.
It seems like nowhere is safe from the danger that is a mass shooting. Three-hundred-six have already occurred in 2018 – almost one for every day that has passed. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 346 such incidents occurred in 2017, highlighted by a Las Vegas concert shooting that left 59 dead and another 441 injured.
Just eight days ago, a bar in Thousand Oaks, California was added to the list of tragic scenes, as 12 innocent lives were taken by a former Marine named Ian Long. This came just two weeks after eleven died at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mothers and fathers.
No matter what your political views or your stance on gun control laws, we can all agree that what is going on isn’t right. It isn’t humane. This, sadly, has become real life.
Jason Coffman learned this the hard way, when learning that his son was one of the victims of Long last Tuesday. With tears in his eyes outside the hospital, he described himself as “speechless and heartbroken.” He ended up adding, “I can’t believe it happened to my family.”
California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The weapon that Long was using, however, was equipped with an illegal, extra-capacity magazine.
There needs to be an end to this, a light at the end of the tunnel.
It doesn’t matter if you are pro-gun or anti-gun. I don’t think the Second Amendment was meant to open the world up to innocent lives being taken as they go about their day, having fun or going about their work – like the deputy killed by Long was.
We need to do a better job as a society reaching out to those who seem troubled. A large majority of these shooters had PTSD or other mental health concerns.
“It’s a gun culture,” Democratic Governor-elect Gavin Newsome said. “The normalization. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s become normalized.”
We can be the solution.
– Dylan Blowers