When I got the news yesterday, I reacted like everyone else. I was overwhelmed with sadness, anger, but most of all, a numbing feeling of “what the fuck!”.
I wanted to speak out, to do something, but given my emotional state, I didn’t join the discussion, as nothing productive would have came from it. So I sat in prayer for the children, their families and for us as a society to seek reform at the root.
Much of the discussion seems to be about when to speak, and when not to. The thing is, our voices are the most significant democratic tools we have. To withhold thoughts, to avoid proposing solutions to an epidemic of this significance is to be sheep, it is to allow that feeling of numb I had pervade.
With that being said, it’s of extreme importance to acknowledge what our words and thoughts project into the world. Anger is the protagonist of violence, blame creates further separation from what can be if we create collective understanding. These tragedies are a product of this form of hate and misunderstanding.
I believe gun regulations should be extremely strict, I believe the treatment of mental illness should be integrative and holistic. Above all, I believe in the need to create a more equitable world. Media that glorifies violence and status creates a separatist mentality, one of exclusion. Watch Bravo for 2 minutes or our most recent machine gun heavy movie trailers and wonder why kids at school are excluded and young men are in a constant state of “proving themselves”. How about the shrinking middle class and the starving poor. The neo-liberal economic policies that keep the flow of money moving up with little to no trickle down. These are all factors in the creation and conservation of inequity and therefore discontent in our country and the world.
We don’t know why this happened, we shouldn’t pretend to know. However, we should be committed to understanding. Understanding societal discontent, understanding these acts of violence, understanding the pain these families are going through.
All my love goes out to the family of those affected and the rest of the universe.