Life As We Know It

Florida Shooting

Here we are again.

It’s the day after, again. When all we are left with is grief and questions, and sides. Because for all the sadness, the requisite questions we are asking now are already drawing up sides to a debate that, almost twenty years after the Columbine massacre, just doesn’t get it.

“Where does this end?”

We are left to wonder how we can put the toothpaste back in the tube when the sobering reality is that seventeen people did not go home yesterday. Seventeen souls who become the missing pieces of a puzzle that will never fit the same way again. Seventeen souls whose families and friends will live with a missing piece of their lives, forever.

Asking that question will be a provocation of the very worst kind, in which our elected representatives will shield themselves with the same pledges and promises they have been doling out in perpetuity. The gun rights side will lecture us on what the constitution stands for while the gun control side will throw up their hands in disgust, instead of demanding a legitimate road map be drawn up regardless of sides. A road map whose coordinates involve mental illness, gun regulations, secondary markets in which guns are easily obtained and all the warning signs that went unheeded.

Of course, as far as politicians are concerned, having a side provides them with the requisite armor to move forward. It allows them the efficacy of being able to argue that they did their due diligence but they just couldn’t get through to the other side of the aisle. Armor is what those seventeen souls did not possess when Nikolas Cruz ambushed them at the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by pulling the fire alarm to draw them out.

We entrust our politicians- local, state and federal- to protect us. So why does it seem as if they are only proficient at talking up a good game as far as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is concerned? Why do they fall short, time after time after time, when it comes to abiding by those tenets in the public interest? How is it all these smart people can’t go in a fucking room and come out with something? Anything? And how come we don’t demand it? When an elected official answers this latest horror by drawing up sides, maybe we should be asking them why it is they aren’t on our side. The side that wants their kids to come home from school.

Yesterday was simply the latest day, but it wasn’t the last. And I gotta ask, in what world was the first time not considered too much? And yet, here we are, having witnessed these horrors for a generation now, with no end in sight. All we have are more questions, and sides.

Seventeen souls, pieces of a puzzle. Their families and friends will never get that piece back. Their lives will never go back to what they were before three o’clock on Tuesday afternoon.

This is where we’re at. This is life as we know it.




52 thoughts on “Life As We Know It

  1. Living in the Mile High City I experienced first hand the horror of Columbine and the Aurora Theatre shootings. Our society has become so desensitized with the ‘another day, another shooting’ mentality. As long as politicians are afraid of the NRA, it will become continue to permeate in our collective psyche. The toothpaste is out of the tube and am convinced it will not be dealt with in our current state of tribal-ness. Sadly we will continue to spend more days ‘fiddling our thoughts and prayers’ while Rome burns.

    Liked by 4 people

    • My God, if you’re not spot on.
      You understand from having experienced this on a local level, the horror of such a thing. How it changes the community.
      And you are absolutely right about this fear of the NRA. It’s madness!
      Listen, I used to own a gun. I don’t believe taking away guns is the answer. But, regulations must be stringent! It shouldn’t be easy to get a gun. I have to wait for stuff I buy on Amazon, people can wait when it comes to purchasing a gun. I used to belong to the NRA, but I canceled my membership after their shameless gun rally following a school shooting. No way.
      I’m rambling, but I will say ‘tribal-ness’ is a perfect way to describe our current state. Fiddling away as Rome burns. And we all know what happened to Rome . .
      Thank you for this comment.
      Be safe.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “How is it all these smart people can’t go in a fucking room and come out with something? Anything? And how come we don’t demand it?”

    Good question! Sadly, we don’t elect the best or the smartest or the most empathetic. We more often elect the opportunist whose values are comfortable swinging with whatever PAC is buying his or her influence. We need to pass the 28th Amendment to stop treating corporations like the Koch brothers and others as individuals. Corporations do not have the right to vote and should NOT be buying our elections. But they are.

    I could not have written this better than you. As a mother, I have an extremely difficult time articulating any sense out of senseless and preventable violence.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Karen,

      Yes. And thank you. So much.
      I signed it, and it felt good to do something this morning. Because God knows watching network coverage was only turning me into a blabbering mess.
      As a father, I have a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that my children only know this world. They grew up inside a world where this was a very real possibility. They are not resigned to this, but they do accept it as being a part of our world.
      Writing this post was all I could do not to scream.
      Peace, love and understanding

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s not a healthy response, but I mostly slip into denial. I can only imagine the devastation these families feel… and it’s painful. Maybe mine is a selfish reaction, but I feel incapable of thinking too much about it. I hate that my kids are growing up in this environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. well isn’t it wrong that people have access to war machines – those are not everyday guns – and so the whole gun debate is overlooking that here –
    this was not a hand gun – it was a war machine and this needs to be addressed

    (and good post – what hurts me the most is every time I see 14 years old – 14 years old –
    I mean – all the losses hurt – but for some reason those ages are what sent extra chills up my spine)

    Liked by 2 people

    • The New York Times has a sobering piece on how in Florida, the AR-15 is easier to purchase than a handgun.
      And you’re description is correct. It is a war machine. Designed to maximize casualties. And there isn’t a blessed soul on the planet who can give me a worthwhile argument as to why these things are available to the citizenry, because there isn’t a worthwhile argument to be had.
      When my kids were little, violence was the only thing I had trouble talking to them about. Because I didn’t understand it myself.
      14 year olds . . . my God.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really well said. I’m sorry, I don’t have anything to add, it’s just too awful and, like a lot of politics, there always seems to be a sense that there’s too much squabbling and not enough sitting down and trying to come up with a viable solution.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, boy! I live in Arizona, where BOTH of the major candidates for United States Senator are fiercely opposed to a law that would prevent mentally ill people from purchasing weapons. BOTH are in the pocket of the NRA and are adamant that the Second Amendment applies to EVERY citizen having the right to purchase a weapon. Then, there are the two fringe candidates….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I told you I would be stalking you…
    As a Canadian, we simply don’t get the whole 2nd amendment right-thing being used for automatic weapons. Of course, also as a Canadian, we are right next door to you and when they compare numbers of shootings per country, I am distressed to see we are often number 2 or not far from… I figure it’s a roll-off (to not say bad influence)
    I am at the point where I am les inclined to choose the States for a vacation. How sad is that? I’ve been to so many of your States and enjoyed them. I hate that now I think… mmmm… maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

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