Florida: My Response and My Hope
Today, my posting will be brief and with very little politics, but I believe it’s necessary. Many of us are still in shock and healing from the tragedy in Florida last Wednesday. This is my response, condolences, and cries for a better tomorrow. Because only one week has passed since the shooting, I won’t be writing about gun control policy or ideas going forward at this time. Rather, I will focus on two things that must be agreed upon by all parties before any productive discourse can take place: empathy and common prudence.
The unspeakable horrors that filled the halls of Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, and will haunt them forever, brought an all too familiar wave of shock and grieving over the nation. Too many times, we have had to sit in front of the television screen weeping for dozens of innocent children with bright futures. Too many times, the promising American ideals have been completely undermined and obliterated. One new school shooting every 60 hours—that is the rate at which we have been exposed to unthinkable horrors in 2018. It’s a frequency of tragedy that will break us and our nation. While we grieve for the families and the children, we can agree upon a common empathy. To fight back the waves of horror and tragedy, and stifle the flooding that ensues, we must embrace a common empathy for our neighbors. It takes courage to love—a courage that must fill our lungs and pulse in our veins. We must bleed the courage of love if we’re to have any hope. In times of chaos and horrific tragedy, linking arms, holding hands, and standing heart-to-heart, is our only hope in fending off the waves to come.
We must apply our empathy to setting aside partisan political games and achieving real change for America. For most Americans, maybe excepting lobbyists and some politicians, there are base-level gun control regulations that can be agreed upon. I’ll leave the specifics of that discussion for another post, but generally we can agree on closing loopholes and making sure bad people don’t get guns, simply put. These general regulations are the ones that we must target first, as a people. Exercising a common prudence to cut through the political noise will allow us to establish a strong base from which we can build a safer nation.
I understand that nothing I write will be of consolation or solace for those grieving and in pain after the most recent of too many tragedies. I know that my words, or anyone else’s, won’t ever do enough to explain, console, or inspire in a time of darkness, but I still write, because each well-meaning heart is vital. I am only another of the millions of Americans who aren’t content standing idly by amid such terrible pain and suffering. I am only one of the millions in this nation who know that America has a breaking point, and I’m one of the millions who don’t want to wait around to watch as it shatters day after day, tragedy after tragedy. I believe in our potential as a resilient and awesome people, and a brilliant nation, to inspire and rise in times of extraordinary darkness, and I know that far too many is far too many for us to handle—17 is far too much pain for our nation to bear. Change must come, but first, empathy must ring true, and our friends and neighbors must be comforted in the wake of yet another tragic school shooting.
Thank you for taking the time to read this response to the horrors that took place in Parkland, Florida last Wednesday. It’s raw, uncut, and emotional, but I think that’s exactly what our nation, our neighbors, and our loved ones need right now: honest emotion and caring action. I don’t believe I have the policy answers, nor the right words, to repair a broken country, but I am just another heart, reminding you that I’m here and believe in our potential, because I know of the power of all our hearts when standing together against waves of tragedy and oceans of terror.
All productive discussion and/or kind words are welcome in the comments.
I hope you all have a good night and a fulfilling week. Thanks again.