February 19, 2018

The Truth about Blame after another Mass Shooting.

You only need to scroll through Facebook to get the vibe of the nation right now.

Another mass shooting is shaking our country. People are blaming Trump, guns, the school, and sometimes the shooter’s family.

Blame, blame, blame.

There is rage flowing through social media. Neighbors fighting neighbors, “friends” posting outrageous remarks to one another. Egos flying wild. People so self-righteous about how things should change or be the way they see fit.

Everyone is angered, and deservedly so.

Children have been murdered! Young lives have been wiped off this earth, like innocent lambs to a sacrifice…but for what? Their families have forever been destroyed and torn apart, never to be the same.

So who is to blame?

I say, all of us.

Every single last one of us is to blame––but does blame do any good? Does it bring the children back? Does it un-cry all the tears? Does it mend all of the hearts that have been broken?

No, it does not. So what are we to do?

The same reason we are all to blame is the same reason it will take all of us to make this right. If you think your vote is going to make things change any time soon, you are mistaken. If you wait for Congress, Republicans, or Democrats to fix this, you can be sure more lives will be lost before that happens.

Instead of sitting behind our computers spewing more hate into the world, we have to ask ourselves what are we doing to make this better? Are ours posts on Facebook really producing any change? Is telling our Republican neighbors to go f*ck off doing anything other than creating more divide, more hate?

All the memes telling us to pray and “send light” may help us sleep better at night, but it’s not doing much else.

Children are dying, and we are right to say that things need to change. Yet, is us who need to change.

We need to become more active in our communities. We need to be kinder to our neighbors and our families. We need to bring the circle in and stop looking out.

If we want to see a kinder world, it has to start with you and me. Not five states away, but with the man standing in front of us at the grocery store. Everyone is always expecting someone else to fix the problems of the world.

This is our world.
We are responsible for it.
All of it.

Instead of using Facebook and other social media platforms as soap boxes to preach what we think is right, let us use it as a place to come together and comfort each other, to start fundraisers to help those who have lost so much, to be a place to share videos and articles that may help to open up closed hearts, or give guidance to those who are lost.

Instead of sharing fake news and hate, let’s share more articles that help educate and inspire. It may be called Facebook, but it is Ourbook. We are the ones who create the content and share the posts. Think before you post, like, or share. Is what you’re sharing of benefit to the world?

Hate breeds hate.

No blaming will bring those children back. Anger is just a broken heart in disguise, and there are many broken hearts after this recent shooting. This latest in a long line of shootings. What will change this time? Imagine the impact we could have on the world if all of us took responsibility for these losses.

Where have we gone wrong, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as a society? Where is the unity? We shouldn’t be asking where he got the gun, we need to be asking why did a 19-year-old feel this was what he had to do? Why did he have no one to turn to, no one to help him make a better decision that day?

Where were we as parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors?

Were we too busy posting hate on our computers and phones? Perhaps. Too busy to notice the signs? It’s possible. To self-absorbed to be kind? I think so.

They may not have been our children who died, but we all suffer when we cannot see that they were a part of us, as a whole. It is up to us to fix this. No gun law, Congress, or armed teacher is going to stop the next mass shooting.

Only we can do that—by being vigilant, kind, and educated. All of us.

If we want to see change, it has to start with us.




Author: Anne DeLima
Image: Video Still
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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Anne DeLima Feb 22, 2018 2:28pm

Gwen Stackler Well said Gwen, thank you for your contribution to this conversation. This is the education part of it. Thank you.

Gwen Stackler Feb 21, 2018 4:28am

Michael, I am with you and only would like to point out one little niggling thing. As a person that is considered Mentally Ill, it is very hard to read when people assume or lump us all together into some sort of violent army just waiting for the straw that will break the camel’s back before we let loose. Statistics do not support this and jealousy, anger, bigotry, prejudice and crimes derived from passion are not mental illnesses. Have there been some mass shootings perpetratored by someone with a mental illness? Yes, but we are much more likely to hurt ourselves if not be the victims. We do, as a society, need to put pathways in place to address and help those with mental illness. The first steps are removing the stigma and not lumping us all together, especially when the shooter is not mentally ill. Note: I’m not making this point about the most recent shooting as we are still learning and personally, I’ve stayed away from the news speculation since it hampers my depression. It is more addressed to everyone who is so quick to blame mental illness, not understanding Mental Illness or even waiting for the facts of the story to unfold. This also isn’t an attack on you at all, just the wording of one sentence. Do they have to stop? Heck yes, but as Anne said, pointing a finger or placing blame on one group of people or another, whether politicians, the NRA, gun sellers, or the mentally ill isn’t the answer. All the best.

Anniegrateful Feb 21, 2018 1:58am

Incredibly tough subject is right, Michael. I would have to agree with you. There does need to be tougher laws on how people buy guns and on who can buy them, but we have been having this conversation for ever, right? Unfortunately, until that does change innocent lives will continue to be lost. I, like you, hope for an awakening of the people, to create a change. Hopefully that time is upon us. I think people are frustrated enough that something has to change, but it has to be done with clear heads coming to an agreement. Not with more hate and force. That helps nothing. I do have faith in people and I know there is a way around this. We just need more of the good ones to step up and lead the way. We need more people setting examples. We, you and me, need to set better examples and who knows, the next set of Mother Teresa’s and Martin Luther King’s could already be among us. It’s up to us to save ourselves, whoever your God is, I believe he/she has faith in us to get it done. Thank you for your comment.

Michael Mitchell Feb 20, 2018 11:26pm

Tough subject and frustrating. I have never supported this corrupt system. I believe guns should be outlawed. If hunters feel the need to hunt that's fine but make them pass some tests and pay for a permit. Make it so that guns cannot be sold to other people without a strong paper trail. As long as there are loopholes people will find a way to get a gun. And yes there are many mentally ill people who will continue to be violent. How do other countries deal with this issue? I do not go to war or support wars of any type. Amazing that weapons are the biggest business followed by pornography and drugs. Things may not change quickly but I do believe in a spiritual answer where people learn to create peace and some like me believe in a God who will step in and save mankind from themselves. So sad when life gets cut short. Hope Love and Faith

Anniegrateful Feb 20, 2018 7:27pm

Gwen, thank you for your insightful reply. I agree with what you have said. It can be difficult coming up with the "right" things to say, when both sides are so passionate about whats going on. The truth is, everyone just wants to be heard and some of us are more eloquent at getting our points across. You said it best in your last sentence, "...every home all the way to the White House." Thank you for sharing.

Gwen Stackler Feb 20, 2018 3:29pm

Anne, thank you, this is a vital message and an issue that we all need to address. Taking your thoughts even further, I can see that some would read my sarcatic posts and comments as hate, when I really mean them to be venting and it's my general sense of humor (thanks dad.) I've been a big proponent of being part of the change about other world issues and it's time to focus my lens in tighter and address the issues that are killing our future changemakers. I suffer so often with an coming up with an opposing argument to those that blanket themselves in the 2nd Ammendment and I, personally, need to research and come up with calm talking points to rebute them rather that either yell louder (online) or give up. We need to speak, we need to send a cohesive message, and we need to stop wasting evergy by pointing fingers and come up with actionable solutions instead. This is no longer a political hot potato, it is pervasive, like domestic volence and drug abuse. We haven't fixed those either. All three need to be faced, addresssed, and dealt with at every level, from each and every home all the way to the White House.

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Anne DeLima

Anne DeLima is a Crossfit coach and aspiring writer who has spent most of her working life in a career that was “safe” but unfulfilling. She has recently decided to reinvent herself and is looking to find her “soul purpose” through writing, meditation, and yoga. Her greatest hopes are to inspire others to listen to their own hearts desires while making the greatest impact she can on the earth, animals, and humanity. Connect with Anne on her blog and Instagram.