3.9
May 26, 2021

9 People were Shot in California Today…& I’m Angry.

There is never an “okay” or “good” time for something like this.

Never.

But as I read the first line of this NY Times article just now, it hit different:

“A shooting at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif., left nine people dead, including the gunman, and others injured…”

You see, I am currently living in Colorado, but California is where I lived for 24-25 years of my life (basically all of it). I drove those freeways to go to work, school, soccer tournaments, track meets, to see friends, to go on bad dates, to my grandpa’s gravesite, to go horseback riding with my aunt, and when I got married. I’ve been “the Cali girl” for as long as I can remember.

I haven’t been home in almost two years, but I just booked my flights to go back last night. After I told my mom I was officially booked, in a moment of pure excitement, I started singing Biggie Smalls’ song “Going Back to Cali” to her. Then, just a few hours ago, I was playing it again because I’m just so damn excited to go to the place I love.

And then this…

They were normal people doing normal things; they were working.

CNN shared some words from the mayor of San José, Sam Liccardo:

“Liccardo described them as ‘essential workers’ who risked their lives and showed up every day throughout the pandemic.”

They didn’t deserve this. No one ever does.

The same NY Times article from earlier described it like this:

“Brandi Childress, a spokeswoman for the V.T.A., said employees were on the job at the time of the shooting.

‘It is where we have dispatchers and maintenance,’ she said. ‘They get up early and they are there.'”

(If you’re wondering: “the VTA is a public transit service that operates bus and light rail services in the Santa Clara Valley and employs about 2,000 workers.” ~ CNN)

They had their own struggles and their own stories. They had wives and children and cousins and people who loved them.

And that’s why I’m angry. It might not be the most “enlightened” emotion, but I’m enlightened enough to admit it.

I’m angry because it’s the only logical emotion my body can accept before the heavy grief that lies underneath is unveiled.

I’m angry because whoever did this probably needed help. I’m angry because that’s not a good enough excuse.

“Law enforcement officers didn’t exchange gunfire with the gunman and investigators believe he took his own life.” ~ CNN

I’m angry because I know this is not going to be the last time we see headlines like this. I’m angry that this is our reality.

“This mass shooting is the 232nd incident in which a minimum of four people were shot in the United States so far this year, according to a tally by the Gun Violence Archive.”

I’m angry because I’m so f*cking heartbroken.

~

* Author’s note: My heart goes out to all of the affected families. If anyone knows of a thoughtful way to give back/contribute, please let me know.

You can watch for live updates here.

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