May 24: Uvalde, Texas
May 14: Buffalo
The massacre in Uvalde, in which 14 children and a teacher were killed, was the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. this year. It happened just 10 days after 10 people were killed in a Buffalo supermarket. https://t.co/JFDWZQHB7f
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2022
Yesterday I heard about the latest shooting in the United States.
In an elementary school.
In a primary school.
Like the one my kids go to, but somewhere in America.
It seems so far away.
It seems so far away from reality that that could happen.
Almost like watching a horror movie.
I struggle to make sense of it, as do my friends.
We live in Europe, where it’s unusual to carry guns, unless you are a police officer or a criminal.
I read about the shooting until I had to stop, close the tab, and put my phone down.
I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.
Because this is no horror movie.
It actually happened.
In a primary school.
To children the same age as mine.
To children who trade Pokémon cards and fight with their siblings.
To children who were looking forward to their next birthday.
I was in the middle of writing another article, which for now sits unfinished.
It’s about how we hold too much hate in our hearts, and about how it divides us. It’s about how love is the answer—the way forward. The way to bring us together.
I can’t continue with it at the moment.
Because there is a little less love in my heart right now.
It’s being pushed out by anger at those in power, alongside resentment toward those who support this ridiculous and outdated right to bear arms, which is hurting more people than it is protecting them.
Are there really people so desperate to hold onto their precious ammunition that they refuse to believe that the fight for their right is also in part to blame for what happens all over the country?
There could be gun violence anywhere, yes, but the ease of availability of firearms in the U.S. is shocking.
And no matter how many mass shootings there are, it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
There are many different answers, and yet all of them lead to the same destination.
“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills,
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
It’s been widely reported that gun deaths were the leading killer of children in the U.S. in 2020.
“We have the right to bear arms.”
On my way home from work yesterday, I thought about how hate, fear, and anger are all paths that lead to the dark side.
I tried to talk myself out of feeling these dark emotions.
But it is not happening right now.
I hate the evil, the injustice, the unfairness that go on in this world.
The wars and fighting that are going on.
The innocent people that are getting caught up in it all.
It is causing so much pain in my heart.
The words of Mister Rogers echo in my head: “Look for the helpers.”
I look for the helpers.
I see them.
I look for the healers.
I see them.
I see the light that surrounds their presence, and I try to focus on that.
We cannot ignore the darkness though.
We cannot look the other way.
We have to face the dark side of society, to navigate our way through it, and save whomever we can on the way.
“That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.” ~ Rose Tico, The Last Jedi
We have to turn our anger to strength, our fear to stealth, and instead of fighting what we hate, we must do everything we can to save what we love.
I’m sorry, little ones, that humanity let you down.