This is Personal
This is not the post I had planned to write, but then there was a school shooting.
Wednesday, February 14, started with an exchange of texts with my older granddaughter. I wished her a happy 18th birthday and told her how much I was looking forward to celebrating with her.
I went to some meetings and then to a class.
Then, at about 3:30 that afternoon, I got a call from one of my daughters asking me if I was following the news about the “active shooter” at my granddaughters’ school. I ran out of the class to call my daughter in Parkland, Florida, who told me through her sobs that my older granddaughter was out of the building, but that the 15-year-old was hiding in a closet. It was over an hour before we knew for sure that she was safe. She walked by bodies as she finally exited the building.
What started out as a day of celebration turned into a nightmare.
We now know that there were clear indications of the shooter’s potential for violence. The system failed him, and it failed us.
There will be plenty of finger-pointing, especially by the lobbyists and politicians who want to divert attention from their own culpability. The shootings go on, the bodies pile up, but they act as though blocking a waiting period is more important than preventing a killer from terrorizing a 15 year-old girl. They insist that the right to bear arms, granted when muskets were the common weapon, extends to assault rifles that have no purpose other than to inflict as much damage as possible on other human beings. These hypocrites will offer their prayers and condolences and then guarantee that another mentally ill person can legally obtain an AR-15.
I hold the NRA and the cowardly elected officials whose loyalty they have purchased accountable for every nightmare the survivors will have for the rest of their lives, for every empty seat in every classroom in every school where these massacres occur, for children having to go to funerals before proms. I hold them responsible for the anguish of the parents who will never see their child grow up. I hold them responsible for shattering the lives of families and the peace of communities.
The teenagers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are speaking out, and so will I.