Posts Tagged ‘columbine’

See life is full of tragedy. It affects everyone and people have different ways of dealing with it. Sometimes tragedy it natural and sometimes it is manmade. And it is the manmade disasters that hurt me the worst. The recent shootings at the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado truly make me stop and count my blessings. My heart goes out to all those effected by this horrible moment.

See my entire family lives in Colorado. I have a strong connection to that state and the people of that state. I remember the day of the Columbine shooting almost as clearly as I remember 9/11. Only being in 5th grade, I remember my mother, who worked at my elementary school, not telling me much and just that she was worried about our cousins (thankfully none went to Columbine). I saw the aftermath as it changed the entire country. I saw how a trench coat instantly became a badge of troubled youth. I saw  how people were quick to blame everything from video games to movies to music for causing those teens to plan and act out a massacre. Although not the first act of gun violence in United States history, Columbine was one of if not the most prominent. For many, this was a once in a lifetime heinous act. People had memorials, some made movies about it, others just prayed. Gun violence  had cut a permanent tear into the fabric of the United States.

See but that once in a lifetime tragedy turned out to be not so once in a lifetime. Since 1999, acts of gun violence seem to be on an upswing. There was more school shootings, like the Virginia Tech shootings. There was the Fort Hood shootings which effected the military. Earlier this year, there was a shooting at Oikos University, a religious school in Oakland. And of course there was the most recent, in Aurora, Colorado. The most recent shooter is the same age as me. He has been influenced by many of the things in society that I have been influenced by. He was a young mind when Columbine happened. He was raised in a society where are man who made his lifestyle fighting, killing, and blowing things up can become a govenor, where Call Of Duty is the top selling video game, and one of the worst recessions ever has negatively effected millions of people.

See what does this say about our society? Are we at the point where massacres and shootings in public spaces are becoming expected instead of outrageous? Can we not provide for the citizens of the United States? If we prescribe to the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, then we are all somewhat to blame for what happened. Does society not provide a support system for those with issues? Is society actually the problem in these people’s lives? Is it crushing them and providing expectations that sometimes are impossible to live up to? Or are these people just the outliers that are their own creation? Have these people always existed in society but now they have the weapons to make more of an impact? Why is there so many questions that have few to no answers?

See people overreact. They don’t take time to think. They have a knee jerk reaction to a huge event and don’t stop to connect the right lines. Banning costumes at the movies does not address any issue that arose from the most recent shooting. Me sitting here and saying that the second amendment needs to be done away with is over reacting, though about four or five more of these shootings and I will seriously start to think about it. The fact of the matter is, if we can’t have an open an honest conversation about what is causing these tragedies to occur, we will never move on. We need to stop attacking each other’s ideas and start listening. We need to stop looking at things that don’t matter and start focusing on what does. People are afraid to have hard conversations because they have hard answers. It is easier to attack ideology and personality than put forward a plan for change. At this point, anything is better than nothing. I’ll even listen to ideas about bullet control.