I have no doubt that many of you have already heard about the horrific massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Ironically the city was named as Florida’s safest, just last year. Right now the death toll stands at seventeen. The 19-year-old suspect is a former student who had been expelled for “disciplinary reasons.” Naturally there’s not much else known except for the fact that he used an AR-15 -style rifle with multiple magazines, to gun down his victims. He was also known to be “troubled” according to some teachers and students. I’m not going to rant and rave about our inability to enact common sense gun control legislation, because honestly, what’s the point? You know and I know that this latest atrocity will change nothing. Condolences, thoughts, and prayers are already being sent and for the next week or two politicians from both sides of the aisle will pontificate about their views, and then everything will go back to business as usual. To be fair, this isn’t just a gun issue, although I maintain that’s a big part of it. What is happening also involves a breakdown in our mental health system as well. And I’m going to go one step farther and say there’s also a breakdown in our society. I know this is complicated and there aren’t any easy, quick fixes, but it seems to me that we’ve become so tribal that we can’t agree on even the simplest things. And meanwhile, children are dying. Today’s shooting is the 25th fatal shooting event at an elementary, middle or high school including Columbine in 1999. There have been 98 fatalities as a result. It’s 43 days into 2018 and there’s already been 18 school shootings. That’s right. EIGHTEEN! We need to do better. Students shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school and parents, as they send them off, shouldn’t have to harbor the fear that they may not see their children again. How many more images like the ones below, can we watch before we stop wringing our hands and say in one voice “Enough!” Make no mistake, the countdown clock has already reset and begun ticking down to the next massacre.
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