Victoria Jordan/Staff Reporter
When you scroll through the various newsfeeds on your devices, what has been a common trend? Pray for the families in this location because there has been a mass shooting and at least this many people of dead and this many are injured. With the term “mass shooting” being classified as an incident in which four or more people or killed or injured by gunfire, at least 300 mass shootings have occurred throughout the country in this year alone. Some of the most publicized and recent mass shootings of this year include:
• The Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where the lives of 17 individuals were lost.
• Santa Fe High School in Texas shooting on May 18, with eight students and two teachers shot to death
• Five Killed at The Capital Newspaper in Maryland on June 28
• 11 Jewish Worshipers killed at Tree of Life Synagogue Ceremony in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27
• Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, the site of the 307th mass shooting in the U.S. this year, leaving 13 people dead, including the gunman.
Words can never truly describe the pain and fear of those in the midst of these shootings, the grieving families trying to cope with the aftermath, safety and medical officials having to remove the dead bodies of people young and old from the crime scene, or even the reporters sharing information regarding each tragedy. Individuals can always point to flaws in gun safety laws and the mental capacity of the gunman. But, when are we ever going to say that these tragedies do stem from feelings of hate, pride or even isolation? When did we forget that people are people? Prone to make mistakes in their life, consumed with feelings of love, peace, joy, pain, loneliness, anger, greed, and pride. We each have our good days and our downright awful days. And in these dreadful days, you feel pushed to the side like worthless garbage, you are ignored and stared at blankly when you voice your concerns, and with all of the little disappointments piling on top of each other you can become self-defeated. However, the awful days can at times be made better from having simple conversations saying ‘I hear you,’ ‘you are appreciated,’ ‘I feel the same way,’ ‘hang in there,’ ‘take care of yourself,’ and ‘I am proud of you.’
Last year, the articles I have written have been about being fearful in a place of peace. These places of peace were places for religious worship including a church, a temple, a synagogue, a mosque. To add to this list of places of peace that are supposed to fuel feelings of happiness, security, curiosity, love, and hope, needs to be our elementary, middle, and high schools, our colleges, our social clubs, and our restaurants to name a few. Let’s not have our emotions be fueled by fear because of those around us. Fearing dying young from the trigger of one gun, with your hope for the future and life story told in an obituary. Or even fear being persecuted for believing in something greater than yourself. Without being overwhelmed with anxiety about the unknown, let’s try to trust those around us so that we can have hope in the good of humanity. In the great words of Corey Matthews from Girl Meets World, “People change people, that’s the secret to life,” and for that “People will never go out of business” from Michael Scott of The Office.
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