Another Mass Shooting and 11 Years of Arguing
Reflections at the Virginia Tech Memorial
This past weekend, I visited my son at Virginia Tech. He is an engineering student in the Army Corps of Cadets and he has a girlfriend so visiting him mostly consists of hanging around campus and waiting for an opportunity to take him out to eat.
Friday morning, we arrived on campus and parked at the drill field. It would be a few hours before Daniel was free so my husband and I decided to walk around for a while.
As I was walking around the drill field at Virginia Tech. I came to the memorial for the Virginia Tech shooting. I stood there looking at the stones with the names of all the 32 victims and I felt overwhelmed with sorrow for the state of affairs in our country right now.
A Mom’s Heart Mourning Over the Shooting
The evening after the Virginia Tech shooting, my sons were sitting around the kitchen table working on their homework while I cooked supper. My oldest son who was 14 at the time began to talk about what had happened. My two younger sons joined in the conversation and relayed information they had heard at school. The conversation soon turned to what would they do if a shooter came onto their school campus.
I remember having a knot in the pit of my stomach. This was not a topic I wanted to discuss with my kids. I was torn with emotions. I was proud that my sons were all praying and discussing ways that they could help people if anything like that ever happened.
It is really hard to process all of the things that I was feeling at the time. There was grief over the tragedy, an intense desire to shield my children, and a passion to change things.
Our Passion Hasn’t Led to Change
And as passionately as I and many people felt about changing things, in the 11 years since then, I think things have only gotten worse.
How can that be when so many people want the same thing?
I think it is because in our rightly felt passion, we need an enemy and we have directed our passion at attacking that enemy. The problem is, our enemy is not so clearly defined and our passionate attacks are allowing this enemy to thrive.
The enemy we are looking for, IS NOT the other political party. I have friends who are Republicans and friends who are Democrats and I honestly don’t know a single person on either side who is not saddened by school shootings, disgusted by sexual abuse, and perplexed about how to best deal with immigration reform.
Change the Conversation
In my adult life, I have not witnessed a single productive conversation by politicians about any of these issues and I’m frankly disgusted and tired of it.
I worked with migrant workers for years and witnessed all kinds of unspeakable abuse that should not be happening in America. It is disgusting and it keeps happening because businesses are making bank while we are hating the other side on social media.
And honestly, I wrote this post a month ago, but was afraid to share it because of the attacks I would get. I knew I would offend some of my friends on both sides of the political argument. But the truth is, a lot of my friends need to be offended. Our arguing isn’t doing anything.
It reminds me of a little kid I used to keep in the nursery. She was the youngest of several kids and she was extra small for her age but she was skilled at manipulating her siblings. She had this crazy ability to get her brothers and sisters to argue about some toy or movie and then she’d go off and play by herself with whatever toy she really wanted or eat the last cookie and they seldom noticed. It was funny when it was a four-year-old getting her way. It’s disgusting when most of our nation gets distracted by arguing and mass shootings and abuse continue to get worse.
It’s time to change the conversation and demand solutions. We CAN make things better. We can be objective and look for best practices to solve the very real problems our country is facing.
I actually have little belief that people my age and older will change because we’ve been arguing too long, but I believe millennials and gen z’ers are going to quit being distracted by the tactics of a four-year old and seek real change.
My real thoughts…
Blessings to y’all guys!