I know we have all seen the recent news out of Florida regarding the high school shooting. Seventeen young people lost their lives this week. A day that should have been like any other, filled with everyday struggles and triumphs, quickly became a nightmare for everyone involved.
I usually wouldn’t make a post or even bother stating my opinion on controversial subjects like this, but I can’t help myself. I was scrolling through my facebook news feed and videos start playing as I scroll past until I heard screams of terror. Maybe it’s because I am a mother myself, but that sound stopped my in my tracks. My heart literally skipped a beat and my adrenaline rushed as I saw the imagines from inside the school when the shooting happened. There was gunfire, screams, police officers and a still bodies.
My mind immediately went to my own children who were in school at that exact moment. I imagined Rebel, my oldest, screaming and clinging to her friends. Angel, my next oldest, I imagined would be frozen and silent hiding from the gunshots. I did the only thing I could, I cried. I cried impotent, rage-filled tears.
I keep thinking “if my kids were there I would have…” as if I have any of the answers. I’m a mom which makes me a protector. As much as I like to imagine myself as an immortal bad-ass rambo chick, when it comes to my kids I unfortunately am not. I am in no way able to stop an armed crazy person from hurting my kids, which is an unthinkable truth for me.
I’ve lived in Memphis, as scary as everyone makes it out to be I was never afraid in that city. I have never been paranoid enough to lock my doors at night. (Which usually doesn’t do any good other than the sound of breaking glass being a warning.) I’ve never locked my vehicles and have even forgotten to close my garage before going to bed before. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t believe crime would happen. It was more of me thinking there is nothing in this world that could hurt the people I love while I still breathe. In my mind, I would either rescue my kids from any disaster or would die in the attempt. I imagine myself fairly hard to kill I guess.
My heart breaks for the students who lost their lives. I can’t imagine what their friends and family must be feeling right now. I imagine all the students there that day will never forget the feelings of fear they felt. I bet parents of slain kids are wondering what they could have done to save them. I would. I hope with every fiber of my being this kind of tragedy never visits my door. If it should happen, I pray I am the hero my kids believe me to be and can somehow protect them.
I don’t know if gun control is the answer to the national problem. I can’t say it’s a lack of mental health resources and I am no expert in human behavior. I can say things cannot continue on the same. Maybe gun control won’t help, let’s try it and see. Maybe more mental health resources won’t help, let’s give that a chance too. No matter the direction we go, we can’t stay here.