Gun Violence: Tears and Fears
Published Wed May 08, 2019 | Posted in Impressions | By Linda Jenkinson |
Yesterday I watched the interview of an eighth-grade girl in tears as she admitted that she was afraid to go to school. She feared that one day she would go into school and never come back out. Sometime yesterday, that is exactly what happened to a young man in Colorado. In the 15th school shooting of 2019(1), Kendrick Castillo, a young man just four days from his high school graduation, was killed and eight other students were injured.
Today I watched one of the survivors of that shooting describe what happened to him and his classmates. Their teacher hid them in the classroom closet. The 12-year-old student said he had his hand on a metal baseball bat because “if I was going to go down, I was going down swinging.(2)”
Anchor Brooke Baldwin asked the boy’s father how difficult it was for him and his wife to process what had happened to their son as well as his reaction to this tragedy. He said that he didn’t believe that he and his wife had processed it yet. He said that, for most of the day today, they were both on the verge of tears.
I wondered, What feelings or combination of feelings their tears might represent.
- Relief that their son was still alive?
- Pride in his courage?
- Sorrow for the victims and their families?
- Despair that this has happened 15 times this year?
- Anger that government has taken few, if any steps to curtail it?
Well, that is today. Tomorrow another “news cycle” will replace this one. We will be engaged by another government scandal, national disaster, international crisis, or possibly a shooting elsewhere. We could look at it as the “new normal,” but unfortunately this normal is no longer new.
Come to think of it, we could use a new normal:
- One where baseball bats are used to play baseball, not as a weapon of defense.
- One where a kid’s biggest fear is of being picked last on the playground.
The question remains: How do we do it?
- CNN, Michelle Lou. “There Have Been 15 School Shootings in the US so Far This Year.” CNN. Accessed 8 May 2019.
- "CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin.” CNN, 8 May 2019.