Enough talk. Enough inaction. Enough with the “thoughts and prayers.”
Enough with the sad, sad parents and people we’re constantly seeing. Enough with people dying.
Enough with the mass shootings.
I’m saying enough not because I’m anti-gun. I’m actually as much of a proponent of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as I am the First Amendment. I’m also happily married to a U.S. Navy veteran who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and the son of an Air Force E9 who served in World War II, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam.
I’m saying enough not because I’m hopping on some kind of bandwagon. There are so many of those bandwagons out there I wouldn’t even know which one I’d want to hop on.
I’m saying enough because, simply put, I’m sick of seeing people die.
I’m sick of all of the reactionary, uneducated comments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from people who don’t think before they talk when it comes to the hundreds of mass shootings our nation has had to endure. If you grew up in a household similar to the one I was raised in, you’d know nothing good comes from doing, or saying, something under emotional duress.
Yet that doesn’t seem to stop people.
I’m sick of knowing the mothers, fathers, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, sons and daughters of those slain in these terrible attacks have to hear about “yet another mass shooting” after their loved ones had fallen.
They have to live with what happened to their loved ones every day. Thousands of them do. Every day.
I’m sick of seeing this go on for so long that Twitter on Sunday blew up with users who were practically quoting verbatim something Sheriff John Hanlin of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said after the Oct. 1, 2015, slayings at Umpqua Community College.
“DON’T SHOW HIS FACE. DO NOT SAY HIS NAME,” said Jaclyn Corin, whose handle is @JaclynCorin, after the El Paso, Texas, shootings.
“DO NOT GRANT HIM THE PUBLICITY HE SOUGHT ON THE GRAVES OFVICTIMS,” said Peter Daou, who is at @peterdaou who touts on his Twitter page he’s a former advisor to Bill Clinton and John Kerry.
Hanlin wasn’t the first person to say that, but I highly doubt he envisioned people saying nearly the same thing as him at yet another mass shooting less than four years later. It also illustrates how little in our nation has changed since then.
I’m sick of seeing the mounting numbers. USA Today reported Sunday that the tragedies in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso made 253 mass shootings in our nation in the previous 216 days. Simple math here: That’s more mass shootings than there were days in 2019.
It saddens me that staffers and students at UCC who were there that day have to continue seeing this. They’ve suffered enough.
And as bad as the shootings at UCC were, it saddens me that it wasn’t an isolated incident and that the term #UmpquaStrong has been lost in the shuffle with countless other hashtags.
It saddens me that we can’t seem to see that more of these are coming, which is where my dad comes in.
My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and developed dementia before her death on May 14, 1995. Dad, long since retired from the service, took on the task of caring for her.
The emotional and physical toll it took on him was so great that proverbial alarm bells sounded after reading a story in the Colorado Springs Gazette, which reported a senior citizen who had taken his wife’s life with his hunting rifle.
Within days, he took his hunting rifles to my sister’s house and turned them over to her husband out of sheer fear of a reenactment.
To him, even the slightest possibility of a tragedy was enough for him to take action.
Yet these shootings continue.
When I attended college at what is now Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado (Mesa State College at the time), I met dozens of people in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. It was the most visible mass shooting at the time and one that we, at the time, thought would be an isolated incident.
More than two decades later, we have an entire generation of people whose lifetimes have been filled with news, or experiences with, mass shootings.
That’s too long. That’s enough. And someone with clout needs to step up and not only say the same thing, but take action, because I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had enough.