I was in Europe when I heard about the Colorado shootings. What a way to come back to reality quickly. After all, I’m the mother of a sixteen year old son and an eighteen year old daughter. What can a mother possibly feel when learning of yet another pointless killing spree? Will we, as parents, ever be able to sleep peacefully until we hear our children coming home at night? And what about when they’re away?
What kind of a world do we live in that twenty-somethings are randomly murdering and harming people they don’t even know? People who have never wronged them. People they typically have no relationship to whatsoever? These killings are occurring more and more frequently, yet we seem unable to prevent them. Yes, gun laws are important, but the bigger question is: what kind of children are we raising that they turn out to be cold-blooded murderers? Is it our fault as parents? Is it the world we live in? I’m the first to admit that this world is less than perfect, but does that really excuse killing other people?
I worry about my children’s grades and their friendships and their health and their futures, but that is normal. Should I really have to worry that they could be murdered while enjoying a movie with their friends? Should I have to fear that they could be randomly shot at college while hanging out on the quad (remember the shootings at The University of Texas in Austin)? I worry about my son at high school (remember Columbine, which was only 20 miles from this recent James Holmes shooting spree).
This is not normal people. We should not fear for our lives and the lives of those we love. This world is so screwed up, and we have contributed. We need to make changes, and make them quickly. There is nothing worse than feeling so inconsequential. What, really, can each of us do to turn things around other than living our own life with our heads up and teaching our children the best we can?
I was also struck by the fact that these killings seem to be happening more in our country than anywhere else. Is this true, or am I just not hearing about these types of crimes abroad? I know that I heard about Colorado while I was in Europe, so I would think that we would also hear of these types of things in other parts of the world.
I feel ashamed of my life now in some ways. Maybe I really should have stayed in the field of Psychology (where my original training and education focused). Maybe I could have helped even one person and stopped them from acting out in such violent ways. Why didn’t I follow my heart and work in a field where I was gifted and could have made a difference in other people’s lives?
My heart goes out to all of the victims, their families and friends. I am grieving with them. I am sickened by this. Ban guns. Stop violence. Keep your eyes open and get help for yourself or your children if you even just “sense” a problem brewing.
What ever happened to peace, love and understanding? Make love not war?