This post from Holli Rickman Powell who had a cousin in the Marshall County High School shooting today is something we all need to see.
Facebook asks me “what’s on your mind, Holli?” Well, here goes.
This morning a student opened fire in the commons area of Marshall County High School, in my hometown of Benton, Kentucky, killing one person and injuring many others. (Edited to add: 2 dead and 12 injured.) Until I knew that my cousin Whitley was safe, I was on the verge of vomiting. Once I got the text from my mom that she was okay, I burst into tears. I’ve spent the rest of the day refreshing my Facebook and Twitter feeds to check in on other family members, my friends who teach there, and my friends who have children or loved ones there. I am still shaking, still nauseous, still sickened.
It just hit me that I am probably only feeling this way because I know those people, that school, that town. I vividly remember having many a conversation in the exact area where the shooting occurred. But there was another school shooting yesterday in Texas, that I flipped by in the news on my way to reading about the latest craziness in our federal and state governments. It didn’t impact me at all.
I just looked it up and there have been over 280 school shootings in America since Sandy Hook in December 2012. Two hundred and eighty something times when every one of us should have felt the way that I am feeling right now. Two hundred and eighty times that children witnessed something that no human being should ever witness. Two hundred and eighty times that parents and loved ones clung to their phones and their social media feeds and prayed and prayed and prayed. And that’s just since December 2012, when twenty 6 and 7 year olds were shot while in class learning how to read.
This isn’t the world I want. Is it the one you want? How do we stop it? Who’s really in charge here? Because I have a feeling I’m going to wake up tomorrow or the next day or the next and see yet another school shooting in the news, and that is just not okay with me.