I had two friends die while I was in high school.
One, Bobby Galvez, was climbing some rocks along a beach front. He slipped and plunged tragically to his death.
The other, Bernie Thomas, died with his father and brother in a plane crash.
Their passing took place only months apart. These two deaths rattled our tiny, Santiago high school to its core.
This post does not intend to compare horror stories with the tragedies America has experienced recently. I only mean to tell you I lost two friends in high school to deaths that I remember to this day… and they were accidents. I can’t even fathom what kids these days who have seen their class mates shot are going through and how they will be affected, not just now but for the rest of their lives.
I think back upon my high school days from time to time and remember them fondly. I even remember one character sneaking a loaded rifle into a library. Fortunately, he didn’t use it.
The same can’t be said for present day America where mass shootings in schools have become a gruesome norm.
This is no propaganda post. I can’t think of anyone who is pro-mass shooting. I’m hoping we can at least agree on that.
I’m not here to tell you not to own a gun. Our Constitution grants you that right. What it doesn’t give you is the right to kill someone in cold blood, senselessly and violently.
I’m not quite sure what’s going with America right now but I can’t say I’m a fan. We are a nation conflicted.
Those who are reading this are probably in agreement. I know my audience. It’s those who aren’t that I’m worried about.
To not make changes in the way we live our lives and the way we treat others diminishes the legacies of those who have perished. And yet we bicker about how to resolve the problem.
Allow me to clearly state for the record that we are ALL to blame for the lack of constructive dialogue. Until that impasse is resolved, these senseless acts will continue and expound.
Regurgitating statistics on gun violence to support one side or another resolves nothing. I humbly present the only statistic that matters. One shot kid at a school is one shot kid too many.
So… what are we, “the greatest nation on earth,” going to do about this?
For those of us with little faith, I can prove to you we are just that despite our misgivings. The acts of men like Aaron Feis, assistant coach on the Parkland High football team, who gave his life shielding kids from the shooter, prove there is still good in the world. To the family that raised Mr. Feis, unbelievable job. I just hope that he will not have lived, and died, in vain.
I guess what I’m failing to understand amidst all of this is… if we’re all against mass shootings, why can we not come up with a solution?
I guess that’s above my pay grade.
I recently wrote that the Olympics needed more villains for ratings sake. In the wake of the Miami tragedy, this has all new meaning. In the war against these atrocities, the real villains are apathy and indecision.
The South Florida shootings made me think once again of Bernie and Bobby not because of how they passed but because their lives were taken way too soon. What if one of those kids slain was meant to cure cancer or write the great American novel or invent something, anything that would improve the way we live our lives today.
To that I say, we’ll never know. And we’ll continue to never know. That, my friends, is a crying shame.