I am both amazed and appalled at what I am seeing in the world today. Somehow people seem to make tragedies worse. For years we have been watching in horror as children and sometimes babies getting slaughtered in a place that is supposed to be a haven. A place that, we as Americans, need for the future of our society to continue, and we’ve done NOTHING. That to me is horrifying enough, but now, as time goes on we are even outdoing ourselves.
I remember Columbine. I remember sitting in my car sitting in my car listening to the radio report of the events. I remember reading in the newspaper in the aftermath. I remember thinking how impossible it all seemed. It had only been 6 years since I had graduated from high school myself and it was unimaginable that anything like that could have happened.
I remember moving from the small town of North Andover, MA to the small city of Newton, MA and being shocked that they had SECURITY GUARDS. They weren’t even carrying. They were just there in case of a fight breaking out, basically, and once when I first started there was an “incident”. I’m still not really sure what happened. This were said, tensions were high.. and no one was killed or even seriously hurt.
My God daughter was born about a month before Columbine and I could never have imagined that by the time she reached high school that I would be regularly seeing her and her peers outside with their backpacks strewn about in a bomb scare. HOW IS THIS AMERICA IN THE 21st CENTURY?!?!?!
I remember my father telling me stories about when he was a child his class used to have drills in case of an attack from Russia. They would sit under their desks, as if that would possibly do anything against a nuclear weapon. I remember thinking that was insane, barbaric even. I remember hearing about the hippies who were laughed at by the adults for wanting something better. I remember hearing about the soldiers who came home from Vietnam to be spit at and called “baby killer” by those same peace loving hippies… I remember thinking how much things had changed and how proud I was that they had.
Now it’s been it’s been almost 20 years since the devastating and societal changing Columbine shooting… and it’s still happening. In fact, it’s happening more and more. And are people coming together to help one another? Are the American people supporting each other in making sure that our children are safe? No… I saw grown individuals cyber bulling child victims. Children who watched they friends be slaughtered. Children who had their friends lying on top of them while they bled out. Children who have been through more in those few minutes than most adults could ever imagine. Children who are strong enough to stand up and fight back and say that it’s time for a change. No, I see grown adults, both men and women telling these victims to “grow up and get over it” to “shut up and go back to school” that “children don’t have the brains to know what they’re talking about”.
These children have the right to defend themselves. These children have to right to share their experiences. These children have the right to feel safe in their home away from home. In the place where they are supposed to be concentrating on learning so they can become the leaders of tomorrow. They should never feel as though they need to be looking over their shoulders at their classmates in fear of their lives. And shame on you for not understanding that. Shame on you for blaming the victim for just wanting to be safe. For just wanting to live. You don’t have to share their opinions, but you do have to respect their lives.