Not inspired, unnerved

October 4, 2017

I like to post something inspiring on a Wednesday. The middle of the week is when I need a little uplifting, but I’m guessing we’re all just doing our best to get through each day after the seeing the horrific images and hearing the awful stories from the Las Vegas massacre.

The beachside community I live in was well represented at the concert near the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Sunday night. We had moms and dads, off duty police and firefighters, school principals and teachers, sons and daughters suddenly finding themselves in the line of fire, with bullets raining down from the sky.

Some were injured and at least four lost their lives, shattering the worlds of their friends, family, and workmates in Los Angeles’ South Bay. In an attempt to process the impossible, and to pay their respects to the injured and the 58 music lovers we lost at the weekend, hundreds gathered at the Manhattan Beach Pier tonight.

When I picked up my fifteen year old from school today, I was grumpy because he was two hours late due to an unexpected sport practice session. That’s when I heard about the partial lock-down at his school. The kids were sent to their classrooms, where they locked themselves in and watched through the windows as fully armed S.W.A.T. officers searched the campus for a rumored active shooter. Students were holed up for more than an hour. In some cases, there were no adults in their classrooms to reassure them.

When he walked slowly towards my car, my boy was tired but he needed to talk about what he’d seen — police cars, bullet-proof vests, sniffer dogs, and assault weapons.

All of us are unnerved and on edge. If listening to some country music with friends on a warm October night isn’t safe, nothing is.

Without getting political, Australia’s last mass murder was more than twenty years ago. Thirty-five people lost their lives, shocking the nation into action. The right wing Prime Minister at the time made radical changes to the gun laws. It’s impossible to know how many lives he has saved. One life would have been worth it, and we all know it’s a lot more than that.

Photo credit: Leasa Ireland

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