Time For A Change

It happened again. Another attack on innocent people. Now investigators begin searching for answers. Answers as to why a lunatic could do this is of no consequence to me. There could never be a just cause or any type of reasoning for the killing and taking of human lives in mass shootings such as these in the United States. Mental illness resources or gun control something needs to change. We cannot sit idly by and stare blankly at the television in the aftermath shaking our heads and do nothing. The time has come for change.

I honestly thought after Newtown something would change. The killing of innocent five and six year olds apparently wasn’t enough. The horrific killing of children just wasn’t enough for people to flinch with disgust or enough for politicians to feel the need to push for change. How I cried that day. Americans love their guns and will fight to keep their grip on the barrel. Even after the ground has been soaked red with the blood of hundreds of innocent victims.

These people, human beings, our fellow Americans were having a night of fun and were unknowingly staged like cattle in a pen set up for slaughter. Left with no place to run or hide they were at the mercy of this madman’s rifle. The horrific events of this night will play out in the survivor’s memories for the rest of their days. Grief will haunt not only the bereaved but those left standing will not be left unscathed.

All news outlets replayed the video of the concert. Immediately you can hear the rapid fire of bullets and then screams and the realization of what was happening. I, like so many others I am sure, cried. I cannot imagine what it must have been like in that nightmare. How terror fills you not just for yourself but your loved one beside you. How in a moment a killer steals everything from you. I found it extremely difficult to watch. But I felt like I needed to, we need to. We have to know what happened there. We have to be able to assist now in any way we can. We have to stand with them,  stand for those that no longer can.

Listening to the stories from survivors I am filled with pride at how citizens pulled together to help each other. It was a war zone. Each person traumatized as they continued to do what they could for the next person. As a nurse I foresee post traumatic stress disorder in most if not all survivors. In the meantime we can pray, pray for all involved from the concert goers to the emergency medical technicians to the police and more. We keep praying for peace. I write this with the realization that it isn’t enough.

I write about grief. America should be grieving. This mass shooting is horrific. It affects me, it saddens me. It would scare me if it didn’t shock and sadden the world. I want to feel like I am doing something to prevent this from happening again. So what do we do? I am not sure what the right direction is but I do know we need to offer accessible mental health care in this country prior to patients ending up suicidal or in prisons because they could not find treatment. We certainly do not need to have weapons used for war in the hands of civilians. Stricter gun laws must be made now. Yesterday was too late.

As more information is gathered and victims are laid to rest and those still fighting for their lives are eventually stabilized and released from the hospital I urge you to watch and listen to what is happening. Where the conversation is directed, where the movement for change is heading. I encourage you to become involved, to use your voice. Because you never know, the next time it may be yours that is forever silenced.

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Grieving Grandmother to Konnor Mason who passed suddenly at eight years old on November 22, 2015. With this blog I hope to share my thoughts and feelings as I move forward through grief toward hope and healing.

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