Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

#Enough

My sister’s most recent FB post. It ripped my heart so I sat down and wrote this…

Yesterday, February 14, was an incredibly terrifying and somber day for my sister and niece–a teacher and student respectfully at Sue V. Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, a suburb of Albuerque, NM. Most of you who are seeing this either via my blog or social media have no clue as to what transpired. It didn’t hit our local or regional news cycle because, “no one was injured or killed.”

To that I say BULLSHIT.

True. No one was physically harmed — thank God — but the emotional injury did happen as did a killing of innocence. These things are real. These things are present. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

***

Shortly before school began, a 16 y.o. student walked into a hallway where students were gathered at lockers and classroom doors. He pulled out a gun and fired. There was an intent to kill. And, if I can be so bold to say, there was a cry for attention. After all, it was the one year anniversary of the tragic loss of 17 students in Parkland, FL. Said shooter missed, panicked and ran. His actions caused a campus of 2,000 to put their active shooter training into swift practice. S.W.A.T. Building sweeps. Homeland Security. Local police, fire, EMT. Helicopters. The whole drill. The shooter was captured, arrested. Charges have been filed.

I received my sister’s text while I was at work: “School shooter. C and I are safe.” I read the words in a split second but my mind went into a terror, slow-mo crawl. It finally sunk in. I picked up my phone to call our parents. It happened again. And again.

***

A mere 161 days prior, I had sent my sister a similar text while I was sitting in that same chair in my office in downtown Cincinnati.

In less than six months, our parents had the same, very surreal conversation with each of their children. Murmured tones. What are the odds of one — let alone both of your children being within the edge of this dire, social situation?

When did all of this become commonplace, so much so that in order to be known and discussed there needs to be a certain amount of carnage to elevate the headline and work as media fuel? The realization of this happening more often than we realize is a travesty and should make us all sick. The ease at which this is enabled is a complete and utter sucker punch of the double-over and vomit variety. Yes, I am angry.

***

I want to go back to the concept of “injury” and more importantly, who has the right to say, “no one was injured.” BULLSHIT. Those students, teachers, administrators and parents who were there in that building, they now have scars. People are injured every time there is an active shooter situation regardless of where the bullets land. WE are all injured, reduced.

I know there was a ripple effect from yesterday. To the students who watched in horror and to the students who went to their safe zones not knowing where the shooter was. Did he walk out with them? To every survivor who has lived through it and witnessed it only to catch wind of it happening again. To every first responder who has held back tears while holding a stranger’s body or standing watch while mobile phones ring, unanswered. To every loved one who stiffens while looking at the picture of someone they loved upon the mantle. It goes on.

To all of us who can stand up for these who are injured, we cannot grow weary with this type of news. We can’t cast this aside. We have to do better.

***

I never want to see, nor send a text like this again as I fear of what the next one may say…or the response that may never comes back  ~ Jacqui

February 15, 2019 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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