THIS POST IS BACK FROM 2018 – FOUR YEARS AGO. I FEEL IT NEEDS TO BE READ AGAIN.
Another school shooting. When the Valentine’s Day school shooting at Parkland Florida happened I was mad. Mad that school shootings are still happening. Now on May 18 ten more families are with the nightmare of a violent loss of their loved one. Eight families are going to bury their child.
I am part of a club where we do not want new members. We welcome them and walk with them now in their grief. But I don’t want any parent to have visit their child at their gravesite. The pain and sadness is unbearable.
We are living in a world where violence is the norm.
As a senior pediatric resident I completed my final year with a presentation. I chose the topic of violence. Back then Power Point was a fresh computer tool. I used it to present slides of the grim statistics of youth and violence. It was 1996. My discussion was on domestic and gang violence and the impact of exposure to violence. I showed a video of kids who have lost their lives due to violence. It disturbed many in the audience.
So when I see the media compile photos of the victims of school shootings – as this one from Parkland, I remember the faces I showed back in 1996.
So many people, so many young lives.
On May 18 a town in Texas – as ANY place in the US – was thrust into the chaos and trauma of a mass shooting at a school.
On May 18 my son Sam turned 16. His school like all now practice active shooter drills. I wonder what he and others his age think about their world and their future. That at any time they could be shot at. And lose friends and teachers. Or be gone themselves. One of the students at the recent shooting said she was not surprised. She thought it could happen there – and it did.
I did a little research. The last 12 months of my residency, from June 1995- June 1996, there were 6 school shootings leaving 10 dead and 4 injured.
Jump to the last 12 months – we have had 25 school shootings with 39 dead and 84 injured.
I am tired. I am sad. I wish I could be mad. May is a hard month for me.
I pray for the families and friends who will bury their loved ones, their children.
The grieving parent club is growing.
Today 14 children – age second to fourth graders – and a teacher – lost their lives in a mass school shooting in Texas.
The Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, has counted 212 mass shootings that have occurred so far this year.
I have no hope things are going to change. It is a sad state. I am more overwhelmed with sadness than anger.