My plan this afternoon was to blog about how horrible my San Francisco 49ers looked last night. Was not going to make any excuses. Was going to give the Seattle Seahawks the props that they deserved. Was going to talk about how that wake-up call does not change my Super Bowl prediction. That was going to be my afternoon until I heard about D.C…
Once again, our nation is faced with the difficult task of dealing with the aftermath of another mass shooting. At approximately 8:20 am shots rang out in Washington’s Navy Yard, a facility that employs 3,000. Details are still sketchy, at this point. What we do know is that there are 12 people confirmed dead including the shooter. However, there is a possibility that there may be other shooters. Others have been wounded, some critically. Others have been wounded mentally and emotionally.
As most of you know, D.C. is special to me. It is where I have completed the most difficult physical task of my life, the Marine Corps Marathon. Twice. Before then, I had ties to D.C. but it became extra special after the first race. As I sat at my desk, I wondered if any of those that were killed or injured today cheered me on during my race. I wondered if any of them gave me that extra boost by saying, “You’ve got this Kassie!” when I needed it most. I wondered if any of the fine men and women of the US Navy that participated in the race were somehow connected to this tragedy. I got caught up in my feelings and I offer no shame in doing so.
To say enough is enough would be an understatement. It is almost starting to feel like we spend our days just waiting on the next tragic event. That is no way to live life. I will never understand why these events take place and I am not even going to attempt to try and understand them. It will never make sense to me. What I do understand is that people are hurting in this country. People are suffering in this country. People are crying out for help in this country. And sometimes, those cries are unnoticed, ignored and glanced over. Who knows if what has happened today could have been prevented. From what I am hearing, the gunman was someone who’s employment at the Navy Yard recently changed. There is no telling what state of mind he slipped in to upon receiving that news.
What is telling is the fact that despite all these mass shootings and less we not forget the shootings that take place on a daily basis in our neighborhoods, communities and cities, the United States Congress still thinks there is no need to make changes to how readily accessible guns are. How many children have to grow up without a mommy or daddy as a result of gun violence before Congress is willing to make changes? How many parents have to bury their young sons and daughters as a result of gun violence before Congress is willing to make changes? How many people have to live with the daily reminder that they survived what others did not as a result of gun violence before Congress is willing to make changes? No, we can not rid this country of all guns but we can make changes to ensure that there are not as many on the streets. We can make changes to ensure that those who are mentally unstable can not easily become armed and dangerous. We can make changes to ensure that the statistics of young black men dying in this country as a result of gun violence decreases. Or are the lives of innocent men, women and children not worth THEIR political risk?
Actions speak louder than words.