Not a Post About Guns
So last night there was yet another shooting, this time at a line dancing club/bar in Thousand Oaks. It’s a place I’ve been to for a birthday before. Last night someone also celebrated a birthday there. What a terrible horrible tragedy. I don’t think prayer is enough and I don’t really know what is… but that’s for a different time. Right now I want to talk about how this horrifying event brought out a jaded response. It’s become the new normal. Are you shocked? I’m not. I’m just sad and tired.
Is it just me or does everyone mentally mark the closest exits when at crowded events? I note the exits, note any objects I can use to block on-coming gunfire(?). I make a mental plan for how I’m going to get out safely and take whoever is with me, with me. When my child is with me, I mentally prepare myself to human shield her if necessary. I also take a mental note of every person in my purview. I watch how they act, the entire time. I take note of all of this while munching popcorn, or sipping my drink, or dancing, or eating cake. I don’t care where I am, if it’s public or crowded, I’m making an emergency response plan and I’m never relaxed.
It makes me sad for my child who will inherit this world. My world was different growing up. My parents didn’t have to explain mass shootings at schools and concerts to me. Frankly, I don’t know how to explain it to her either. My mom friends have all said that the current method is not to sugarcoat but also not to go into too many details. I’ll follow whatever the current best practice is but it doesn’t fit in my brain to tell my little girl that someone can just walk into her school and….as a fact of life.
I wonder if she’s going to mentally map the exits everywhere she goes. Or will she grow up comfortable with this idea? I hope that she never has this first hand experience and whether she’s relaxed or not in social situations, that she doesn’t let it stop her, you know? I hope she goes out and lives boldly. I hope her fire isn’t extinguished any little bit by fear. And that’s the conversation I won’t stop having with her, or myself, ever.
How have you changed in the age of mass casualties?