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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

Nashville, A Black Hole of Grief

Last week in Nashville, Tennessee, an emotionally disturbed woman armed with an arsenal of weapons walked into a Christian, private school and shot and killed six people. The victims consisted of three 9-year-old children and three adults - the head of the school, a custodian, and a substitute teacher. How much grief can a community take? I don’t know what it’s like to have a child, let alone lose one to mass murder. Even people who do have kids can’t begin to imagine the grief that those parents must be going through. These parents sent their children to school that day trusting they’d be safe, but an hour later, their kids were shot to death. Although I am not a father, I’ve been told this kind of grief never ends. It’s like a black hole that sucks everything in. It devours everything, changes your life forever, and leaves you with eternal grief. You learn to live with it in time, but you don’t ever get over it. What is this kind of grief doing to our country? What happens to us emotionally, morally, and spiritually when this sort of thing keeps happening again and again? You hear about one mass shooting and then a few days later, you hear about another one. They say people can die because of grief. People have been known to commit suicide over it. How much grief can a nation take before we collapse completely and implode? Enough is enough.

There are things that can be done to stop this. I think the President should declare mass murder a national emergency. We also need to have a national conference from all walks of life addressing how to solve this problem and have a hotline people can call. The woman who killed those children in Nashville was under treatment by a therapist for an emotional illness. This woman had a manifesto, which has yet to be released to the public. What is clear to me is that this woman needed help dealing with things. I don’t know what her emotional problems were, but I am certain that she did not know how to handle the world. She needed help, but I don’t think most therapists know how to deal with the kind of hate that drives people to commit mass murder. That woman knew she was going to die. She knew she wasn’t going to walk out of that school alive, but she was at the point where she no longer cared to be alive, where she thought the only way out was to get her gun, kill as many people as she could, and die shooting. The police handled the situation very well by stopping and killing her. Had they not done so, there probably would’ve been many more victims. How do we stop shooters? We need to have clinics dedicated specifically to dealing with people who are violent. We need to teach these people emotional and social skills. If this woman had acquired these skills, maybe she wouldn’t have committed mass murder. The fact that she was 28 years old and still living with her parents says a great deal. When you’re 28, you should be out in the world living on your own, but this woman was living with her parents, who apparently didn’t know she was buying guns. We need some form of gun control. There were laws that should have prevented her from purchasing multiple weapons. Had it been on her record that she was under treatment by her therapist for an emotional disorder, she would not have been legally able to acquire the weapons, but because it was never reported, she was able to buy all seven of her guns legally. We need gun control and we need to better enforce the laws we already have in place.

When grief becomes so overwhelming that our nation goes under, the government that comes to power will almost certainly be much worse than the government that preceded it. The new government will be more brutal, vicious, and dangerous. We have to stop that from happening. If we don’t deal with this, we might live under a dictatorship that none of us want to be in. This kind of grief is a black hole that swallows everything in its path. You just can’t live with the murder of a child; that’s not something you can deal with. The grief is eternal. We have to stop mass murder. There is only so much grief a person can take. There is only so much grief a nation can take. Grief can kill.

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