The recent shooting in Orange County marks the third mass shooting in two weeks. This one took place in a mobile home sales office; a guy went into the complex, locked the doors so no one could enter or exit, and started shooting. His first victims were a mother and her 9-year old son. The mother threw her son to the ground and tried to shield him, but the shooter shot them both anyway, killing the 9-year old boy and critically wounding the mother. He then then shot and killed three other people. I cannot begin to imagine what that mother must have felt when she first heard those gunshots and saw the guy aiming at her and her son. She is currently in the hospital on life support, but if she does survive, I can’t help but wonder how she’s going feel knowing that her son is dead.
This is what our country has come to. Every time we go out the door, we run the risk of getting shot. We need to make sure shooters and other troubled people get the help they need. I know what some of these people feel like; when you have that much hate in you, you can’t hold it off forever. You can try to hold it at bay for a while, but deep down, you know that one day you’re going to blow. You know that what you’ll do will be wrong, but you won’t be able to help it. The hate will just keep growing and growing until one day, something happens and the anger gets set loose. We have to find a way to help these people before more mass shootings occur because no one deserves to get shot. Not doing anything about it is complete contempt for human life. There should be some kind of hotline for people who are about to blow. We need to give them an outlet and we need facilities that can treat them. We need special clinics staffed by professionals who really understand the psychology of these people so they can work with them and teach them the emotional skills they need. I’m not talking about conventional treatment where these people sit down with a therapist and talk out their problems – we need a lot more than that. We need to engage with these people, mentor and roleplay with them to show them how to work out their problems. One thing that can be taught is de-escalation. If you’re getting into a confrontation with someone, try to de-escalate the situation. You can go home, eat comfort food, watch a funny movie, or call friends and vent to them. We need to let people know that there are these alternatives and that there is hope for the future. Most people on the verge of exploding probably wouldn’t explode if they are given alternatives, if they know how to handle their problems, and if they have people to help them navigate situations without resorting to violence.
Three mass murders have happened in the past two weeks. If this keeps up, how long will it be before we all fall victim to this kind of violence? At this point, it’s become a game of Russian Roulette – you walk out the door and you don’t know if you’re going to get shot or even come home alive. If our democracy cannot protect people from this sort of thing, then it will go down. People will not tolerate a failed system for too long. We need to give people hope for the future. We need to take action.