How many more?

How many more?

Gracie Kindred, Reporter

How many? How many more people? How many lives? Deaths? How many tragedies? Please someone answer, how many more children? How many more schools have to go through this horrific event?

This vile crime is seen again and again. School shootings, a crime that somehow keeps happening, again and again. The question of “how” is asked, but the more important question should be asked is “why?”

Why in God’s name do we keep hearing this story? Why does this continue to happen?

Why? Because no one is stopping it.

Consider Saturday, May 14th and Tuesday, May 24th 2022. 10 days apart.

On May 14, 10 were killed in Buffalo, and 3 others were injured. This sick individual who shot up a Buffalo supermarket had the intention of “shooting as many black people as he could.” This racist attack by a radical, white supremist was pure evil.

How? And Why? Why does this still exist?

According to a BBC News report, New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, said it better than anyone, “This event was committed by a sick, demented individual who was fueled by a daily diet of hate.”

A daily diet of hate puts it lightly.

10 days later, after the 10 deaths in Buffalo, another 21 were killed. Both shootings involved innocent people having their lives stolen from them, but this time the victims were of 10 years old. 19 students and two adults will killed. Again I ask, how? Why?

It was a normal day for these kids at Robb Elementary, a happy day in fact. They had only two days left until summer break – just two days. The 18-year-old gunman, had been messaging on Facebook his intentions. Intentions to not only shoot up a school, but shoot his grandmother as well.

Sick, evil. 

According to NPR, 27 school shootings have happened in the US just this year. How can that be possible? How are we letting this happen?

Although “we” at Bishop Blanchet are not involved, the question of what can “we” do is important to consider.

After the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings, everyone re-posted posts on their stories. Those posts contained prayers and information about the tragedies. Although it is undeniably kind that thousands did that, does it DO anything? Not really.

A post that stood out to me was one that showed the cycle of school shootings. The cycle is this: the school shooting happens, children are killed along with teachers, the country mourns, social media is swarmed with posts saying “This is evil”. “Wrong”, “This needs to change”, protests happen, nothing happens, and then another school shooting happens,  and the cycle repeats. What can WE do?

We can report what we see and protect our peers.

According to Saferwatch, 88% of active school shooters under the age of 17 communicate their intentions via social media or verbally.

Take “jokes” or comments regarding this matter seriously. See it as the first and best step toward prevention.

Report what we hear and see. Tell a teacher, an adult, a member of law enforcement, tell a responsible adult figure, whom you trust.

A study done by Alfred University showed that only half of students would report a red flag regarding this issue. Those who stay quiet mostly do so because they don’t want to believe it or they think it must be just a “joke”. Another prime reason is that being a tattletale is highly frowned upon in the youth community, almost seen as an equal to a crime. Break that standard. When lives are on the line, the lives of your peers, your friends, teachers and your own, break that standard.

Actor Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde,  made a powerful speech at a White House press briefing on June 7th. It is something everyone must watch. McConaughey urged us to better understand the pain and  the magnitude of grief his hometown was experiencing. He also demanded that “we” see the immense change that needs to occur. With this speech, he hoped that ” we” feel the pain and really see the people, the children whose lives were stolen.

“A lifetime is not gonna heal those wounds,” said  McConaughey. “Each of these parents, simply hope their children’s dreams live on. We need to restore family values, American values and responsible gun ownership.”

Political parties do not matter, not with this. Children matter. People matter. Innocence matters.  Lives matter. This matters.

Change needs to come. And change can come with real leadership. With bravery, togetherness and right choices, we as an American nation  need to strive to make this right.

Don’t turn your head when a red flag is waved.

Report anything that could be something.

Do the right thing, and make the right choice.

Honor those who have passed, whose lives have been stolen and pray to God we don’t have to honor and mourn any more.