The overwhelming emotion that I felt when I heard of the Parkland shooting was sadness. All too often in today's world, we hear of these horrible tragedies where lives are taken at the mercy of some unstable, crooked, evil person who saw that as their final cry for help and last chance at making something of themselves.
My heart breaks for the families who had to suffer through that phone call that their loved one had been a part of this horrendous series of events. I would like to think that almost everyone has that same sympathy for the victims, but for myself and a few others in the world, it strikes a different chord when we hear about these disasters.
On September 26, 1988, I wasn't born. I wasn't even thought of. In fact, my parents hadn't even met yet. But even still, my life was changed that day. On that day in Greenwood, South Carolina, a sorry excuse of a man walked into Oakland Elementary. A sorry man that I pray for every day. He stepped foot into the elementary school where my mother taught. By the grace of God, and only that, my mother was only wounded by the gunshots and not killed. However, two little girls were taken to Heaven that day as a result of these evil acts committed by this crooked person.
With that said, the Parkland shooting shook me at my core, just like every other school shooting has since I found out about my mom's shooting when I was a child. These tragedies continue to become more frequent but no less horrifying.
On March 14, 2018, thousands and thousands of children everywhere walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. and stayed out for 17 minutes to honor the victims of this latest tragedy. If this was simply the only reason for this protest, I may not be as concerned, or rather, confused as I am.
Teenagers, high school students and even middle school students all over America walked out that day in protest of gun violence. Not just to honor these innocent victims. They used a huge platform and brought even more attention to the crooked villain who killed these people.
When did we decide that it was okay to use a time of grieving for hundreds of people as a political platform? I understand that my views aren't like everyone else's but this movement just astounds me.
I, for one, am hugely impacted every time I hear of a school shooting, but not once have I ever thought to create a nationwide movement that draws attention to the crisis and benefits my political beliefs.
Guns are not the problem, people are. If people would stop looking to hurt others to benefit themselves, life would be so much better. If people would start talking about their issues instead of doing everything they can to hurt the other person, life would be so much better. If we all just took a few seconds out of our day to pray for each other, life would be so much better.
I don't at all approve of anything that this horrendous being who took so many lives stood for, but I do believe that in order to stop people like him, we need to quit looking at inanimate objects and start by looking at ourselves. It's time to make a change and prayer is the only way to start making it.