This past Tuesday, someone very close to me sent me the following text:
“No idea what’s going on but Clackamas Town Center is literally surrounded by police w/medical and fire on hand en masse.” 4:02 PM PST Dec 11
He was right there, trying to get through the chaos, texting me as it happened:
“Units still arriving, all agencies, well over 100.” 4:03 PM PST Dec 11
I’m pacing at this point, wondering what the hell is happening. He’s in Oregon City, I’m 3500 miles away in Florida and helpless to do anything to follow my first instinct to get him out of there (not that he’d have needed my help, that’s just the way I am). Dreading what I’d see, I turned on the news…
This was hitting way too close to home as someone I love was THERE.
Then Friday… Newtown, CT… I could not believe what I was hearing as I was listening to the reports coming in on NPR. As the count rose of all the children senselessly taken from this quiet community at a place where they are supposed to be safe, all I could think of was my daughter. She was at school here and at that moment all I wanted to do was hold her, protect her, from anything and everything. But that’s impossible.
We are coming into a time where people are becoming so desperate that they are more and more often resorting to more violent means of crying out for help, for getting their points across. Only two emotions can remain after such attacks in our own communities: Anger and Fear. The anger will only progress into rage and more calculated killings. The fear can only drive innocent people away from public places, into their homes afraid to go out in public anymore. No place is immune from someone snapping and opening fire. Temples, churches, schools, malls… I think if we really come together as communities and pay attention to what is happening around us, pay attention to the signs that others are giving, we may be able to prevent some future attacks from occurring. If we can catch warning signs earlier that someone is hurting, perhaps we can direct them to help, or get help to them. I don’t know – I don’t think anyone does. There is no one solution to the growing problem and definitely no easy one. I do think however we can all start by caring a little more, reaching out, pulling together. We are our brothers’ keepers.