Grief After Tragedy

On Sunday night, a lone gunman killed 58 people and injured 515 more, during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. I woke up Monday morning, checked my Snapchat stories, and saw the news of this story on every major website. In English class, we talked about the shooting, as it related to our weekend reading of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

A husband and wife were enjoying the country music festival, when they heard gunshots from up above. The husband got shot in the back while protecting his wife, as they ran out of the concert. His life’s work as a nurse culminates, as he saves one more life: his wife’s.

That story isn’t made up, a fabrication put in this post to add even more tragedy to the United States’ deadliest shooting to date. That is the story of Sonny Melton, a West Tennessean. His wife, Doctor Heather Melton, has spoken out about her husband’s final moments in a heartbreaking testimony.

“He saved my life,” she told WSMV, a CNN affiliate. “I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

This breathlessness can be felt in every victim’s family as they find out about the massacre from articles, workplace conversations, or a lack of a call back. Just like how one finds out about their dad’s car crash from the police knocking at their door at 3 am. Just like I found out about my mother’s death when I woke up on Labor Day six years ago from my uncle, who had to brave a face of me, even though he just found out his sister died.

Whenever a massacre happens, I feel that initial stab in the heart for the 58 families who won’t get to celebrate another birthday, will never get another phone call, or will never see their loved one again. I feel for the 58 funerals filled with tearful eulogies and scratchy black dresses.

I feel for the daughter who has to finish her math homework with dry eyes, as she’s told to “move on with her life.” I feel for the wife who has to go to work, while she budgets for how her husband can have an open casket with a bullet hole through his left eye. I feel for the weeks of articles pinning this shooting on ISIS or a bad father, when all the families want is to bury their loved ones in peace.

Whenever we talk about death, we ignore grief and sadness. As a society, we focus on moving on and waiting for the next tragedy. I hope that those in Las Vegas take the time to mourn and that this time it sparks conversation about gun control or mental health. I hope that no more people have to die to learn how to fix our mistakes, but until then, I hope whoever reads this knows that it is okay to feel bad, to mourn.

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Cop Control Part 2

Photo Credit: media.jnr.com

The tables have turned.

Just as I was beginning to think that the police were running rampant, recently multiple officers have been victims of civilian shootings.

The true question is; what was their intent?

This question applies to the officers involved in the many shootings of African-Americans, generally men, over the past few years. However, recently because of the Ferguson case in particular and the many other shootings by police officers in the U.S., people have been taking matters into their own hands.

Patterns show that generally white male police officers profile African-American males because of arrest records and generalizations that they are more violent than whites or Hispanics. Because of this profiling, they are more likely to take drastic measures when threatened or have suspicion.

These incidents can be argued against. Many accusations use the word “discrimination.” Are these truly acts of discrimination? Or officers who are posed with a deadly threat in which they responded with a deadly action?

The only people who know the truth are the officers and the victims, which recently have been the officers themselves.

 

 

A Deadly Chariot

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The chariot rode throughout the sacred city.
It hoped for the defaulted nation’s pity.

Weapon in hand and courage in tow.
Intentions, one does not know.

Doesn’t matter in the end.
Soon enough the violence begins.

Citizens were not suspected of such crimes.
Now is the end of those times.

One was dead and the rest were hurt.
The nation has not seen the worst.

A child remained sill alive.
His mind was rotted from the inside.

Once again the circle spins.
The nation will go through it again.

Half Mast

It wasn’t always been this way, or at least so I hear.

It has become semi-normal to see the red, white, and blue flag the represents freedom to be halfway down the pole.

September seems like there has been an unusual amount of days to have the flag be lowered.

We started the month of with 9/11.

That was the only day that made sense for the flag to be at half-mast. Not to say that 9/11 should have happened, but it’s been 12 years, the wounds have healed, but to see it down two other days this month, that was unexpected.

First we start off with the Navy shooting.

I don’t even really know what happened, but that’s the issue.

I don’t read into these things, it’s just like oh, there’s another shooting, and I move on.

I see 12 people dead and while yes I get sad, at the same time we have been trained to go, “oh 12.  That’s a lot less than that other one.”

Excuse me, but for the children, teens, and even adults to just expect that is really f****d up.

It is common talk to just be like, “hey, did you hear about that shooting?…Oh yeah some guy went crazy and just shot some people.”

Usually the response to that would be tears and cries and millions of questions why.

I literally had that exact conversation on the way to football practice the other day. I talked about 12 people dying for no reason, and then just strapped on my helmet and went on with my day.

And then again a few days later I look up, and there the flag is, just hanging halfway down the pole. I was like somebody must’ve gotten lazy and forgotten to put it up, but nope, another shooting.

I just saw that on the TV the other day and I was like you’ve got to be kidding me, another one. 

IT IS JUST SO NORMAL!!!! Why is it normal for 3 year olds to be shot in a park having a good time? IT’S NOT!!

A 3-year-old was shot in the head while having a fun day in the park, and the world just moves on. #wtf

I was sitting at breakfast with my grandparents and I brought up the latest shooting.  This time it wasn’t in the U.S., but still, any shooting is crazy.

My grandma said, “I feel so bad that you guys have to grow up in this time, it wasn’t like this when I was young.”

That got me thinking. Is it just going to keep getting worse? By the time I have kids I’m going to have to put them in bullet proof vests to walk out of the house.

Now, this isn’t a lobby for gun control. This is a lobby for the crazy people in this country.

If you are crazy and reading this…. please don’t shoot people.

For everyone else. I don’t care if you have a gun. Shoot targets, go hunting, but not for people.

But, do you really need an AR-15 hanging around your house. Are you really gonna go shoot a dove with a gun used to kill enemy forces overseas. If so, more power to you, but I think there are some more sensible gun options for you.

There’s not really much that I can do to control the crazy effed up people in this world, but I’m just a little sick of that flag not flying at the top is all I’m saying. I want to see good ol’ red, white, and blue, flying at the top of the pole, majestically flapping in the wind.

F.I.N.A.L.S.

It is that dreaded time of year again, finals. 

After a full semester of work all I have to show for it is a bunch of pieces of crumpled papers in the bottom of my backpack and the ink my teacher puts on my test telling me how I did in their class this semester.

This time is stressful for all, and I try to not get caught up in the stress, but there is just no way around it.

Honestly, most finals for me aren’t too hard.

Math? Easy.

Science? Easy.

English? Easy

History? No sir.

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Breaking Point

Following the indiscriminate shooting of three vehicles full of Israeli worshippers,  Israel is in uproar:

The Culture Minister Limor Livnat, aunt of Ben Joseph Livnat claims: “My nephew was killed by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian policeman”.

The Yesha Council of Settlements,  a council comprised of members from settlements across the west bank: “Israel cannot let this murder pass silently”.

Ehud Barak, the most highly decorated Israeli soldier, and now the defense minister, said:  “No problem of coordination can justify an incident like this and the shooting of innocent people.” Barak has also ordered the army to begin a full investigation into the incident, calling it no less then murder.

With nerves pushed so thin already by Hamas continued attacks in Gaza, an escalation like this in the West Bank will only increase tension, and require the IDF to place more units in the region aggravating the palestinian residents.  For the settlers, this was just an open invitation to attack.  Hours following the shooting a group of Israeli teenagers attacked a nearby arab village and broke windows, torched cars and injured one arab child.