In the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas I have become activated, awake, and wanting nothing more than to understand where I, on a personal level, will go from here.
First, a MAJOR concern. The shooting occurred Sunday night. I didn’t find out until Tuesday at 4pm. Not one of the thirty or more people I came in contact with discussed it. Not one! After watching an 18 minute video of a first-hand account by a taxi driver outside Mandalay Bay, my heart felt like it had been wrenched out of my chest. I instantly called a friend. How could I come in contact with THAT MANY PEOPLE, and not know about this? Which led me to my next major concern.
Fearful. Desensitized. Numbed. Powerless.
As a mental health therapist when a person presents with symptomology, I diagnose. Like a zombie, I left the office, but upon seeing another human, standing next to me on the street, I couldn't remain quiet. “Did you hear about the Las Vegas shooting?” “Yes." he said, "I am in shock.”
Two days later and still shocked? I called another friend, and asked her why hadn’t I heard about it. “I think we’re just numb as a people.” Again, two days after?
It’s as though we’ve become so fearful of experiencing pain, individually and collectively, we just won’t go there. Instead we stay in shock, move to numb, then feel powerless. And the cycle continues, very much like the domestic abuse cycle graph.
Heard about the boiling frog parable? If a frog is thrust into a pot of boiling water it will jump out, however if a frog is put in tepid water then brought to a boil slowly it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
Where is the anger?
I believe we are so fucking angry that we don't know what to do about. Well, that's not entirely true. We certainly know how to blame and finger point, passing the buck on the next guy.
A diseased mentality
The truth is we have have lowered our life expectation bar. This is our new norm, and if things stay this way, they will continue to get worse. But slowly. Remember the frog?
Where do we go from here, because the way I see it it's either one of two things. 1) "Call me in 2020. I'll send my absentee ballot in then," or 2) Act.
Action, action we want action...
We take the truth of our hearts - the anger, disappointment, and grief - as well as the experience of the days when kids could safely play outside and then demand answers. How? BE CREATIVE. Use your experience, resources, and energy to find your unique voice in all this. Set up a meeting with your school principal? Look into cities policies? I might email my local police precinct, city council, etc, CC'ing as many people as possible asking about how they see we can make our community safer. I might look into mental health risk assessments, and how to get them implemented in the guying of guns in my own community.
Here the major takeaway folks. We need REAL solutions. If something isn't going to work, then we need to push further and find something that will. Being that we are in the thick of a diseased mentality, a Black Death of sorts that has swept over our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs, we need healing. Real healing. The solution doesn't come from getting better locks on our doors. The solution comes when we get up, walk out the front door, put on our Superman capes and get to work!