I live in the Charleston area and I’m from the Pittsburgh region. Aside from weather, these two cities have a lot in common…a great food truck scene, booming tech community, but sadly now they both share a mass shooting in a church.
This has to stop. Now.
Until Columbine happened, scary events like this seemed rare. They just weren’t on the radar. They were shocking. Now, these tragedies seem so common and it’s truly terrifying. Any time there’s a group gathering, many share the worries of these terrible crimes happening. I know it always enters my mind. I don’t want to have to worry about violence when my child is at school, the mall, or anywhere. If churches aren’t safe, I’m not sure if there is a safe place.
It’s my hope that people who walk into a building as parishioners, shoppers, employees, and first responders etc. remain parishioners, shoppers, employees, and first responders, not victims.
This shooting literally happened in Mister Rogers’ actual Neighborhood. There was a wonderful article from an author who grew up in Squirrel Hill and attended the same elementary school as Mr. Rogers’ son.
Mr. Rogers is often quoted in times like these, and I imagine if he were still alive, he’d have something wise to say even through immense heartbreak and disbelief. The Pittsburghers I know are people like Mr. Rogers. People like him fill the city, and because of that, I know the community will rise, repair, and grow stronger.
I don’t know how to solve these tragedies. I really, really wish I did, but I don’t. I’m hoping that this nation can figure it out together. I don’t think it’s as simple as saying fix gun control or mental health. Those are both huge undertakings, and in reality, it’s not just one thing that will truly create change. I’m sure it’s a comprehensive plan that includes many components.
Can all legislators get together and raise their hand if the answer to the following question is yes:
“Do you want to be safe and do you want your family to be safe?”
I’m sure all of them would raise their hand in agreement that the desire to be safe is something we all share. Let’s start there. Maybe they could then use that one starting point and branch out to work on a solution. Deep down, we all want the same things – safety, security, and the ability to provide for our families.
Please let the conversation start now.