By Rev. David Amrie
Yes. Again. Really.
This time, it is seventeen dead and fourteen injured at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The details of the shooting boggle the mind and the break the heart. Even with the shooter’s confession, there will be no easy path to healing for Parkland or for the nation.
More frustrating is the grim reality that this is not an isolated incident. Already, just seven weeks into 2018, there have been eight school shootings in America that have resulted in injury or death and seventeen school shooting incidents overall. Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, more than 400 people have been shot in more than 200 school shootings with nearly 140 persons killed. In addition, none of these statistics takes into account other recent mass shootings in America like the ones last year in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs.
Common to all of them is the terrifying truth that each of these shootings happened in locations presumed by everyone to be “safe.” That illusion of safety is shattered by the brutally honest videos captured by cell phones while the Parkland shooting was unfolding and subsequently posted to the internet.
Thanks to social media, it is not “those seventeen” who died. It is “our seventeen.” It touches all of us. Again. Really. We are heartsick. We are worn. Moreover, we are not sure how to respond. As Christine Hunschofsky, mayor of Parkland, said in response to some tweets by President Donald Trump, “If a solution was simple for these things, we would have found one already.”