Mass shootings hit closer to home

24

The Michigan State shooter is dead, but the terror continues.

My son is a junior who lives in on campus housing at MSU. He was nowhere near the mass shootings that terrorized MSU’s campus Monday night. Yet, as a parent, you remain concerned. I just want the boy home for a couple of days, knowing he is safe.

Around 9 p.m. we received a text from Brandon saying: “Don’t worry. I’m safe.”

A parent worries when they are told not to worry. I wanted to know why I was not to worry. Brandon told us that the campus was on lock down because a man roamed the campus shooting people.

Two neighbors have children who attend Michigan State. We contacted them to make sure their loved ones were safe. The moms wanted to drive to the school and scoop up their kids. I said that’s a terrible idea. My fear is they’d blindly run into the shooter, and we’d have two more victims.

Stay home.

One of the girls lived near the shooting and huddled in fear with her dorm sisters and brothers.

Mass shootings are hitting too close to home. They are so frequent that they all don’t make national news. In 2022, there were over 600 mass shootings in the United States where four or more people were killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

We are back on pace in 2023 with 67 more.

My daughter Celine’s Chicago apartment was surrounded last summer by Chicago Police, with their lights whirling in the darkened skies. A man upset with his girlfriend sent gun fire spraying throughout her complex.

Too close too many times

In November 2021, my kids were panicked because cousins who attended Oxford High School were not immediately found. Four students were killed and seven wounded. None of the cousins were hit,

The summer before that, Celine had an internship with Facebook in Austin, Texas. Austin is a fun town for young adults. However, Celine did not take full advantage of the weirdness of this college town because she spent evenings doing extra work. I told her to go to her favorite spot and enjoy herself and enjoy a crazy Friday night.

That night, a man became angry with his girlfriend in front of her favorite spot and shot six people. Two died, including a young woman with no ties to the shooter. Thankfully, Celine ignored my advice and stayed home to work on a project.

The threat at MSU is over, but the fear, and terror is not. I want the boy home. If the wife drives up there today, I’m OK with it. I will stay back because I want to spend time with my mother, who had bypass surgery on Monday afternoon.

That should be our biggest concern these days. How is mom? But who is to say a copycat won’t disturb the peace today at MSU or CMU or UDM. These shootings are so random. When I go to a restaurant, I check to see where the exits are. I eyeball the kitchen because I know that can be another escape route.

Run. Hide. Fight.

These words are familiar ones for my children. They’ve had mass shooter drills since they were babies. I grew up in the hood. We did not have mass shooter drills. We had air raid drills in case the Russians or Chinese bombed us. We never worried about someone shooting up Pattengill Elementary School or Webber Junior High.

Politicians talk about mental health. I like to talk about evil. You have to be evil to hunt human beings like animals. You have to be evil to decide who dies that day and who lives. You have to be evil to take joy in watching people suffer.

These shootings are getting closer to home. They must stop before they hit home.

Photo Credit: Syndication: Detroit Free Press