I don’t know the right thing to say, but I also do not believe there is a right thing to say. I just don’t know. So I am going to write out my feelings, to help me process and understand, and to make myself stop absorbing all of the news because it only exacerbates peoples’ reactions.
So, what do we do from here?
There is not even a way to properly communicate how the world is feeling, no verbal or nonverbal communication can express the sorrow and disbelief. As a young adult I feel unnerved, alarmed, horrified, speechless, and just downright sad to know that my fear that this type of horrific incident could happen on my own college campus is real. Just typing that out I am fighting back tears in my eyes. As I sit in solitude, with my body whole but my heart broken, I’m mourning for the families and friends, the community, the victims, and, yes, I am also sad for the shooter. I feel wrong for feeling it, but I am going to say that because I think it is important. While the way he acted was alarming, ill, & inhumane, he is still a human. I am devastated to know that he comes from brokenness: that he did not feel love in his life, he felt abandoned, estranged, sad, depressed, and probably unnoticed all at the same time. I do not know him, I do not know his brain, but I know that he is mentally ill. I know that he is a child. I know that as a fellow young person who grew up more privileged and blessed, I don’t really have the same life experience or mindset to understand what path he came from or where he went wrong. But he also was a young adult, still learning, but at his age should know a lot more than to cause such a terror. He intentionally used a gun for violence, caused beyond detrimental damage to a community, created immense devastation and pain for so many, and took multiple innocent humans from this beautiful life. That makes me want to vomit, and scream, and yell out to the world that he deserves to be living in the most horrific conditions until he dies alone. This is not a mistake, this is a cruel and disgusting. But he is mentally sick, his brain is not right. And that is not in his control. So what do I think? I really don’t know. All I know is that we NEED ACTION. We need answers. We need to be advocates & take care of our children and people who need help (whether that is with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, and more). I sincerely hope that we can keep building up our communities so that no child has to live in a world where fear is so real that it can be seen in weeping eyes and restless nights. No child, teenager, or young adult should have to constantly be on high alert in a place of education. I don’t know the right answers, I don’t know what should be done, but I know one thing for sure: he. needed. help.
I will never understand how someone even with mental illness could take away life for so many people so quickly, without thought. I don’t know the answer. I know that the results of this horrific act left the country with frantic hysteria, heartbreak, hopelessness and helplessness. I am hoping we can turn this into more conversations about mental health, about gun regulations (which does not always mean completely stripping people of their right of arms!) and most importantly, about how we can come together to ensure that this does not happen ever again.
My words for the loved ones: may the souls of the innocent lives taken live on to continue making the world beautiful, and may you find peace knowing that there are people, with voices, who care to make a difference for the future ❤