Letters, May 23
A familiar script
A male, young, is grazed by the bullet fired by campus security. He had good grades, groups of friends and loved playing games. His dad trusted him with the safe combination and his mom drove him to school. Three thousand students showed up that day, and 100 teachers as well. Most, but not all, survived.
Within minutes, his face was plastered across the internet, his motives uncovered and his ambitions achieved.
Days passed. The nation mourned, sending their thoughts to the families. Sending their prayers to the victims. Sending their hate to the perpetrator. Media headlines portrayed him as a lone wolf, an outsider. One who didn’t fit in, a loner if you’d prefer.
He is a terrorist. He wanted fame and for chaos to ensue. Both granted, as he wished without thinking twice. As a bonus, he also kept his life while the officer had him in his sights.
Weeks passed. The politicians did nothing to protect future students and teachers, leaving them on their own. Protests occurred and walkouts started in schools. Still nothing.
Thus is the story told every month, it seems. A new shooter, new victims and more thoughts and prayers. Yet change eludes us. This is the story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and so many others. It’s the reality of American life we don’t even talk about, yet can’t escape. A part of this country that makes me cry when asked if I’m a proud American.