Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas. These cities, obscure to some and popular to others, are now forever linked by the violence that has rained down on innocent people.
We grieve for the victims, feel for the survivors and families that are affected. We can hold them in our thoughts and prayers. But nothing –nothing – will ever be “normal” again. Not for them. Not for us.
For me, living in Bakersfield, a four-hour drive from Las Vegas, has meant spur-of-the-moment weekend trips or planned vacations with friends to take in some shows. One year we held our family reunion in Las Vegas. Its ease of getting there by plane from anywhere in the country figured in to the decision.
Living in Bakersfield, the city known as Nashville West, means our neighbors and friends were at last Sunday night’s concert in Las Vegas. We lost several. I, personally, didn’t know any of the folks whose names and photos have appeared in the local paper and on the news.
But, I’m connected through friends and acquaintances and by geography. To the 20-year old woman who loved country music. To the brave gentleman who shielded his wife from the gunfire and lost his life. To the Bakersfield police officer who was wounded. To the woman from Tehachapi who is recovering from surgery after being shot three times. To the several other Kern County residents who were wounded or killed. And to the young Bakersfield woman and her family who’d planned to stay until Monday but, on the spur of the moment, decided to leave Sunday.
I feel for these folks and their families. I'm angry and saddened they've had to endure this trauma.
I’ve observed that change is most likely to occur when there is a personal connection to an issue, a person, or a problem. The rapid news cycle, television, social media, and travel connect us to events, people, and places and put them with us and within us forever. We are all connected.
The Las Vegas shooter’s amassing of the types and amount of weaponry we’ve seen went far beyond what the Founding Fathers meant when they instituted the 2nd Amendment. They could not have envisioned what’s taking place in our country today. I sure didn’t.
If you’ve been wondering what you can do to help stop the carnage, please consider contacting your Congress persons and making your voice heard. If “this is not the right time," I don’t know when the right time will be.
~ xoA ~