This morning, a student and an adult were shot at Noblesville West Middle School. I don’t know many more details as I write this. This is not a school I’ve personally heard of or been to, but it feels close. Closer than before.
I can only imagine that middle school serves hundreds of students. That means hundreds of parents likely paced and cried and waited for a phone call and then felt relief the moment they found out that the kid who got shot was not their child. But, one set of parents was not so lucky. Despite the odds being in their favor – there were hundreds of other kids at the school. After all – it was their child who got shot. It was their lives that were about to be turned upside down. It was their own child who may not ever come home. It was that family who would feel the instant, engulfing feeling of despair.
Parents, the odds are in our favor.
You, reading this: your kid is not likely to get shot at school, or at a concert or at a movie theater. But, they could.
The odds of a tragedy like this are much greater than they were decades ago when you were in school. A time when your parents probably didn’t worry much or at all about mass shootings and guns in school. I’ve long lost track of how many lives have been changed or painfully, unfairly they have been halted by tragedies like this. Right now, all I see is red. And I’m angry and scared.
I see a problem so massive, so tragic, so gut-wrenching that it cannot be ignored. It cannot be neatly confined or explained away based on politics or anything else. It cannot be fixed with a single piece of legislation or by putting a certain person in an office. It cannot be ignored because it happened at a school we never heard of, or to a person we didn’t know, or because a gun was obtained illegally or legally, or the suspect or victim was black or white or an immigrant.
But, it certainly cannot be resolved with inaction, either.
There was a child who got shot. And he or she is not the first. And no, it’s not your kid, but it could be.
This problem is all-inclusive; this beast does not discriminate. It is a problem so complex that there is no tidy, fix-all solution, and this isn’t a post to propose one. Problems like this seem intimidating, exhausting. We do not all agree on where to start. But, can we agree on one thing: that we must start? For the child who got shot, for all children, for all parents. For everyone.