It’s been a few days since the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio and I’ve had a few days to fully process, so here are my thoughts…
Last weekend, when we heard about the back to back shootings, we were getting ready for Lolla. When Manny was reading an article to me while I was doing my hair, it stated the motive of the El Paso shooter was revealed. The gunmen was racially motivated, specifically toward Latinos and immigrants.
In utter disbelief, I don’t even remember what we said next. I think we just went numb. For a few moments, we discussed not even going to Lollapalooza for safety reasons, but just kept moving forward and we said little about it the rest of the day. Although, it was on my mind all day. In fact, still is.
For a little context, Manny is a first generation Mexican American. His dad is from Mexico. Today, much of his family is still there. Manny has crossed the El Paso border to Mexico countless of times to visit family. They are not far from the border and know the area well. We are all extremely close family, so this news just hits so deeply.
As we were on the train, I kept tearing up and thinking, that could have been Manny. His family. MY KIDS. MY FAMILY. ME. YOU. OUR FUTURE. Dammit, ANYONE. Noah was sitting next to me and he can sense when something is wrong, so I really pulled it together for his sake, but I was hurting for those victims and their families in Ohio and El Paso.
Now, a few days later, every time I read the news, I cry. As I am writing this, I am crying. I feel for the victims, their families and our future. OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY. But now, it’s time for action.
I really don’t have the answers and I don’t want to be political but when is this going to stop? I think there are so many issues like gun control, mental health, broken policies, and so on. However, how much more can we take? To even think that it can’t happen anywhere, is naive. I think about it every day now. At Target. Starbucks. Festivals and so on. I highly doubt I am alone in this. What kind of life is that?
Something needs to change. We may disagree on who are president is, but when there is bloodshed, does it really matter? These mass shootings have been going on for far too long and only escalating. What is our bottom line? We can argue which president is better, go back and forth on policies, but what the hell does that do? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it divides us more and takes away from the victims and their families. It doesn’t take the pain away. It doesn’t make me feel less scared in a crowd. It doesn’t make me less scared that my children have a latino last name. It doesn’t make me a little nervous for my latino husband when he’s out late walking the dog. It’s useless to argue. Let’s do something.
What can we do?
I don’t have the answers, but we elect officials to help keep us safe, so lets put pressure on them. Give them your feedback. Make suggestions. Let them know how you feel. Ask them the hard questions. Tell them what you want. Protest. Sign petitions. This is their job. To help us, listen to us, and protect us.
I reached out to my senator and it took just a few minutes to email. Contact your elected representatives! I emailed my Illinois senator, Dick Durbin, to ask about the guns coming into Chicago from bordering states. How can we reduce it? What is his plan? I want to know.
There are organizations like Every Town you can donate to or even just learn more about ways to help.
How We Save Lives also has a petition you can sign letting Congress know you want universal gun background checks. I am sure there are countless other organizations and ways to take action, so please feel free to share them as well!
I am sure I not alone on, but just wanted to share a little of my thoughts. It’s weighing very heavy on me and sometimes sharing it helps.
Be safe everyone.
Until next time,