On Monday afternoon I headed to the gym in my office building with a colleague and saw the breaking news about the Massacre at VT. I remember stopping for a minute thinking how messed up that situation seemed, put on my ear phones and started running on the treadmill. I looked at the images on the TV screen and remembered being annoyed that they were showing the same footage over and over again. I finished my workout, showered and went back to work.
Later that evening I joined my colleagues for a work sanctioned happy hour and on my way home I just kept having that feeling that this whole incident/catastrophe was just so removed from my life. Sure it occurred four hours away and there are a gazillion VT grads in the DC metro area but I didn’t know any of them or even anyone who was there. I remembered a conversation that happened on my list serve about what type of violence/crime a neighborhood or area was used too and the shock when something equally violent and horrific occurred that wasn’t part of the general status quo. I started wondering if school shootings, mass murders were starting to be part of our general status quo and got worried.
The next morning the victims and the families of the victims started talking and expressing their grief and disbelief and it finally hit me that I too was shocked, saddened that so many lives were lost and realized that no matter what the numbers were, not matter that this shooter achieved a new US record that even one victim was one too many. Over the last few days we’ve been discussing the need for more gun control, the need for more mental health interventions and what exactly could have been done to prevent this. Hopefully we all figure it out before it just becomes the norm.