After going to get a coffee and hang out in Koreatown yesterday morning with my roommate (see how I’m spending the last remaining days before The Apocalypse?) I came home, checked the Internet, and saw the news.
I’ve tried to hold some level of optimism, moving-on’ed-ness, and reason in my responses towards tragic, seemingly random outbursts of violence like this, however they’re motivated, but this photo really did make me sick to my stomach. I’m scared of two things: heights (in all capacities, and even though I’ve largely quashed the crippling effect on me, being on an airplane is the only height that really bothers me), and being shot at without seeing it coming. I don’t know why the latter is something that has, to this day, made me shiver sometimes, but it does. The former has a far more hilarious story, involving a young Eric stuck in an elevator for hours (woo!), but attribute the latter to whatever you want.
I’m well-adjusted, I think (ha! but roll with me). I’ve seen Die Hard. I played Mortal Kombat and Halo, and stuff as a kid. Even still, getting shot has always been something I think about occasionally, without there ever being a reason to. The handgun is the first thing I see about a cop, for example. I get uneasy around real ones.
School shootings are events that suddenly silence (inter)national dialogue, and have the capacity to flip whatever distraction is going on to page 2; it grips the soul, especially as a person who, since age 4, has been regularly attending some kind of educational institution. And thankfully never had more than the occasional fight to worry about while in them. They wring out the pus and get from what’s happening to what’s really happening out of it. They make you talk to yourself about where you think it could happen in your life, where it has happened in your life, and what to do about it. The quick conclusion is to a) stay safe, and b) blame something. It feels good to find something to point the finger to as the cause; it’s a putrid, humanly form of safety. Look how we search for meaning within our lives, cluttering up the place, as if to say “what this is represents how I am” at the things in the room. The room is a symptom itself.
I take pain in attempting to conjure up what the parents and families of the victims might be feeling after this event. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through, and that thought makes me believe there is such a thing as hell, and it exists on Earth. It’s existed for many people in their life, and it often comes to pay a visit at least once for everybody, maybe. We don’t have much to compare to our most trying times, except the third-party account of other peoples’. But I can tell you that losing a child is, by definition, a contradiction of human progress, and what life stands for. It is often like having the meaning of one’s life wiped out, and taken. Often people will tell you their greatest accomplishment is their kids. It’s potential. It’s a shot at somebody becoming the next great somebody.
Everybody should be outraged by what has happened yesterday. There’s no real getting past that. But getting outraged at the correct thing is important to be considered. This is a health issue, first and foremost. Having a 20-year-old want to make a monstrous point out of the death of his mother and her classroom of potentially great people is indicitive of a society that would even allow a person to get to this point. That’s what needs to change. One’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, and that’s something I learned the hard way in the past, and something I think everybody struggles with at least once in their life, whether they know it or not.
I don’t really know what to say about Newtown. I suppose I have nothing to say or offer but my deepest regrets to the families and communities affected by this horrible tragedy.