I wasn't going to write this. I don't feel like I truly have a right to but if I want to sleep tonight, I'm going to have to get this out.
I've touched briefly, in the past, on what I used to do for a living before I moved to Baltimore. I was an IT Analyst for the NAVAIR syscom of the United States Navy. I never used to share that because it's not only a bad idea as far as my best interest is concerned but it could have gotten me fired. I worked on a Naval base in MD and I worked very closely with the personnel at the Washington Navy Yard, which was the site of the shooting earlier today that resulted in the deaths of 13 people. I'm dreading the moment when the list of deceased comes out. Maybe that's silly because I would obviously know if anyone I knew on a day to day basis was hurt, I would know right away. I don't feel silly though because...I feel like crap and that's it. I just do.
I keep picturing people waking up, pushing the snooze button, finally stretching and getting out of bed, getting the first whiff of the morning air as they walk out to their car, listening to the radio on the way into work, getting a knot in their stomach when it takes a few extra minutes to get through the gate and they're running a few minutes behind, walking in to their building, putting their CACs into their computers and saying good morning to every one, looking through their emails and wondering how soon lunch time will arrive and then....nothing. They cease to exist.
I know there is no solution for what has passed. If I could I would go back in time and stop things like this from happening. Stop people from bleeding to death on the carpet in front of their friends and coworkers who are also bleeding to death. Since I can't do that, I feel the need to search for something I can do. Donating is great. Paying respects to the people who lost their lives is great. But, excuse my insensitivity, we'll just be doing that all over again the next time around. That's the truth, right? I'm sorry that it's the truth but it doesn't change it.
It might sound like I'm leading up to some grand solution like gun control or better mental health resources but the truth is I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know enough about either of those things to form an informed opinion and if there is one thing I hate...it's uninformed opinions. Especially the kind that cause more trouble. I'll be working to inform myself though, that you can bet on.
For now, all I really feel comfortable standing behind is this: Please. PLEASE!! Can we find a way......to resist glorifying these people. I don't know what their history is, I don't know how troubled they were growing up and honestly....at this point, I don't care. I don't care what caused them to put a bullet in someone, it's not my business and I'm certain that it wouldn't make sense to me anyway. Maybe I would care if I knew someone who they killed, but that would be for me to find out from the investigating police officers not for the news to saturate the public with. I may be wrong here, but in my opinion...these people seem to be attempting to make a statement. What that is will never be comprehensible to those of us who can't imagine taking a human life, but I can tell you...I don't think it's right to let them make that statement. The man is dead. His motives may matter to his family or the families of the slain but hundreds of articles about who he was and what kind of life he led is only proving to other unstable individuals that if they don't matter now....if they're invisible now...if nobody notices them now...that will change quickly if they shoot up a school or an office or a movie theater....and that is wrong. They should NOT be the thing that defines the people they kill.
While I hope that nobody I know was hurt and maybe that's selfish but...it's true I also hope that there's an answer out there, somewhere, that will help us find a way to stop these senseless acts. In the meantime, let's focus on the victims, not the people who put them in the morgue.