Anger and confusion are two feelings that I have a difficult time writing about. It gets blurry and chaotic really fast. But, I'm angry and confused. I think. I'm really not sure how I feel. Almost everyday for the past two weeks, I have spoken to at least one person on my college campus about the subject of school shootings. We talk about our fear that one will happen at our school, we talk about our sympathy for victims of school shootings, we talk about what we would do in that situation, and we talk about how we could support future shooters in order to provide a community that prevents such a terrible thing from happening. I'm writing this post because today there was an email sent out to the whole school urging us to come to some information sessions so that we can be as prepared as possible in the event of a school shooting. I teared up while I was reading the email.
Before I write any more, I need to say that I know that I am among the most privileged people in the world because my quality of life is just about as good as it gets. I have a doctor who I can call at any time, I have the opportunity to earn an amazing education, I am not worried about how I am going to get the food I need for dinner tonight. I am very aware of all of this. That does not mean I am not allowed to express the negative feelings I have around the fact that it has become necessary for schools all over America to have an action plan in the event that a school shooting occurs.
I spend more time than I probably should worrying about the worst case scenario in any situation (I'm working on it). The topic of school shootings has given my day-mares a lot of ammunition. The reason my phone does not have a passcode lock on it is because if I get shot, whoever comes to get my body will be able to call the people I love without any delay. That's on the pretty far end of the spectrum of like, "okay, this girl is kind of crazy," but, it's still messed up that I think about that. I feel less crazy knowing that I am not the only one of my peers who doesn't have passcode on lock on my phone for that reason.
There is this eerie fog over my college campus, and I feel like it is permeating schools everywhere. Almost everyone I know has a plan of what they are going to do if a school shooting happens. That is a lot of emotional distraction and I am having a hard time taking things in the present moment very seriously, because there is a constant perspective check going on in my head. Yeah, this homework is important, let me just check my email first. Oh, right, I need to put in my calendar to go to this meeting about our school's action plan in the event that one of my peers reaches a breaking point. And just like that, I can't think about the craft elements this author uses in her short fiction story.
I'm suddenly too busy thinking about my family, and who I would call first if a school shooting happens while I am on campus. I start wondering if any of my peers are thinking about it. How can I help them? How can I contribute to my school's community in a way that will make it a safe place for everyone, including the people who think violent things but are too scared to ask for help? And now the homework that seemed so important before just doesn't seem as important.
Thankfully, I have been able to stay relatively on task by telling myself, you're right, it's not important, so just write something about the topic and turn it in so that you don't screw-over future Simone.
I just wanted to write a quick post about all of this because I think about it on a daily basis and I am not the only one who thinks about it on a daily basis, and it's so weird that our country is at a place where we need to be prepared for this sort of thing because it happens so often.