What a whirlwind today has been.
13 years ago I still vividly recall the horror of watching the scenes unfold from Columbine. I don’t think I’ll ever forget watching the teenager climb/fall out of the window, bloodied, into rescuers arms below live on television. My Dad and I both couldn’t turn away and were shocked, shocked! at everything unfolding. While Colorado is worlds away from Ohio, my cousin lives in the town where Columbine is so it was a bit close to home. In the years since there has been other shootings and each of them strike a sad note but none have gripped me like Columbine did.
Today that changed when I woke up to find out that a gunman had opened fire and shot 5 students here in Ohio in nearby Chardon.
Words fail me.
It’s also been interesting to watch as things unfold online vs. only having the TV and chat rooms years ago. Now news is hitting Twitter long before it’s hitting local media or the national news. Some is wrong but today, much has been correct long before the media outlets could verify. However, people are also making quick and fast assumptions. The shooter was bullied. Homeschooling is the answer. Guns should be banned completely. The shooter was living a goth lifestyle and that’s what happens from those kids. I am curious what the “real story” will be as time unfolds.
The bullying angle often infuriates me. YES, bullying is awful and shouldn’t EVER happen but you know what? It happens. I think my friend’s son said it best on Facebook, “I don’t care if you’re bullied you never take it to the point of taking anyones life or even your own, you tell an adult and avoid the situation.” I couldn’t say it better myself and this is a kid that is a Junior in a High School very near to Chardon. I hope that more kids take his advice and avoid the situation and/or tell an adult. Bullying sucks but violence isn’t the answer.
The one thing that was the answer today though was preparedness. Due to the drills that Chardon had in place they immediately were able to go into lockdown and get things rolling to minimize the impact of the shooter. No one knows for sure but it sounds like he had more killings planned that did not take place. Much of this is indeed thanks to the drills in place at the High School and the response time from the police and other emergency personnel. Thanks to Columbine, today’s disaster was minimized as much as possible. Hopefully from today’s tragedy, a future attack is even further minimized or hopefully eliminated.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family and victims of today’s senseless tragedy in Chardon. Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight, even if it has to be a virtual one.