Mass Shootings in TX and FL

I struggle being someone who wants to gather the facts and background of crimes while at the same time wanting to focus solely on the victims and their family. I’ve been told you can’t really have it both ways. You know, kind of like on “Grey’s Anatomy”, when they tell the doctors not to get too involved in the lives of their patients because it interferes with them doing their job. I understand that there are some parts of yourself that you might need to tone down every once in a while to be effective at your work, but I hope compassion is not one of those things.

For this reason, I found myself feeling badly when I heard about the mass shootings in Texas and Florida  last week. I felt badly because while, of course, I was shocked and sad for the victims the thing that I was most intrigued about was the shooters…because they are both still alive.

This is extremely rare in mass shootings. Most people who perpetrate crimes such as this do so with no out plan and we are left to wonder and ask questions.

The Texas shooting on a military base has so many degrees do it. It involves a war, deployments, workplace violence and unfortunately ethnic /religious discrimination.  The FL shooting appears to be more of a disgruntled former employee situation.  However, unlike so many cases before we will have the opportunity to talk to the shooters and ask the questions that we want so badly answered. Why here? Why these people? What could have been done to change this?

When I learned of the FL shooting, so soon after TX my first thought was that it was a copycat effect. It’s common after an attack highly publicized in the media to have many that follow afterward. They just don’t all make the news. Did that have something to do with FL shooting?

What I don’t question, as I have posted about before, is that these were random or the acts of people who simply snapped. Violence is a process and I hope these individuals will be able to walk us through that so that we can learn how to prevent such cases in the future. I’ve read the same things about these 2 individuals as I have with other cases in the past. There were warning signs. There were people that knew.

 There are so many victims when someone walks into a building and starts shooting. It’s not just those who are killed. It’s the people who have to miss them every day, the ones that survived and the ones that tried to help.  It’s the families of the shooters who will wonder what they could have done differently. It’s the people who watched on TV and felt a little less safe.

 I shouldn’t feel badly about my interest towards the shooters. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time learning about the victims of these crimes. I think it’s ok to struggle with the need for knowledge and education in violence as well as the need to focus and feel compassion for its victims.  Perhaps finding balance between the two will make me better at both.

15-Year-Old Gang Raped

Heather touched on this subject in her recent post, but I also felt compelled to add something. This week in California, a 15 year old girl was gang-raped outside of a Homecoming dance in Oakland. That statement alone made me sick to my stomach. When police said as many as 10 people were involved in the assault, while another 10 people watched without calling 911, that’s 10 human beings who did NOTHING as another was being so brutally assaulted!! That is…I just have no words for that.

It’s easy for us to explain away or perhaps deal with that one “monster” or that one loaner who did horrible things to another.  But here , where we’re dealing with 10-15 individuals (many of whom are not even of legal age to be tried as adults)all at once and all against one girl…you have to ask yourself, truly, where IS the humanity? This is something so much bigger than this incident, this is something inherently wrong with society.

I’m not going to write a long post about these individuals. This is not about them, they don’t deserve my energy right now.  

I’ve spent a lot of time the past few months talking to young women and teaching them to fight, hoping I’ve helped spread valuable messages about survival. Girls Fight Back does teach self- defense, but we know that this is only part of that survival.

Police said this attack lasted over 2 hours. For over 2 hours a 15 year old girl endured the most cruel, the most heinous, the most brutal attack I can possibly imagine. I don’t know where you have to go in your head and your heart and your soul to survive that…but somehow… she did.

So to her- I send my thoughts and prayers. I hope you know how many people are also thinking of you and wishing you well. I hope you know how strong you are and I hope you have people around you who remind you of that every day.

I hope the courage that was with you that night is with you always…