No doubt, there is more good than bad in the world, but lately it has not felt that way: 307 mass shootings in 311 days. 378 people dead.
People were shot dead at the bar. A person who managed to survive the mass shooting in Las Vegas was faced with death yet again.
A senseless and ignorant man walked into a bar with a gun and now 12 people are dead, never to be seen again. And, in a few days, never to be heard about again. Once people and the media stop talking about it, they are forgotten.
A 97-year-old woman survived Hitler and the Holocaust just to be killed in a synagogue? A place of worship and a place to pray in peace? She is dead like so many others. An innocent woman was shot dead by yet another senseless gunman.
Nowhere is safe anymore … not places of worship, nightclubs, a bar, school, concerts, McDonalds, work, offices, a movie theater. There are so many places that are not safe anymore.
We wake up every day to news headlines announcing a new mass shooting and more dead, innocent people — men and women, sons and daughters, cousins, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, never to be seen again. Gone from the world and from the lives of those who loved them.
Why can’t America get it together? What is wrong with our society? Why haven’t we made changes to our legislation and reformed our gun policies?
Why should I wake up every day and be concerned for my life? At this point, it doesn’t matter where I am or where I am going, there is always the thoughts in the back of my mind … what if … what if someone came into my school, my dance studio, my restaurant, my synagogue, my movie theater, my nail salon, my … the list could go on and on.
What if, what if I’m shot dead or the people I love are gone, their heartbeats gone, never to be heard again? Their next appearance would be on the TV screens of thousands of Americans to “mourn” their deaths. But shortly after, their presence on this planet would be forgotten.
There’s so much talk about change and action, but yet nothing gets done. How much more devastation and hurt and depression before something is done?
Something needs to change. Something has to change. How many more times am I going to wake up and say “What if?” before I am next? Let’s talk and think about what we can do as a community to make a change.
Lola Belchinsky, 14, a freshman at Berkley High School, wrote this after the last mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif.