All that promise of a new day – a new start – becomes tainted by news oftentimes completely beyond your control. When I was a senior in high school, the news was that my aunt had been in a car accident and would probably not make it. A few years later, it was that my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. A couple years after that, it was that my dad had been in a fatal motorcycle accident. Today that news was the shooting and death of nine innocent people in a church in Charleston, S.C.
Bad news is horrible – whether it directly affects you or not – because you know that somewhere, someone's life is being profoundly altered by a devastating and life-changing event. Having lost far too many people before their time in my short 23 years, I am heartbroken for all those affected by last night's senseless act of hatred and violence.
Not only did people lose brothers, mothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends in the Charleston shooting, but the community lost some very important and active members of society, including South Carolina State Senator the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and the St. Andrews Regional Library Manager Cynthia Hurd, confirmed by the Charleston County Public Library's Facebook page earlier today.
Not only was Hurd a dedicated librarian, but Pinckney was also a tremendous advocate for libraries in the State Legislature. Clearly last night's shooting is a tragedy on many levels, but it is surely also a devastating loss for the South Carolina library community.
I'm upset that we've gotten to the point that people are scared to go to a movie theater, the mall, school or even places of worship because of the evil other humans are capable of. And the fact that more and more libraries feel the need to invest in active shooter training is disheartening to say the least.
I'm sick of the the social and racial tension, the bigotry, the hatred and the ignorance that keeps occurring around this country and the world. As President Barack Obama said earlier today, he's had to give statements about gun violence "too many times" during his tenure in office.
But what do we do? How do we stop tragedies like these from ravaging our communities? I'm not talking about what the politicians can do – I'm talking about what We the People can do.