Author’s Note: I must fully disclose that this article is an opinion article backed up with facts from accredited news organizations or valid web sources. The opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not reflect that of any organization or business I have previously worked for, currently work for or will work for in the future. This article is not meant to belittle any political groups or influential people in power.
The content in this article is sensitive. Reader discretion is advised.
I can’t say it’s a sad day in American history because it really has been a sad month in American history.
Unfortunately, it will not be the last. But let’s at least hope there’s not another 10-day span.
Another mass shooting took place on Tuesday, May 24 at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tx. The suspect was 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who, in a cowardice act of killing at least 19 children, two workers and his grandmother, killed himself after.
This was the second mass shooting in 10 days, but the fourth mass shooting altogether since a white supremacist opened fire at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 14.
Those in Buffalo did not even have the time to grieve before those in Laguna Woods were next. Or those in Chicago. And now, those in Uvalde.
But the painstakingly growing frustrations remain the same. People take to social media to share their feelings but it’s the same song and dance every time.
A new hashtag.
Thoughts and prayers.
All the ways it could have been prevented.
Having the story blow up in the news, then evaporate a week later.
Following a handful of people on Twitter who are worried about sending their children to school because our country is caught in a toxic cycle of power trips and little actions is, frankly, quite frustrating.
This is America.
This is a place where we are supposed to be blessed to have education.
This is a place where we are supposed to be creating our future. Instead, we’re just reliving the past.
Mass shootings have been happening since 1891, when a man with a double barreled shotgun opened fire on a crowd of students and faculty at a school exhibition in Parson Hall School House in Liberty, Ms. He injured 14 people, most of them children.
According to Behind The Tower, this incident is reportedly one of the “earliest reported school mass shootings in the country.”
This article used the 1891 example to examine mass shootings that would soon follow.
The article, written by Maria Esther Hammack, says, “Mass shootings in the twentieth century have become ever so frequent that they have come to deeply shape our society and our current de-sensitized perceptions towards how we acknowledge, and remember, mass shootings in the country.”
It’s fair to say that we have become desensitized to mass murders, even in the past few years. So much has happened in the past few years, with the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and other notable mass shootings, that we’re not equipped to handle on such a large scale.
But something about the rush of getting over last week’s mass shooting to have to grief for this week’s shooting feels very different.
As I scrolled on Twitter, as a sports journalist, I’m usually greeted with tweets from athletes, coaches and teams posting about either NBA Finals or NFL OTAs.
This afternoon, obviously was not that same feeling.
Tweet after tweet. Athletes expressing anger or ways in which they can help.
But I came across this video of Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, who sat down in his press conference, but was not going to discuss basketball. Basketball didn’t matter.
“There’s a reason why they won’t vote on it, to hold on to power,”
“Fifty senators in Washington are holding us hostage,”
These are the powerful words of one of the most well-respected NBA head coaches in the game.
He gave a three-minute rant about how frustrating it is watching children, minorities and innocent Americans die from mass shootings.
To give you context, on January 18, 1984, Kerr’s father, Malcolm, was shot by two gunmen. If anyone is going to be frustrated about the senseless gun violence and terrorism in America, it would be Kerr.
His voice crescendoed to a yell. His fists pounding the table.
You don’t have to share the knowledge of basketball or the Warriors. You don’t even have to know the NBA Finals are approaching.
But you do know his pain in his voice. You do know his emotion he’s feeling. You do know he’s speaking from heart.
And, unfortunately, we see this all the time. Coaches and athletes are loud and proud about the causes they support, as they should.
However – and read this twice – it shouldn’t come to coaches begging our senators to protect our youth against gun violence.
And when someone becomes so frustrated and angry that they almost have to throw a fit in respect to children being slaughtered, the public takes notice.
When we have photos, videos, press conference interviews and social media posts full of athletes, coaches and sports personalities begging for change, that’s when you know America has much work to do.
These guys are getting paid millions of dollars, have sponsorship after sponsorship, work around the clock with their teams to try to bring home a championship.
And they have to beg senators – the same senators who send “thoughts and prayers” after voting “no” to stricter gun control – to make a change.
Kerr spoke on behalf of Uvalde and millions of Americans when talking about the exhausting frustration.
After 22 years since Columbine, America fumbled. And it’s heartbreaking to watch our country sleeping behind the wheel for so long at the expense of peoples’ lives.
The topic in this article is bigger than you, it’s bigger than me, and it’s bigger than any championship ring. While most will be sleeping soundly tonight, parents in Uvalde will be overcome with fear, grief and confusion for the weeks to come.
Kerr is not going to let this fight end, and neither should we.
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