I have only questions, no answers, but feel the need to raise them here, if only as an outlet. I struggle to understand why this happens. Why it happens in America. Why is it that I live in a country where guns are a part of the daily view, yet we have mercifully been spared the awful scenes that have now been shown all over the world.
I am torn. Torn between believing that weapons should be available so that it is not only the criminals and terrorists who possess them, and believing that they should be almost impossible to come by. Several times in the past, terrorist incidents in Israel have been halted by a passer-by who happened to be there and happened to be armed. Right place, right time. On the other hand, the readily available weapons allow for easier access to those who would use them to harm the innocent.
However, one cannot walk into a gun shop here and buy an assault rifle "off-the-rack." The number of civilians carrying weapons is actually surprisingly low. Assault rifles are seen in the streets, but they are carried either by members of the armed forces or by members of response teams in the more volatile parts of the land. They can't just be stored at home as yet another item on a list of fixtures and fittings. Licenses are hard to come by and are enforced by strict regulation.
Arguments will appear on every media outlet, on social media, in conversations between neighbours and friends. Both sides will voice their opinion, all too often based on that cyclical rhetoric, bandied about by populace and politician alike. Slogans don't solve the problem, they just accentuate and polarise it. They certainly do not reunite grieving families with those that they have lost. Falling back on rights is as helpful as quoting often irrelevant statistics. It is, however, clear that something has to change, probably on both sides of the great gun divide.
I don't have the answers. I may not even be in a position to ask the questions. I do know one thing for sure. I never want to see these scenes again. Not as a parent, not as a news reader, and not as a paramedic . Not on my own doorstep, nor on anybody else's.
Yet another community will have to rebuild itself, brick-by-brick, one family at a time, united in grief for now, but hopefully in strength in the future. And all the while, the answers must be found to prevent anyone else from facing yet another unspeakable tragedy.