It’s 6:30 am on the 15th of February. And I’m angry.
It’s is not how I’d hoped to start my day. My first realisation for the day was how bloody America has become. A teenager has gunned down high school students—again.
I don’t live in the US. I’m no longer a high schooler, and I’m no parent. I know no one in Florida or anywhere near its vicinity.
But I’m angry nevertheless. It pains me—who lives 11.30 hours ahead of PST—that someone somewhere has unrestricted access to such vile weaponry. I’m silly that way. Because I care about what’s becoming of this place that I no longer want to call home.
Just last week I was proud—thrilled that a fellow human propelled a rocket to space. A single man’s determination and persistence has given us all a lifetime worth of achievement. Last week as Falcon Heavy made a safe landing, we celebrated human-ness and our intense ability to reach beyond our confines. Our race had pursued the nigh-impossible and proven nothing’s impossible. For one week, I was proud of humankind.
This week, I’m repulsed by it.
Sure, life’s full of good and bad incidents. And philosophers would argue we wouldn’t appreciate the good unless we experience the bad. Which is all sage advice, except the bad is no longer bad when it extinguishes the innocent and exalts the unworthy.
Elon Musk had to fail hundreds of times before he could succeed. That’s the bad pill we need to swallow so we can appreciate the good one when it comes.
A teenage murderer isn’t the kind of bad that leads to realising goodness. Nothing good ever comes from entrusting a loaded weapon to someone unauthorised to wield it. That causes more than an unfortunate turn of events—that’s a consequence of utter insensibility.
Scrolling through social media, I saw videos and text messages from students inside the school during the shooting. They’re communicating with family and friends outside and most of them seem calm and collected.
Calmness in the face of adversity is healthy, some might say. I’d say no, though.
Although panic gets us nowhere, calm indicates familiarity. Despite grieving, people have grown accustomed to such incidents. It’s the first time for some folk, but nothing unheard of. Violence and guns amiss are so common that no one’s surprised that it happened again.
Everyone’s shocked because it happened, of course, but no one’s surprised that it happened. And there lies the fundamental fault in our stars.