I’ve been trying to avoid thinking too much about the events in Orlando. Here in South Africa, I could be a world away, and yet it’s feeling deeply personal this time. I feel it on so many levels, and I wasn’t sure why this mass shooting felt so much harder than previous ones. But then I saw a post that made me realize why.
My Facebook is filled with outrage, support, memorials and other posts. But this one nearly brought me to tears this morning. In the early hours of the morning, the young man texted his mom to say he loved her. He was hurt, hiding in the bathroom and ultimately gunned down. And I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, holding my little princess Harley, feeling like I can barely breathe.
I love my little person so very much. It’s devastating to imagine anything ever happening to her. I want to keep her safe, loved, protected for her whole life. My job doesn’t end when she grows up, when she’s old enough to go clubbing one day – I will always be base for her. At least, that’s my hope. I hope that for her whole life she knows that I love her, that I will support her, comfort her. Even when she doesn’t really fit on my lap anymore. Even when I am no longer her source of sustenance. She is my baby, and she will always be my baby, even when she’s an adult.
And in Orlando, 49 babies were killed. It just breaks my heart.
It could have been me. It could have been any of us. These mass shootings make no sense, and truly the only way to stop them is to stop the gun culture in America. Every country in the world has hate and random violence, but only Americans make it this easy for people filled with hate and rage to take the lives of others. I wish we could take away the hate and the rage, but barring that, the least we could do is make it a whole lot harder for people to get guns.
And if Dean and I move to America, how will I protect my baby? Sure, people can be killed any day in any way, but these mass shootings just feel so horrific. The world feels so very scary at the moment, and having a tiny person to look after makes me so much more aware of it.