By: Lori Kitaygorodsky
Over the past two months, to our collective dismay and disappointment, there has been a revisiting of the topic of mass shootings.
In different, highly unrelated circumstances, several mass shootings have recently been in the news.
Has anyone else begun to question why?
In this particular opinion piece, I would like to share my own thoughts. I understand that my reflection and understanding stems from personal experience and perspective. Perhaps it will provide some food for thought or material for discussion among friends.
So why are mass shootings in the news again?
Initially, when I hear the news of a mass shooting occurring anywhere in the world these days, I flashback to February 14, 2018.
I always remember that day — no matter how hard I try to forget — and where I was. Thankfully, my husband and I were home when we started to receive text messages from our freshman-aged daughter Alexa. She wrote, “I think I hear gunshots.” We immediately answered her back and said, “we are on our way,” and she replied, “don’t come. It could be bad.”
Here in Parkland, our collective reality, and any supposed immunity we may have thought we had from mass violence, was tainted; shattered is more like it.
Thankfully, we were able to bring our daughter home that afternoon from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Alhadeffs and 16 other families, though, weren’t so fortunate. However, for the survivors and those left behind, these incidents’ effects are long-lasting and far-reaching.
Although there may not be a definite answer to the query “why now,” perhaps it’s best to examine the climate we find ourselves today, compared to the one pre-pandemic.
I believe that the enormity of COVID-19 took center stage over all else for a while. It felt as if our very survival was in jeopardy (and for many, that was the case). The world as we knew it remained at a standstill and Coronavirus was the only topic of conversation.
Is it possible that the confluence of the vaccine’s introduction, the pent-up emotions of those in quarantine, and the economic instability faced by millions created an environment ripe for uncertainty and tumult?
I think the resounding answer is yes.
Many of you reading this may have different points of view and personal experience to share as well, and we at Make Our Schools Safe would love to hear back from you. It’s through this kind of shared discussion that we make progress, and changes occur.
The truth is that Make Our Schools Safe wouldn’t be able to exist without you. We believe that we are all on this journey toward school safety together, together we are stronger, and one day all of our children and teachers will be back in the classroom.
Make Our Schools Safe will be there every step of the way. To find out how you can get involved, please reach out at anytime firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Kitaygorodsky is the Communications Director for Make Our Schools Safe. A native of Miami Beach, she attended the University of Florida and then Columbia University in NYC. After living 25 years in New York City and Westchester, Lori and her family moved to Parkland, FL. She lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.
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