Shooting Spree in Hometown

A man went on a shooting spree in the town I live in last night.  Multiple locations, six dead, more wounded, shooter in custody.  Details here:

There are a lot of emotions flowing through me and my friends.  The shooting started very close to my parents’ home where I grew up and they still live.  It spread, and ended, in areas that I occasionally frequent. The internet is lighting up and I am sure the city is rattled. What do we do now?

Here is what I will not do.

I will not hide in my house.  I will not wrap my children in Kevlar  and bubble-wrap. I will not limit my children’s social activities and I will not eliminate mine. I will not change my daily routines.  I will not pull the shades tighter or drive with my head lower.  In short, I will not be held hostage by the evils of this world.  Evil will not intimidate me nor rob me of the beauty in this world.

I will not use this horror to further my agenda in regards to pr0 or anti-gun control.  It is not the time nor do I believe it is the central issue to our world’s sickness.  I respect people’s passions on both sides of the issue, but I will not discuss in person or cyber-space at this time. We can talk later.

I will not be afraid. Life is too short and there is too much to do for me to spend my time worrying about catching a bullet from a random killer.  Life is not meant to be spent in fear. I will not be a mouse.

Here is what I will do.

I will pray for the injured and dead. I will pray their families and the family of the shooter. In time, I may pray for the shooter, but I am not even going to pretend to be that spiritually mature this morning.

I will coach soccer. I will get out of my car, walk across the parking without crouching and enjoy the children and the game.

I will go out to lunch with my in-laws without a moment of hesitation or fear.

I will wear my Kalamazoo clothes today because this city is still really cool and I am proud of it.IMG_3822

I will continue to let people in my life know that I love them and care about them. I will probably throw out a few random texts to people to let them know how much I value our relationships.  Instead of fearing death and losing those I love, I will celebrate life and the love I have for people. I have written it before, but tell people you love them. Tell everyone.

I will try to make the world a better place. Just a little bit better. I am pretty insignificant. I will not stop the evils of the world.  What I can do is make my small little corner of the world a little better. I will try make small gestures and comments to improve the life of those around me.

I will not let this tragedy blacken my world. Evil, fear, and terror will not win.  I will continue to live and celebrate life.  I will love and I will live.