ViolenceHow heavy is a human heart, you ask?  The answer is that it is so heavy that it’s been weighing me down.  It’s so heavy that I haven’t been able to breathe deeply or move from one room to another.  It’s so heavy that my body trembles when I hear the evening news. 

Just last week, there was another school shooting, and this one hit a little too close to home.  It was just a few miles from where I live.  It happened at a school where my best friend and his family lost their beloved babysitter, as she was shot and killed by another crazed shooter brandishing an assault rifle. 

Wasn’t high school the place where life happened when we were kids?  Didn’t we get to rejoice being young?  We had proms, sporting events, we had crushes and young love, but we worried about nothing of real importance. The biggest disruption in our lives came when the school loudspeaker stopped functioning properly or when we had a fire drill once a month. 

Our days were pretty simple, weren’t they?  We had class, Phys. Ed., study halls, and lunch. We hung out with our friends, did our work, and then we went home. The days flew by. 

What happened? I ask that question all the time and find no answers. Why has violence become an integral part of the educational experience?  Did you know that our kids go through drill to practice what to do if there is an active shooter in the hallways? 

Is there anywhere that we can go to enjoy a safe experience anymore? Churches and synagogues, movie theaters, college campuses, public parks, and concerts have all been tainted by violent acts. How about going to work? Is that safe? Well, considering that the workplace is where the phrase “going postal” originated, maybe not. 

Those of us in the baby boomer generation group like to talk about the good old days.  As I think back, they were great. We got to experience being young and “footloose and fancy free,” but young people don’t get to experience that anymore. 

Sure, kids these days get to be young in terms of age, but they’ve had to grow up too quickly. They’ve been forced to be much older than their years. They’re growing up with so much violence and killing that it’s no longer shocking to them. It’s everyday news. 

So, how heavy is the human heart? Books say it’s about eight ounces, but my heart feels like it weighs 15 pounds. It breaks for those who’ve died in this latest shooting. I’m sad for the generation that will never experience what it is like to be “fancy free”.  

Eighty years ago, Al Capone’s mob cronies gunned down seven rival gang members in a cold Chicago warehouse. This was dubbed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Unfortunately, there’s been a new footnote in history to override the bad memories of that massacre. A day that is supposed to be about love, has now been tainted with a horrendous act of violence. 

Take my opinion for what it is… it’s just AS I SEE IT!