In Humanity

Which one of these children was Beethoven? Einstein? Seneca? Obama? Which one did not yet know what a profound effect they would have on friends, family, the country? Civilization?

Those mad shooters of the children at the schools on the list below took more than lives; they took hope, they took possibility. If the world stopped today and straightened out this mess of ours of violence, of anger and greed, of waste, of war, of course things would start to improve. But what damage has been done that cannot be reversed? How many tipping points have we moved past on our way to another tragedy?

Which one of these young people would have, someday, soldiered up and saved your child’s life on the battlefield? Which one might have attended to your care as a hospice nurse someday? Which one would have read you last rites?

Which one of these now dead people wanted to be just like you?

Humanity has become a disturbingly inhumane race. The shootings, of course, the wars, the invasions, starvation, the rape of the land, the lack of response to massacres, the massacres themselves—machetes purchased for ten cents a piece to slaughter three quarters of a million people.

How is it possible that in spite of all our wisdom, we still can’t find a solution for homelessness, for hunger, for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety? Do you have any idea how hard it is for someone with depression to find even a sliver of hope to keep going these days? Is it really that easy to ignore them? Of course, it is what humanity does. We are an inhumane race that needs to stop referring to ourselves as one step below the angels. It is a bad reference, particularly when members of this race of ours is shooting all of the angels.

What a world. What a pathetic and misguided use of potential.

Parable time: There was a man before a judge. He built bridges and solved equations that resulted in the advancement of culture. But he killed someone. And he said to the judge, “Surely my achievements should make it easier for you to show me some leniency?” and the judge said, “You are only as good as your weakest actions. Potential is irrelevant. You should have known better.”

We should have known better. How could we not see this coming?

Humanity needs a do over. It needs to give back the apple and wipe out the sin. Humanity simply isn’t, and we’ve proven that over and over and over and over (multiply by the names of the dead from the schools listed below).

Let’s stop pretending we wouldn’t be better off if climate change won out. We’ve really not proven we’re worth saving, after all; not if the collective masses witness horrors, are horrified by them, but do nothing. Again and again and again (multiply by the parents of the children shot in the head in those schools listed below).

In the wars we’ve created, hundreds of millions have died. The collateral damage of those wars includes mass starvation, enslavement, disenfranchisement, rape, genocide after genocide after genocide.

Please. Stop pointing to all of our achievements and saying, “Yes, but look what we’ve done!” Let’s point to the horrors we’ve created and say, “now do something about this.”

But they won’t. Truly. This is not going to change. Humanity has been a flawed race from the very start, and it is getting worse. And there is absolutely only one solution. One. No kidding, just one way out of this.

But that’s for next time.

I’m going to go for a walk along the bay and wonder which one of these lost souls was the next Cousteau, the next DaVinci, the next Frederick Douglass. Which one was the next Sanger, the next Mother Teresa, the next next door neighbor playing by herself on the patio, her cat nearby, and she’s laughing every time the kitten reaches for a toy, and she is completely alive and in the moment, the sun on her face, her life in front of her?

Which one but for time and place could have been my son? Me? My father. My God.

***

School Shootings From 1998-2022

Thurston High School.

Columbine High School.

Heritage High School.

Deming Middle School.

Fort Gibson Middle School.

Buell Elementary School.

Lake Worth Middle School.

University of Arkansas.

Junipero Serra High School.

Santana High School.

Bishop Neumann High School.

Pacific Lutheran University.

Granite Hills High School.

Lew Wallace High School.

Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.

Appalachian School of Law.

Washington High School.

Conception Abbey.

Benjamin Tasker Middle School.

University of Arizona.

Lincoln High School.

John McDonogh High School.

Red Lion Area Junior High School.

Case Western Reserve University.

Rocori High School.

Ballou High School.

Randallstown High School.

Bowen High School.

Red Lake Senior High School.

Harlan Community Academy High School.

Campbell County High School.

Milwee Middle School.

Roseburg High School.

Pine Middle School.

Essex Elementary School.

Duquesne University.

Platte Canyon High School.

Weston High School.

West Nickel Mines School.

Joplin Memorial Middle School.

Henry Foss High School.

Compton Centennial High School.

Virginia Tech.

Success Tech Academy.

Miami Carol City Senior High School.

Hamilton High School.

Louisiana Technical College.

Mitchell High School.

E.O. Green Junior High School.

Northern Illinois University.

Lakota Middle School.

Knoxville Central High School.

Willoughby South High School.

Henry Ford High School.

University of Central Arkansas.

Dillard High School.

Dunbar High School.

Hampton University.

Harvard College.

Larose-Cut Off Middle School.

International Studies Academy.

Skyline College.

Discovery Middle School.

University of Alabama.

DeKalb School.

Deer Creek Middle School.

Ohio State University.

Mumford High School.

University of Texas.

Kelly Elementary School.

Marinette High School.

Aurora Central High School.

Millard South High School.

Martinsville West Middle School.

Worthing High School.

Millard South High School.

Highlands Intermediate School.

Cape Fear High School.

Chardon High School.

Episcopal School of Jacksonville.

Oikos University.

Hamilton High School.

Perry Hall School.

Normal Community High School.

University of South Alabama.

Banner Academy South.

University of Southern California.

Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Apostolic Revival Center Christian School.

Taft Union High School.

Osborn High School.

Stevens Institute of Business and Arts.

Hazard Community and Technical College.

Chicago State University.

Lone Star College-North.

Cesar Chavez High School.

Price Middle School.

University of Central Florida.

New River Community College.

Grambling State University.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School.

Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy.

North Panola High School.

Carver High School.

Agape Christian Academy.

Sparks Middle School.

North Carolina A&T State University.

Stephenson High School.

Brashear High School.

West Orange High School.

Arapahoe High School.

Edison High School.

Liberty Technology Magnet High School.

Hillhouse High School.

Berrendo Middle School.

Purdue University.

South Carolina State University.

Los Angeles Valley College.

Charles F. Brush High School.

University of Southern California.

Georgia Regents University.

Academy of Knowledge Preschool.

Benjamin Banneker High School.

D. H. Conley High School.

East English Village Preparatory Academy.

Paine College.

Georgia Gwinnett College.

John F. Kennedy High School.

Seattle Pacific University.

Reynolds High School.

Indiana State University.

Albemarle High School.

Fern Creek Traditional High School.

Langston Hughes High School.

Marysville Pilchuck High School.

Florida State University.

Miami Carol City High School.

Rogers State University.

Rosemary Anderson High School.

Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Frederick High School.

Tenaya Middle School.

Bethune-Cookman University.

Pershing Elementary School.

Wayne Community College.

J.B. Martin Middle School.

Southwestern Classical Academy.

Savannah State University.

Harrisburg High School.

Umpqua Community College.

Northern Arizona University.

Texas Southern University.

Tennessee State University.

Winston-Salem State University.

Mojave High School.

Lawrence Central High School.

Franklin High School.

Muskegon Heights High School.

Independence High School.

Madison High School.

Antigo High School.

University of California-Los Angeles.

Jeremiah Burke High School.

Alpine High School.

Townville Elementary School.

Vigor High School.

Linden McKinley STEM Academy.

June Jordan High School for Equity.

Union Middle School.

Mueller Park Junior High School.

West Liberty-Salem High School.

University of Washington.

King City High School.

North Park Elementary School.

North Lake College.

Freeman High School.

Mattoon High School.

Rancho Tehama Elementary School.

Aztec High School.

Wake Forest University.

Italy High School.

NET Charter High School.

Marshall County High School.

Sal Castro Middle School.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Great Mills High School

Central Michigan University

Huffman High School

Frederick Douglass High School

Forest High School

Highland High School

Dixon High School

Santa Fe High School

Noblesville West Middle School

University of North Carolina Charlotte

STEM School Highlands Ranch

Edgewood High School

Palm Beach Central High School

Providence Career & Technical Academy

Fairley High School (school bus)

Canyon Springs High School

Dennis Intermediate School

Florida International University

Central Elementary School

Cascade Middle School

Davidson High School

Prairie View A & M University

Altascocita High School

Central Academy of Excellence

Cleveland High School

Robert E. Lee High School

Cheyenne South High School

Grambling State University

Blountsville Elementary School

Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)

Prescott High School

College of the Mainland

Wynbrooke Elementary School

UNC Charlotte

Riverview Florida (school bus)

Second Chance High School

Carman-Ainsworth High School

Williwaw Elementary School

Monroe Clark Middle School

Central Catholic High School

Jeanette High School

Eastern Hills High School

DeAnza High School

Ridgway High School

Reginald F. Lewis High School

Saugus High School

Pleasantville High School

Waukesha South High School

Oshkosh High School

Catholic Academy of New Haven

Bellaire High School

North Crowley High School

McAuliffe Elementary School

South Oak Cliff High School

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Sonora High School

Western Illinois University

Oxford High School

Robb Elementary School

(This is an incomplete list of photos from
Robb Elementary School)

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