Paused Between California and Belgium
I woke up to the news of the California shooting. I had hit snooze six times, taking me up to almost an hour past when I wanted to get up and start baking, so I rolled over and looked at my phone to force myself to wake up. CNN News Report:
Drive-by shootings in Southern California on Friday night left seven people dead, CNN affiliate KEYT reported today, citing Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
Brown said the suspected gunman was among the seven people killed in the incident, which occurred in Isla Vista. He said seven others suffered “gunshot wounds or traumatic injuries.” One of those victims is said to have “life-threatening injuries. The sheriff reported nine different crime scenes.
The KEYT report said “witnesses described seeing a black BMW speeding through the streets, spraying bullets at people and various targets.”
The news made me feel physically ill. Unsafe. Even though we live far away from California. When something like this happens, no distance feels far enough away to be able to say that it could never happen here. It has happened here.
I spent the morning bleaching the house, trying to restore order to my space if I couldn’t restore order to the rest of the world. A person should be able to make it from point A to point B safely. A person should be able to go to work or school or a movie theater or a political rally and walk out of said workplace, school, movie theater, or political rally and back into their boring, everyday lives.
Later in the day, I looked at my phone again. Another CNN alert. I could see the first few words, and I thought that it was a new alert about the California shooting, lowering the body count. Maybe they had gotten it wrong. CNN News Report:
Three people were killed and another was seriously injured in a shooting today at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, Interior Minister Joelle Milquet told CNN affiliate Bel RTL.
Milquet said a person arrived by car, entered the museum and quickly opened fire before leaving.
Two separate incidents, over five thousand miles apart. Three thousand miles in one direction, another three thousand miles in the other direction, standing in the middle and feeling as if the world is tottering like a spun top, about to fall on its side.
It pauses you. It pauses your body and your brain in the face of such unfathomable loss. There are all the things we can’t control for: cancer, heart attacks, accidents. When you see so many people lose their lives to another person’s violence, it pauses you.
My heart is with the families of those now gone.