This morning a young man opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College.  This is 3 hours south of me in the town of Roseburg, Oregon.  If you haven’t seen news coverage of this yet you will.  13 students are dead, they still haven’t tallied up all the wounded although several were life flighted to Eugene, an hour north where there are critical emergency services this rural town can’t provide.

I’m heart broken that once again this kind of thing has happened, that people have died and many more are forever changed.

In equal measure I’m sick at knowing that the mantra has already started: he must have been mentally ill, how could we have prevented this, no one in their right mind would do such a thing, hug your loved ones, what can we do (because we need to medicate this feeling right away before we actually feel it), we should have a committee and study this, why didn’t his family know, his family must be bad people/aren’t responsible/couldn’t have known/leave them alone/why won’t they come clean, we need gun laws, we shouldn’t take about gun laws during a tragedy like this, how could this have happened/this was inevitable…

I don’t want to hear one more opinion. I don’t want to muse one more time on this “situation” we have in the states.  “Talking ain’t doing” and we’ve talked this to death.  Instead of sending “uncomfortable don’t know what else to do” prayers or money or gifts to those torn apart by this violence, let’s each do what we can.  Each of us in the United States has a vote.  Literally.  Each of us has the ability to write emails and call our city, county, and state representatives to let them know not just what we feel, but what we want.  In this information age it’s simple to find out where our representatives stand on issues concerning violence.  If they aren’t doing what we want, we need to tell them.  The squeaky wheel gets greased.  We need to show up at the town halls, sign the petitions, and if they won’t act in our best interest then we vote for someone who does.  It doesn’t take much more time than answering an email or getting a cup of coffee.

But today, I’m just going to get quiet.  For those who haven’t seen anything on this yet, here’s the skinny (It’s being updated as events continue to unfold):