My daughter Celine is finishing up a summer job with Facebook in Austin, Texas.
She works hard and often takes work home with her. I called her last week and suggested she take a break. The weekend was coming. The grind of her junior year in college is not far behind.
“Take a break,” I told her. “Why don’t you go to your favorite spot in town and have a good time.”
She explained that she had too much work on her plate. She was preparing for a presentation and an interview.
She stayed in.
Thankfully she did not listen to dad.
There was a shooting near Celine’s hot spot in Austin. A 20 year old woman was shot and killed. Four others were injured. A few people got into an argument. A man became enraged and began shooting at random. People were hit who had no idea what the fuss was all about.
I don’t know if Celine would have been in harms way if she’d gone out that night. But the incident is a reminder that we live in a scary world. Or scary country.
The Austin shooting did not make the national news. We were focused on the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton when 32 people were killed in two incidents that came within 13 hours of one another.
We live in a lawless society. Recently, Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago stopped accepting new patients and ambulances because there were too many gun shot victims in the emergency room to accept new victims.
Several countries have issued a tourism advisory for the United States because of the recent mass shootings. We’ve had nearly 300 mass shootings this year already and more are to come.
Three years ago I began fighting for a longer life after suffering two strokes in part because I want to be there for my daughter. I want to support her when she graduates from college, gets married and has her first child.
If Celine was killed that night by a stray bullet I’d be done. Part of the reason I want to remain on Earth would disappear.
One family in Austin is grieving. That does not match the hurt people are feeling in Dayton and El Paso. But that is still one life too many and that is not acceptable.
We should be better than this.
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