I hope you’re all well, safe, happy, and that things are going well.
I had only just written and posted my blog to you last week about Bouncing Back, when during a very late night business call with France, I learned about the horror that happened in Las Vegas. It had just happened during the middle of the night in California, and within minutes I had calls and texts from many friends in France, with sympathy and compassion. The French know the tragedy of these mass public massacres. It has happened too often in the last few years, in France, and so many other countries around the world. And we haven’t become inured to them, but tragically, we are no longer surprised either. We are heartbroken, and deeply pained for the loss of life, the broken families, the lost loved ones, the injured, but it happens so much too often. In Marseille last week as well where two young women were stabbed by a madman, in Canada where a car barreled into a crowd….the Bataclan in Paris….Spain. The hideous attack in Norway on a group of children, Sandy Hook where children and teachers were gunned down, and the Orlando nightclub shooting, the attack in Manchester, England. We can reel them off now, in different cities and countries, most often a crime committed by a lone gunman, killing and injuring a staggering number of people. The perpetrator usually kills themselves, and then afterwards people who barely knew them, as neighbors or schoolmates, either say how odd they were, or that they seemed totally normal, and the attack comes as a surprise to all. NO!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR WORLD??? What is wrong? What terrible pervasive illness has poisoned and infected our society so that these attacks keep happening again and again? Most of the time there is no reason for it, not even political.
When I was very, very young, a child or in my teens, it was the ‘fashion’ for criminals to hijack airplanes, and no one got on a plane without wondering if the plane would be kidnapped and landed in some distant place. And now it is these appalling mass murders, where hand held videos are shown afterwards, with all the images jumbled, and hordes of people fleeing in panic, screaming in terror, and hundreds lie dead afterwards, as the lives of all those who loved them are changed forever. We are ALL changed forever by these events. We are diminished, we are broken, we are tarnished that these things continue to happen and we haven’t found a way to stop them, or to see these events coming, committed by marginal people who often have been suspiciously anti-social and disturbed for years, and then it erupts like a volcano, and hundreds lie dead. How did the plane hijackings stop? Did people just get tired of them? Did they go out of style? I suppose security measures got tighter even before 9/11, and it became too difficult to hijack a plane. Why can’t we get better at stopping these horrendous attacks, instead of describing them so vividly afterwards?? In most fancy stores now (even at the Disney store in Paris, when I shop for my Godchildren), a guard stares into the mess in my purse, and I know he can’t find anything relevant in it, because I can never find anything in my purse, and least of all my keys. And if someone were carrying a bomb or a weapon, would they really have it sitting in their purse? We are losing precious lives here, we are losing people we love. There are no strangers among these victims, we are all brothers and sisters faced with these heartbreaking attacks. I’ve mentioned to you, and again in the last blog, that my 17 year old great niece lost her legs in the attack on the Brussels airport. She is an extraordinary young woman, and has survived it remarkably with spirit and courage, but most people don’t realize that with the kind of bombs and weapons used now, ‘injured’ does not mean a sprained wrist, a minor burn, or a broken leg, it means loss of limbs, sometimes several limbs, and bodies blown apart in a way that until now only happened in wars. My great niece was in a military hospital afterwards because of the nature of her injuries. But injured after these attacks now is life altering, and so is the trauma.
When do we stop this? How do we stop it? Where do we stop it? Not just to shake our heads and cry when we hear the news, and watch yet another video of a screaming crowd running in fear of their lives. I don’t want to see that video again. Committing these crimes is too easy, the perpetrators slip right through all the nets and filters, they slip quietly under the radar, sometimes for years, and then attack. The shooter in Las Vegas killed (as of this writing) 58 people, and injured OVER FIVE HUNDRED. It was the worst massacre of its kind in US History. And so was the attack in Nice, France a year ago, the attack in Brussels, and the Bataclan nightclub attack in Paris before that. STOP!!! No More!! The Las Vegas shooter injured and killed all of those people in 4 and a half minutes, with 10 assault weapons he brought into the hotel in a golf bag, got a room, broke a window, and started shooting, as people started running, screaming, and falling dead. Others simply get into their car now, or rent a truck and plow into a crowd, or run their car up on the sidewalk and kill a mob of people. How easy is that? You don’t have to know how to build a bomb, you don’t need military training, you just drive into live humans, even children, and end their lives.
No!!! NO! Stop!!! It really has to stop. We come from civilized nations, we are educated to whatever degree, and even if not, we are humans, why are we not dealing better with our mentally ill? And if people have political beefs against other nations, they need to find another way to express it. I haven’t been to a movie theater in 2 years in Paris, because there is a good chance that the Bataclan could and will happen again. The same with sporting events in stadiums there, or night clubs. We can’t give up all the joy and freedom in our lives to fear, but we can’t be foolish either. These massacres are a plague which so far we have no cure for, no vaccine, no protocol, no means of predicting it. And again and again, people are dying in large numbers around the world. Innocent people, children, people with dreams and families and men and women who love each other, good people who were kind to others, and contributed to the world…..please, let us join hands and hearts and find a way to stop the senseless killing and to find an early detection system of some kind so we can identify the perpetrators before they do it, not after. Please…….it has to stop. And my heartfelt sympathy and profound compassion to everyone affected in Las Vegas. For now, we are all losers in this terrible war. May we find a way to bring peace to our world, to express our differences in a non-violent way, to put down our arms, to embrace our brothers and sisters, before we become a nation of widows and orphans, drowning in a sea of broken hearts.
May those who died rest in peace, and may the rest of us learn to live in peace.
much love, Danielle