In the last few weeks, Buffalo's East Side, Laguna Woods California, and now Uvalde Texas are in the spotlight. Uvalde is a town of 16,000 people, it should be known for Hanger 6 Aircafe, the local diner that serves hamburgers while you watch small planes take off and land: instead we know Uvalde because of tragedy. Small towns and neighborhoods shouldn't have to go through this. We should be hearing about them because of amazing stories not heart wrenching loss. The names of victims should be on the news because of their 100th birthday, instead they were taken too soon. We shouldn't be hearing about the great acts of service because we're remembering victims of tragedy, but because these are amazing, beautiful people.
That has me thinking, what will my neighborhoods be known for? Will people get to know the local taco truck by me that serves amazing Oaxacan cuisine and burritos al pastor? Will you know about the park in my old home town where the train goes by and people at the park next door like to count the cars? Or will Charlotte Park and Norcross be next on the news because of some preventable tragedy? Will we do nothing? When will it be the last "the last time"?
We know things we can do! We can have red flag laws, we can have gun buy back programs, we can have waiting periods and background checks, we can have ammo purchase limits and magazine size restrictions. We can fund mental health and education, we can fund housing and transport to give people a better life. We have to do something! Will these actions stop everything: no. Will we need to change things as we go: yes. But, we know there's actions we can take that will save lives!
Without any action the question I keep asking is: "will my town be next, what will we be known for"?