Thankful for what we have

Seeing the news out of Colorado Springs this past weekend of yet another mass shooting, this one right before the Thanksgiving holiday, was gut-wrenching.

The grief and heartache — and stolen time — that comes with a loss like this is something no family and no community should experience. As if we needed another reminder, we’re reminded again that you really do never know what day could be your last. You never know when a friend, or a member of your family, could be lost — especially in a world with so much violence, vitriol and hateful rhetoric abound. The shooting this past weekend was the 604th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The five victims of this latest mass shooting join nearly 40,000 others who’ve lost their lives to gun violence this year.

We’re blessed to live in a region where many people feel safe to live. But this most recent tragedy is all the more reason to hold your friends and family a little tighter, share with others how you really feel about them while you still have the chance, and to stand up against the sort of deep-rooted hatred that festers into acts of violence like what we saw at Club Q, a club that serves the LGBTQIA-plus community, this past Saturday. (The police haven’t released a motive for the shooting, but the mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, said it “has all the appearances of being a hate crime,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.)

Five people are dead, 18 more injured, and countless family members and friends are now grieving. The only reason the toll wasn’t larger was because of a group of people inside the club that stopped the gunman, including Army veteran Richard M. Fierro, who tackled the gunman and beat him with his own gun.

“I feel no joy. I’m not happy, I’m not excited. That guy is still alive and my family is not,” Fierro told reporters. The boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter was among those killed.

Fierro and the other club patrons who subdued the gunman are heroes. They shouldn’t have needed to be.

As we gather with friends and family this Thanksgiving, we will think of the families who can’t do the same. We hope both justice, and healing, is swift. We hope that real change comes before more lives are lost and more families are left to grieve.


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