When Reality and Fiction Collide
As I write this, I have a heavy heart. The shooting in Oregon yesterday was, once again, so senseless, tragic and horrifying. One article I read mentioned how that reporter "routinely covers" school/business shootings. Routinely. Chills ran through me. When I was researching Nation of Enemies, I found statistics of homegrown terrorists in the U.S., on our soil, born here and aiming here. Not jihadists. Nothing to do with other cultures or communities that are often called out when the word "terrorism" is brought into conversation. There is hatred within our borders. The number of hate groups rises every year. And then there is the deeply sad state of mentally ill individuals with access to guns. There's nothing I can write here that hasn't already been said.
Where I live I don't see the hate, haven't been a victim of a mentally unstable person with a gun. Not yet anyway. In Nation of Enemies, however, I lived in that world. When I let my imagination run with the realities of today, school shootings became the norm. It became too dangerous to continue schooling in public buildings. And so in the not too distant future of 2032, I imagined all schools being online so that we could keep our kids safely tucked away. Behind walls. Behind gates and guards. A solitary place lacking in community and support, freedom and laughter. I can tell you right now, it's not a place any of us wants to live.
Today I appreciate my life and my loved ones. I will hug them tighter and savor the moments. I have a feeling you will, too.