Last night, I was half watching the Republican Party's Presidental candidates debate on CNN. I opened my laptop and clicked on Facebook.
I saw the news "active workplace shooter situation in Hesston, Kansas....at least 14 wounded...reports of three dead." (This is now updated to 4 dead).
For my dear readers outside the United States, "active shooter" means exactly what you think it means - a shooter is on the loose somewhere, shooting at people with the intent of killing.
This time, the gunman was a 38 year old man, an employee of Excel Industries, a lawn mower manufacturer, who came through their production area with an assault weapon. Prior to that, on his way there, he shot at people from his car, according to news reports.
Many years ago, due to my spouse's job, we lived and worked in Wichita,
Kansas. My husband had to make occasional trips to the Hesston area,
which is about 30 miles from Wichita. I've also had ties of sorts with a couple of other shooting locations, including Charleston, South Carolina.
My memory, whenever I hear this type of headline, heads to April 3, 2009, when 14 people (including the gunman) were shot dead at the American Civic Association, a few blocks from where I work in downtown Binghamton, New York.
These shootings are a routine in my country now. The shooting. The news coverage. The people stunned: "it can't happen here". The realization that it did happen there. The funerals. The finger pointing. The political speeches. The uptick in gun sales.
And then nothing changes.
The shooting happened before the Republican debate ended, but not once was it mentioned. No surprise there, because we all know how the candidates would have reacted.
So today, I will tie on my snow sneakers, go to work, and wonder, while at my workplace, where it Will Never Happen Here next.