It’s been days since our nation was once again devastated by the news of yet another senseless tragic school shooting on the campus of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. 17 innocent people who had promising futures now forever lost. I’m still heartbroken. I’m still in shock. But most of all I am angry. Angry, just like many other Americans across our country.

I’m angry …..

that another senseless mass shooting has taken place on yet another U.S. school campus

that 17 innocent victims have lost their lives

because it shouldn’t have happened

I’m angry …..

that my neighboring community of Parkland has had to endure the pain and heartache of losing friends and loved ones

that the world will now remember Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS as being home to one of America’s most deadly school shootings

that my dearest friends’ children were witness to this horrific act

that their lives have been forever scarred

I’m angry …..

that Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and other school shootings didn’t create change that could have prevented this senseless tragedy from happening

that Orlando, San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Charleston, Aurora, and Sutherland Springs are cities that have been added to the ever-growing list of mass shooting locations

that the massacre in Las Vegas did not lead lawmakers into action to ban bump stocks or other military-style weapons

that I can no longer feel safe in a restaurant, at the movies, at a concert, at a club, at my church, at my place of work, or any other public venue

that I must constantly look for the nearest exit and avoid being in the middle of a large crowd of people

that my children have to worry about being safe on their school campuses

that my son is not safe in his own college dorm and that he has to live with the nightmare of one roommate pulling a gun on the other

I’m angry …..

that an 18-year-old could purchase a gun so easily

that many red flags were missed that could have prevented the loss of life

that there is a lack of mental services, facilities, and funds to help those with mental illness

that all our schools can do is expel a troubled student, instead of being able to move them to alternative school equipped to handle the emotional counseling they need

that our world has become so desensitized to violence from video games, movies, music, television, and social media; where young minds soak this up and violence becomes “normal” and acceptable to them

I’m angry …..

that our lawmakers only talk and debate gun reform without taking action

that unless we as a nation wake up and start a real national movement, Parkland will fade into history just like Columbine or Sandy Hook

with the internet trolls and with the posting of misinformation that creates division instead of unity

that this tragedy will further divide this country — it is no longer a political issue, this has become a life and death issue that affects all Americans

I’m angry …..

because Marjorie Stoneman Douglas will not be the last school that the nation mourns

because there will be more candlelight vigils somewhere else

that we have allowed our country to become a place where things like the mass killing of 17 beautiful people can happen on any day, in any American town, and at any time

But, I am hopeful …..

that this tragedy will finally be the wakeup call our country needs

that the anger we feel will turn into action that will be the catalyst for change

that the lives lost will not be lost in vain

that our lawmakers will finally pass laws to protect the people they represent

that Parkland will become known not for its loss, but for becoming “ground zero” for a movement that will change the world

Yes, it’s OK to be angry, but we must also be hopeful and work toward a change.

In memory of the 17 victims of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy
#MSDstrong #ParklandStrong #NeverAgain

This article originally appeared in LifeTraveledInStillettos.