This week there was a shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 dead and 500 injured. It’s being called the deadliest shooting in modern US history. One moment people were enjoying a country concert and the next being rapid fire shot at from a hotel window. A couple of coaches I know were there and are OK, but from reading social media our industry lost a couple members.
Following this deadly event the gun control conversation resumed. People on one side saying it’s evidence stricter gun laws are needed and people on the other side reminding everyone they won’t help because “guns don’t kill people, people do” and stuff like that. I completely agree with the guns don’t kill people statement, but they make it a whole lot easier. This probably wouldn’t have been the deadliest attack if the attacker didn’t have access to a gun and had to use rocks, knives, or a crossbow.
In theory I’m a fan of gun control because I believe the world would be a better place without them. On the other hand I’m also a gun owner because I don’t want to be the one with the knife at the gun fight. Unfortunately guns already exist and people, good and bad, have them. I don’t know how to get them out of the hands of the people that already have them and don’t think simply asking people to turn them in would work. Since I don’t see a scenario in which we’d get all of them back, or at least out of the hands of the bad people, I’m not sure we should try to take them out of the hands of the good people, even if that means they also get in the hands of more bad people. Basically, the genie is out of the bottle and it’s going to be really hard to get him back in.
A recent week reminded me of the full circle of my life. It included work and play, meals alone, meals with friends, drinks alone, and drinks with friends. It included a gay wedding and a straight wedding. It had travel, cheer stuff, and website stuff. It also involved a pregnant lady, a child’s death and an adult’s death. All these things, which are part of life in general or my life, happening in such a short period of time takes a toll on the mind:
- A friend was out of town attending the wedding of a former teammate when he found out another teammate’s dad passed.
- I visited a friend who will be having her first child in a couple months.
- I judged my first cheerleading competition of the 2016-17 season.
- A former athlete, and daughter of a good friend and colleague, got married.
- Several friends attended the wedding of a colleague and his long term boyfriend, something not possible in all parts of our country just a few years ago.
- A former athlete was shot and killed at the age of 15.
- I attended a cheerleading practice.
Of all these events the one I keep coming back to is the death of a 15 year old. Despite scanning through pictures of the new bride, husband, husband, and husband and wanting to appreciate their happiness, thinking about meals and drinks with friends and reminiscing about the friendships forged over years, or enjoying the sports and hobbies that I’ve turned into a career, I keep coming back a young lady no longer with us.
I know this is all part of life, the circle of life, and my life, but it doesn’t make it suck any less.
Pat Summitt died earlier this week. She was one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball, and maybe sports in general, but when you hear people talk about her they rarely bring up the coaching aspects. They tend to bring up the personal side, the barriers she broke through, and the doors she opened for others. One thing I didn’t know until the recent news coverage is that every player she coached at Tennessee that completed their eligibility graduated, which may be the most impressive stat of all.
“It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb, Continue to seek new goals.” – Pat Summitt
As with most new things, the potential for something to go terribly wrong exists. This time with Facebook’s live streaming. Earlier this month a man was shot and killed while streaming. It’s wasn’t the first time a death was broadcasted, with the Virginia newscasters being the first to come to mind, but it was the first I’m aware of being on a platform with as much reach as Facebook.
Engadget published Facebook Live Death Highlights the Risks of Livestreaming, with a quick perspective surrounding this.
This weekend I went to a funeral. It’s the first I’ve been to in a while and I hope the last for even longer. The guy that passed was under 50. I worked with his wife at the gym, which is how I met and got to know him. Their daughter cheered for us and their son cheered at another gym, but was often hanging around ours. They are a family of good people, really good people. They all seemed to be doing well, better than I imagine most are while going through something similar. I’m sure they’ve had and will have their moments, but they have each other and a good support system of family and friends to lean on.
The hardest part of it was watching his father. I’ve heard people say a parent should never have to bury a child, but this was the first time I’ve seen it happen. I hope I never have to see it again. As little as you can say to a wife that lost her husband or a child that lost their parent, there is absolutely nothing to say to a parent that lost a child.
I know this family is going to be okay. It will take a minute, but they are too strong not to be okay. Their friends and family will be there for them when they need a shoulder or a moment away. I’ll also be there with a Maker’s and Coke whenever one is needed.