What have we become?

I’m grateful for many things that we take for granted on the Gold Coast: fresh running water piped directly into our homes, an abundance of food, a solid community with plenty of safety nets for people who get left behind.

What I’m most eternally grateful for, however, is the fact that my children will never know what an active shooter drill is.

We don’t have the gun culture or the access to deathly weapons here that they have in the United States, and for that, I am beyond thankful.


News out of the US this morning has confirmed another mass shooting. As of now, 12 innocent people have been reported killed after a former marine opened fire in a bar in California.

A broken man who fought in a broken war, returned to his home in the United States unable to cope with civilian life. He manifested his pain into rage and channelled it into this act of cowardice – a tragic decision that will go on to destroy countless families.

Watching this footage of a dad who just moments earlier confirmed his eldest son, a 22-year-old, was one of the victims, is beyond heartbreaking. No parent should endure losing a child this way… It’s difficult to watch. His pain is palpable; it took my breath away.

It’s even more difficult to comprehend the fact that this is the first mass shooting of innocent people in America in… 12 days.

Not a typo. It’s been just 12 days since a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

No one is safe from gun violence in the US. Going to church, having a drink in a bar, even sending your children to school is something residents there have to do without having full confidence in their own personal safety. It’s unimaginable to fathom living this way.

Technology is catching up with these horrific acts – when I googled for more information, this SOS alert popped up.

As the news trends on Twitter, I’ve been following the reaction, and actor Leah Remini’s comment sums it up best: “This kind of pain… heart wrenching. What have we become?”