I drove my daughter to daycare this morning, and passed the square — the heart of downtown — where three people were senselessly murdered last Thursday.
I wasn’t here that day, so in some ways I don’t feel entitled to the grief and outrage that I feel. To the tears and the trembling.
On the other hand, this is my home now, and I have stood in that square dozens of times. This place lives in my heart, and in my daughter’s bones. Is that not entitlement enough?
This was the “acceptable” kind of shooting. The gun was not an AR-15. The police responded quickly and effectively. (Thank goodness for them.) The number of dead can be counted on one hand.
I don’t know how to feel about that. As someone who advocates for “reasonable” gun regulations, I suppose this is the sort of scenario “I can live with.”
Except that I can’t.
I am. I have to.
But I can’t. I don’t want to.
The whole city is “living with it.” Surviving, moving on. Except for the ring of flowers around the fountain on the square, and the yellow caution tape around the front doors of the building where it happened, you would never even know about our little tragedy. I’m both proud of my city for this, and deeply sorry. We are #CincyStrong, but we deserve to be unmoored. We shouldn’t have to go on as normal, because this — people getting shot at work, or at an ice cream shop — shouldn’t be normal.
This should not be normal.
But it is.
This is our normal now. This is what we made.
Can we do better? I believe so. I have to.
Day by day, brick by brick, I will do my best to build something better.
I know I’m not alone, and that is how I “live with it.”