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This morning there was another school shooting, at a high school not far from where I live. This one really hit close to home. My wife was scheduled to photograph the same district’s middle-school 8th grade promotion tonight–which has since been cancelled.

Seeing the Reynolds High School shooting in the news this morning was really a wake-up call for me. Over the last few years, I’d gotten desensitized to this sort of thing without even realizing it. It’s not just me. Someone I work with said the first thing she thought when she heard the news was “only two.” As in: There are “only two” dead.

That’s still too much. She knows it. I know it. You know it.

This has got to stop. What action will you take, today, to help end the violence?

This has got to stop. What action will you take, today, to help end the violence?

And this brought it right back front and center.

What are we doing about it?

This morning a school of 2800 students was brought to its knees. Kids who can’t even vote yet, and most of whom can’t drive, hid in terror as possibly multiple gunmen–their peers!–fired shots at their teachers and fellow students.

I can only imagine the emotion that those kids felt, hiding, hoping to come out alive, totally uncertain.

It’s a trauma that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, in some form or another.

And again, what are we doing about it?

Although there’s a place for legislation here, the main responsibility lies within each and every one of us who live in this country. I’m not writing about gun control, right now. That’s an important topic to consider, but not the most important. I’m talking about our everyday actions.

When we finally outgrow the “us vs them” mentality that pervades our culture, we’ll look back on the debate over guns laws and shake our heads at how badly we missed the real tragedy: Our lack of ability as individuals within this culture to connect with each other in a meaningful and positive way.

The tragedy of the Reynolds High School Shooting, along with the trauma experiences there, is that it is not unique.

These kinds of crimes aren’t going to stop until we create a culture that prevents them.

So please, as you go about your day today, keep in mind that your every action, your every word, has an impact on someone.

Make it a good one.

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