By Vincent Lyn

I want to speak about the horrors once again visited upon innocent Americans. I could be talking about the 17 people being shot after the NBA playoffs in Milwaukee or the shooting in a church in Laguna Woods, California that left 1 dead and 4 injured or the shooting at a Houston flea market or the Supermarket mass shooting in Buffalo, NY that left 10 dead and 3 injured or many other shootings this past Memorial Day weekend. But sadly, one mass shooting trumped them all. Only in America where shootings can actually trump other shootings. The massacre of 19 elementary children and 2 teachers by a lone teenager with two AR15 platform rifles and 375 rounds of 5.56MM ammunition.

America has lost touch with its own humanity. What’s happening here is not okay, it’s not normal. I reject the idea that this level of violence is a necessary evil of living in a free nation and the fact that we accept it as such is the most terrifying and saddest aspect.

How are we able to explain to our children the massacre of innocent children? To be able to tell them that America will learn and change its ways. We wouldn’t be able to tell them that there will be rallies, filled with people of all colors, speaking out loudly that this is going to stop. We won’t be able to tell them that America will take these guns and the body armor off the streets, almost all of it legally purchased. We won’t be able to tell them that this is the last massacre because they keep getting worse and more frequent…and we’ve done absolutely zero about it. We won’t be able to tell them that there’s a brighter day coming because we’d be lying.

I’ve lived all over the world from London to Hong Kong, from New York City to Los Angeles and this sort of psychotic insanity doesn’t happen anywhere except America. Having lived in New York City for many years you literally have to plan ahead the route you decide to take always constantly being mindful of your surroundings. “Always Be A Hard Target”. This is no way to live not in a supposedly free society. Free society my ass. Though, it is possible in this world. You can have legal guns, a safe society, strict gun laws, and democracy. It’s a proven, indisputable fact. It happens every day across this planet, just not here. And the saddest fact of all is that there’s no actual real reason why. Whether it’s stupidity, arrogance, stubbornness, or a combination of all of them, I don’t know and I don’t really care. There’s stubbornness to be sure. No amount of evidence or data or facts can sway any American these days it seems. We don’t learn from new evidence, we aren’t open minded to new ideas and new ways of doing things unless it’s shopping. We won’t change. We won’t consider change. We won’t study ways to change because that would mean that we reject the current level of violence as unacceptable.

We don’t look at free democratic nations like Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, Portugal, and Italy and say, “hey, if they can do it, why can’t we? We shouldn’t be on the violence level of Somalia and Venezuela. We should lead the world in safety. We should be the best at keeping our children secure.” I speak to my friends with children overseas and none, absolutely none, have the fears and worries that American parents have. And somehow, Americans, and not just strangers but actual friends and family that claim to love me want to tell me this is okay. This is normal. It’s acceptable to worry about murder, mass shootings, police brutality because we get to live in in the greatest country in the world.

And so, I have no faith that we will learn from this latest horrific shooting. I have no faith that this will be the straw that breaks the camels back. I’m already seeing the same excuses. “Right to bear arms.” “False flag.” “Fake news.” “They want to take all our guns and leave us defenseless.” “Thoughts and prayers.” “The murder rate used to be much worse.” To which I laugh. “Great we went from horrific to extremely terrible and we pat ourselves on the back for it.” It’s like a Ferris wheel. You start and end in the exact same spot. As parents, our number one job is to provide safety and opportunity for our children. In a country that tolerates war zone levels of gun violence and the empowerment of white supremacy, we’d be lying to ourselves if this was the place that provided the most safety and opportunities for our children. If you try to argue otherwise, you’d be lying too.

Perhaps the most famous thing Thomas Jefferson ever wrote was that all humans were born with the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Life is first and the most important because without it, you can’t get to the rest. 40,000+ Americans are denied that very first one every single year. Guns have now become the leading cause of death for American kids. To give you some perspective, more Americans will be murdered this year than have been killed so far in the Ukraine war. A literal war where the goal is explicitly to kill the enemy. And we’re supposedly, “at peace.” Living in America every day is a crap shoot. You can do everything right to avoid dangers, dangerous areas, or surrounding yourself with dangerous people. And yet it still may not matter because one day you decide to go to a movie or a festival, or get groceries in the middle of the day, or send your children to elementary school. Maybe you want to go dancing or work or to pray. Hell, you might just be riding the subway or driving on the freeway at the wrong time the same way a family was in the San Francisco area when their car was hit by random gunfire and killed their baby. If you step out of your house in the morning, living in America is a daily gamble with your life and those of your loved ones. Period.

I can argue about the virtues of gun control, better healthcare, and education. I can supply data and facts that make its feasibility and success completely indisputable. But here in America, none of this matters. It will make no difference. For most Americans, opinions, on a multitude of subjects, are set in stone. Often, they aren’t even really their opinions. They’re simply parroting the stances of others, manipulated by lobbies, politicians seeking power and money, and TV stations playing puppet master. Trapped between the narratives of two extremes, the actual facts of violence, gun control, and democracy are completely lost. It’s the real world version of talking to a wall.

And so, the moment my fiance feasibly can, we will leave this country. America is a country my father doesn’t even recognize anymore compared to when we left England in the mid 1970’s to emigrate to. A country that now is so self assured, so lost on its high horse, that it can’t even figure out it’s lost its way when dead bodies pile up and the blood of our children streams out of movie theaters, schools, and grocery stores.

I still hold out hope for America that someday, enough will be enough. That someday, we will pull back from the abyss and start to realize that we can change. But I will be holding out this hope from someplace very far away. Someplace where children can go to a park and won’t worry about a sicko kidnapping, molesting, and murdering them if we let them out of our sight for just a few seconds. Someplace where the police exercise restraint for all that they lock up, regardless of skin color. Someplace where their health and education decisions will be about what’s in their best interest and not what’s in the bank account. Sure, there’s racism and ignorance in every nation. But the reality is, it won’t kill you, and that’s really all that matters. I can’t wait to get to that someplace and I promise you, the first thing I will do is let out a huge sigh of relief and put down a huge weight from my shoulders. I love this country but it’s obvious that it doesn’t love us and our children and families. So now I continue on in work and play till we leave this country permanently because as much as I love it, I love my family far, far, far more.

Vincent Lyn

CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization

Economic & Social Council at United Nations

Editor in Chief at Wall Street News Agency

Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts



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