To the Next Mass Shooter,
I don’t know who you are, or maybe I do – but I know that you terrify me. I have been terrified of you since I was a senior in high school and first heard of the Columbine High School shooting. I live in fear of your next move, and the fact that the most recent school shooting incident happened in my very own county does not sit well with me. I don’t want to be afraid of you anymore. I want to love you, and I want you to feel that love you before you snap, and decide to take out another classroom or movie theater.
I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that is festering inside of you right now. I don’t know what it feels like to want to hurt so many innocent people, but I do know what it feels like to not care anymore. I know what it feels like to want to hide from the world and shut everyone out. Our feelings are not the same, I know that. But, I know that we are all broken.
I am dying to understand you, so I have read a great deal about you, and I am beginning to understand your thought process. You want revenge. You want others to feel pain. You rarely feel remorse. You want to be famous. You are usually highly intelligent. You want people to think of you as a monster or a God-like figure with the power to take people out. I wish I had the answers for you, and I wish I could help you find another way to channel those thoughts, but the only thing that I know to do is love you.
I love you. When you feel like you are about to snap, and that there is nothing to live for, please remember that I love you and I want to listen to you. There are other people who love you too. You have to look for those people. You can find them in faith communities and support groups all over the world, just waiting to love you.
I’m not naive enough to believe that this open letter will stop mass shootings from happening, but I am hopeful enough to believe that it will change my heart. I am ready to change. I don’t want to hate you, and I’m tired of being afraid of you. I am ready to love you.
You don’t have to do it. You are loved. You’ve got me. I promise.