This weekend the family and I went to our local mall, the Clackamas Town Center. Initially I had planned to go because I needed foundation for my oh so white winter skin. But I came here today for a few other reasons too.
I shopped at this mall to show support for the store employees who lost three day’s pay while the mall was closed. I bent my “shop local” Christmas rule to support the local store franchise owners who lost three days revenue in the last couple weeks of the shopping season.
I went to this mall because I will not allow crazy people with guns to dictate my actions. I will not let them make me afraid to live my life, to buy my foundation, or to send my son to school.
Of course I would never put my family in harms way and I will certainly become more aware of my surroundings so I can attempt to spot troubles before they erupt. But these places – the Clackamas mall, the Connecticut school, the Colorado movie theatre – these are not “rough” places that should have been avoided to begin with. These are our communities. My son’s last birthday was celebrated with friends just yards from where the shooting went down. We walked right through the spot this weekend, not even realizing it until we were there. I don’t go to the mall often, but when I do I go to this one. It is clean, the neighborhood is decent, the people are friendly. Shootings aren’t supposed to happen in places like this.
I don’t know how the events of this week – this year, longer than that – will shape our laws. And I could go on and on about my own feelings, but there are enough people voicing their opinion on that right now.
What I do know and what I will say is that allowing these crazy people to influence my decisions about where to go or what to do will not happen. Yes I did go back to my mall as soon as I could. Yes I will go to a crowded theater. Yes I will send my son to school. I will do these things cautiously, I will do them sensibly. I will do these things because they are my daily life, they are part of living in a community.