Three years ago I wrote this blog in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting. It is interesting to re-read and also think of how so many changes within me can be directly linked to this tragedy. It helped push me out the door into what I am doing now. It really caused me to re-think my career, happiness, and life.
The two things that still bother me personally is not only that 49 people from my community died, but I didn’t know a single one of them, not even within a degree of separation, and in such a very small community. The other thing that sticks out still is that when these people came from the Medical Examiner their tags had numbers instead of names on them. For whatever reason, it struck me as being so inhumane. Since most of the victims were Hispanic though and they had multiple similar last names they chose to refer to them as numbers.
Here is the post from June 14, 2016.
“Today I embalmed 5 human beings younger than myself that no longer exist because of a piece of paper written over 200 years ago was interpreted as meaning “any yahoo can legally purchase an assault rifle”. I know the responses to come, knives, bombs, wizard spells, etc….if someone wants to kill they will find a way but in this case, and in almost every case of mass murder, it is guns. There is no way these people, in this instance, end up on my table if assault rifles were not legal. Nobody in this club was dodgy enough on the heart to drop dead if he ran in and yelled bang.
I hated my job today and it wasn’t because of the obvious. I see a lot of death. Constantly. I am comfortable with it. I have plenty of empathy for these people, but this is my job and I am simply “used to it”. I don’t even particularly like my line of work. I do it because I am good at it, and I feel that if I wasn’t doing it the person that would do it in my stead would not serve the community as well as I can. I feel if you are an expert at something you have a duty to do it. Selfish, I know, but it is how I feel.
I hated my job today because I felt like it was useless. This event will not change the current paradigm and anything that I could possibly do in order to bring some comfort to a family is for naught. A very large segment of the population feels the need to be “protected”. From what I am not sure. Why would anyone be so scared of death that they feel they need to carry a weapon? I can go through the obvious…. Owning a gun increases your likelihood of dying in a violent crime, it increases your family’s chance, owning a gun is the opposite of protection by every statistic available but it doesn’t account for our biggest fault. Pride.
Every gun owner is prideful. They know the statistics and that they are lowering their mortality by owning a gun but they ignore the statistic because “they are responsible gun owners”. I have yet to meet a single human being that hasn’t made a mistake, lost their temper, or had a bout of depression. The ones that make the news though are not you. At least not this time.
This is the reason I hated my job today. Not the deaths, not the work, and not even the perpetrator. I hated the fact that this event strengthens the resolves of both sides of the argument and will only make the wedge deeper and feed the engine that is the main cause of these constant tragedies. It is true that guns don’t kill people, and that people kill people. The thing is that anyone reading this can be considered people. Until you end up on my table. By some disgusting twist of fate, it benefits me financially. This makes me feel like a bad person. I don’t want to feel like a bad person.”