Saugus High - After The Shooting

Saugus High - After The Shooting

As Don Henley put it in the 1982 song, 'Dirty Laundry,' "We got the bubble headed Bleached blonde; Comes on at five; She can tell you 'bout the plane crash; With a gleam in her eye; It's interesting when people die; Give us dirty laundry" And that defines the ratings-driven news media to a tee.


El Paso, Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Santa Fe, Dayton, Parkland, Las Vegas, Springfield Mall, and now, Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA. All names of towns that no one outside the surrounding neighborhoods, would ever think of, are now media markers for terrible shooting tragedies.

Now that the media has left the scene, the community around Saugus High is left reeling, trying to deal with the aftermath of the shooting. It's not just the victims, the families, friends or peers of, but an entire community that has to wonder 'why them,' 'why here' or even worse, 'could it happen again?'

And there is no one good answer, since the ideas that could help prevent or minimize events like this, are many and varied.

Saugus High shooting victims 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and  14-year-old Dominic Blackwell,

First, while the rest of the world has moved on from this grievous act of violence, let's remember the victims of the Saugus tragedy:

15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and
14-year-old Dominic Blackwell,

Both young adults who had bright futures ahead of them, whose normal morning routines with their families were their last. They are now the latest of the 100's of shooting victims this year (2019) alone.

But once the headlines fade, the national attention drifts away, and news cameras run away to chase the next tragedy, a community still stands in shock and many still grieve in confusion, all still dealing with PTSD-related symptoms from this event.

PTSD, where the different stages include trying to avoid thinking about the tragedy, having flashbacks, broken concentration, not sleeping, feelings of guilt or shame, becoming always on guard, loss of interest or bad dreams plague this 'victim community.'

But as the days roll on, as life does, the community is doing everything it can to support the families of our lost peers, while supporting each other to get through this... together.

Support 'totems' in the color blue are popping up everywhere, from blue porch lights to blue banners to shirts to even blue hair extensions.

Local businesses are doing their part to raise funds for the families or just putting on free events for the community to take part in.  We've had a nighttime vigil where an estimated 10,000 attendees sang, talked and remembered the young adults lost.

The visuals of the aftermath are sobering and sad, ranging from all the memorials in whatever form, to that of a lone young boy, sitting cross-legged at the entrance to the school at night, in the glow of a lone street light, paying homage or trying to understand what happened around him. Possibly trying to understand why his friends are gone.

But when all is said and done, the school sits in an eerie silence of tribute, decorated by support banners from the various schools around the region, signed by students. The entrance to the school stands adorned with memorial mementos, many sending their thoughts to all involved.

This is the aftermath of the Saugus shooting. Once it fades from the national headlines a community is left reeling, confounded, dealing with this event in each of their own ways, trying to figure their way out through the murky cloud of a new awareness of what our society has become.

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