The Inland Regional Center, scene of yesterday’s horrific mass shooting, is a state-run center for people with developmental disabilities. Mostly it helps families of disabled children. They provide housing and work programs, and therapy and social services. They send out caseworkers and therapists to work with kids who have autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other intellectual disabilities. According to the IRC website, the center serves more than 31,000 individuals in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. And it has been doing this for 44 years.
The Washington Post calls it “inspiring work.” You can get a better feel for how the IRC touches the lives of disabled kids in this article by Colby Itkowitz and Emma Brown.
Yesterday, December 2, was the 336th day of the year. According to what I heard on CNN last night (and they got their info from a mass shooting database called shoottracker.com), there has been more mass shootings than days in 2015. The San Bernardino incident was the 355th.
Some years ago for my birthday I received a book, 365 Buddha, a collection of Buddhist quotes, both ancient and modern, for every day of the year. The quote for December 2, the date of the deadliest mass shooting in 2015, came from the Dhammapada:
All beings tremble before violence.
All fear death.
All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?
Another day in the United States of America. Another mass shooting. These events have risen to a level the President says has “No parallel anywhere else in the world.”
As the quote from the Dhammapada suggests, peace starts with us. Some folks are now saying that an end to gun violence “starts in your town.” I live 65 miles from San Bernardino, but it’s SoCal, so it’s still my turf. If you have had enough, you can do something about it by joining Everytown for Gun Safety‘s movement to end gun violence.