Whatever your politics, the occurrence of two mass shootings this weekend, one following so closely upon another, had to give you pause. Make you angry. Make you worried about this country. Make you want to do — something.
For some, the reaction to dark occasions like these is to pull loved ones closer, give them a hug, escape to comedies on Netflix. But for many, something more public is in order — a coming together on a bigger scale to show once more that this is not us. This violence, this hatred cannot stand.
That’s the impetus for the vigils taking place tonight throughout the country in honor of the lives lost at El Paso, Dayton, and other cities across America. The Tampa Bay Against Gun Violence Vigil will take place in St. Petersburg’s Williams Park from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Sponsored by Women’s March Florida and the Florida Public Services Union, the event will feature a short line-up of speakers who are directly impacted by gun violence and leading the charge for gun safety legislation.
Hug your loved ones, for sure. But take the time — perhaps tonight in Williams Park — to consider the families who can’t do that anymore. And think about what you can do to prevent any more families from having to endure such loss.
Tampa Bay Against Gun Violence Vigil, Mon. 8/5, 8-9:30 p.m., 350 2nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg.