Friday, December 4, 2015

Daniel Kaufman, 42. #SanBernardino

Each of the victims of the San Bernardino shootings deserves to be remembered. Here's one, from a piece in the NYT on the victims:
One of the only victims who did not work with Mr. Farook was Daniel Kaufman, 42, who ran the coffee shop at Inland Regional where he trained developmentally disabled people. Friends remembered him as a man of boundless enthusiasm and joy.
For more than a decade, he took part in an annual springtime Renaissance fair in Southern California, they said, lofting banners through the air and spinning around at the rear of processions that escorted the fair’s nobility through the grounds. He had a sixth sense for when a friend needed an extra hug.
“He was so full of life it was ridiculous,” said Stachia Chadwick, who knew Mr. Kaufman for over 10 years through the fair.
Pictures of 11 victims of the violence. Smiling individuals of diverse ages, genders, and races.
From the New York Times
As I wrote for CNN.
As the father of a child with Down syndrome, though not a Californian, I know these types of buildings well. I've spent so much of the last decade in and out of such offices, signing up for services, getting treatments and learning about the world of disability. While every mass shooting is horrific, the carnage can often feel remote, especially as Americans become inured to the regularity of the violence. There have, after all, been more mass shootings in 2015 than days in the year.
And yet, this time it was far too easy for me to imagine the terror of people with and without disabilities as the guns fired, the fire alarm sounded, and the sirens rang out. We'll certainly start hearing stories about children and adults with disabilities as we begin to sort through the aftermath. I spoke with one parent in the area, Shannon Jenkins, who told me that her daughter, "receives services at Inland Regional Center. At any given time, there are hundreds there between employees, kids and adults with special needs, and their parents/(caregivers)." On a crowded Wednesday afternoon, we're lucky the body count wasn't worse.
It doesn't feel lucky, though, that only 14 died, to know it could have been worse if their bombs had gone off.

Update: On Daniel Kaufman's boyfriend, who wasn't informed.

No comments: