After Tokyo attack, we must remember, 'all abilities matter'

This week, news broke of a horrific attack near Tokyo where a suspect killed 19 people in an assisted-living facility.

My immediate reaction, like everyone else, was how can these senseless acts continue and how can someone be driven to commit such a violent crime?

From France to Florida, these incidents are becoming all too familiar, but this one hit particularly close to home for me.

Not because of the amount of lives that were lost, but because who these people were.

They were targeted simply because they were people with disabilities.

When I first heard the news that this person specifically sought to do harm to those with disabilities, my heart dropped.

The suspect was 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee of the facility where the attack occurred and it was reported that he wanted to rid the world of people with disabilities.

A truly senseless act.

And just like the other recent atrocities that have occurred in recent weeks, we need to remember those struck by this horrible tragedy.

When an African-American is killed during an altercation with police, there are those who cry out, "Black Lives Matter." When cops are targeted and killed senselessly in an ambush, there are those who cry, "Blue Lives Matter."

But what happens when 19 innocent people with disabilities are tragically killed in an attack just because they're viewed differently or are looked on as undervalued members of society?

You won't find many social media posts showing people standing with those with disabilities or rallies calling for reform to protect those who can't protect themselves, but maybe we should.

Those with disabilities are very much a part of the global community and we continue to fight for inclusion in mainstream society. All to often, those with disabilities are seen as nothing more than a footnote or second-class citizens, and it is that thinking that may have influenced this attack.

While we may never truly know just what drove a man to do such a tragic act, we can move forward and commit to doing more to help those with disabilities and make sure they aren't forgotten.

Because in the end, all abilities matter.