20 kids killed in their classrooms. At a place where everyone tells them they are safe. 7 adults killed at their workplace. Teaching and aiding today’s youth in their quest for knowledge.
A community torn apart by an unspeakable act of another human being. A nation thrown into a flurry of anger, hatred and doubt. Some people saying, “It could never happen here.” Some of those people were probably Newtown, CT residents who saw the Virginia Tech, Columbine and Aurora shootings.
And then it happened…
It is simply amazing to see the outpouring of emotion and the ease of access we have to both express our thoughts and see others in their way of thinking. I’ve seen posts ranging from “Take away all guns” to “How can this happen in a public school?” to “Why?” I’ve seen anger, I’ve seen compassion, I’ve seen a lot of different take aways from the horrible incident that happened in Connecticut.
I wish I could sit here and give you a reason ‘why’ this happened. I wish I could say that this would never happen to me or my community. I wish I could say “Follow these steps and we can prevent this from ever happening again.” But as is the reality of life, there is no simple answer nor is there a simple explanation.
The holidays are a great and wonderful time but can also be a very hard and depressing time. There are always two sides to every coin. Now, for 27 families, the landscape of the ‘holiday season’ has been changed forever. For many more, this is just one more reminder at how short life is and how sometimes there is nothing we can do about it.
Can there be anything done? I believe so. Let me first say that I believe that there are random acts every day that we cannot change. I don’t think there was anything definitive that would have stopped that man from walking into a school and opening fire. The debate can go one about gun control laws until the end of time, but the fact of the matter is that there is no law that would stop a madman from killing innocent people. We cannot change that sort of randomness.
What we can change, what we can do, is help each other and show love and compassion. I can’t take away the possibility of this happening at my son’s school, but I can give my son the tools he needs to give him the best chance. I can show him that he can trust me. I can show him that as a child, he can trust the adults in his life. I can show him how to gain the courage to be quiet, stay still and wait until danger passes. I can tell him that running towards the sound of danger is not the right choice, but to band together with those around him is the way to survive.
No, I’m not going to be putting my 2-year-old through survival boot camp. But over time, I will shower him with love and teach him respect. I will show him what it means to live a good and fair life. To treat others as he would like to be treated. To not take advantage of the weak and to learn from the strong.
It is my belief that if more kids are taught core values and given love and shown respect from an early age, they have the best chance of not putting themselves into dangerous situations…let alone get the idea of taking a gun to school.
My heart goes out to every affected, directly or indirectly, by the events of Newtown, CT. I will honor their loss by being thankful for my son and his opportunity to be a great person.