The recent school shooting in Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary, is crushing to the soul of every parent who lovingly cares for their offspring. Yet, I haven’t shed a tear. I cannot even let myself go there. When my child is not in my possession, I already imagine horrible things happening to her. When they happen to other children, my mind checks-out temporarily. I try to keep things as normal as possible, not just for her but also for myself.
Lots has been said about gun control. Do I think that’s the answer? Not really. Though, I will say the young man who shot and killed 20 children and 6 faculty members would not have gotten so far with a knife.
Should the principal be wearing a concealed weapon throughout the day? Not too sure about that either. No one knows exactly what they’ll do until they’re in such a situation (which is usually only hypothetical talk). Would she have been composed enough to shoot the young man and save everyone inside before he could kill someone? Who knows?
The person who took all those innocent lives clearly had a massive amount of issues. And everyone can say they saw it coming, but when it’s your child…you usually don’t. When your child is a loner, or recluse, or has no friends, or is “different” a parent’s first instinct is to usually shower their child with love. A parent, especially a mother, wants to tell their child many things, anything to make them feel better.
“It’s okay to be different.”
“You never know…you might have a good time.”
“Just be yourself and people will like you.”
“I love you just the way you are.”
“You are very special.”
“I think you’re perfect.”
Those are all things the parents of the victims most likely said to their children at some point in their lives. And they meant it. Perhaps the young man who killed so many people on that unsuspecting Friday was told these things by his own mother; the mother whose life he would take on that day, as well.
That’s the thing about kids: you never know what you’re going to get. All you can do is your best. You raise them and hope they’ll make good decisions. You hope they’ll be a good person. You hope they’ll be a good parent, too, perhaps. You hope that everyone they come in contact with in their lives were lead by good examples and were taught to love.
Life will go on. It always does. One day soon, a father and brother will have to return to work under the watchful eye of people who think they know better. They will live the rest of their lives having to live with what happened. Could you do it? Could you find a way to reconcile what happened?
Life is short. Too short. You can’t stand around worrying about what might happen (though I do it all day). But something needs to change. Don’t you agree?
The Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791. Things have changed since then, I would say. Sure. Ban guns. People will get them anyway. But does every single person in the world need to carry a gun to feel safe or protect themselves? So many people are murdered every day. It’s safe to say the majority of those crimes are committed by someone with a gun against someone who was unarmed.
I grew up in a home with a champion marksman. I have won many a turkey shoot in my life. I’m a pretty good shot. I never once touched a gun of my father’s when he wasn’t around. I never showed my friends my father’s guns. I honestly didn’t think that much about them. Whole months went by when I didn’t even look at his gun case. But I guess I could say that I was a pretty well-adjusted young girl more interested in clothes, music, magazines, and hanging out with my friends. Seems like the men (it’s pretty much always men) who commit these heinous crimes don’t have a lot of friends.
So where do we start? As parents? As teachers? As friends?
Where will you start?