This is a professional blog, so probably not the best place to express my thoughts about what happened in Sandy Hook, but I feel like I need to do that, so please forgive me.
In 1999, my son was 13 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School. I, along with the other parents, volunteered to stand watch at the doors of his school. I remember thinking how terrible, but isolated, was this tragedy. We watched the doors for a few days, and life went back to the usual.
In 2002, my son was 16, and John Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo decided to start shooting at innocent people in DC and then in our home town of Richmond VA. This time, they closed the schools, and we holed up in our homes, afraid to go to the gas station or grocery store. This felt a little less isolated and a lot closer to home – and felt more like a pattern of senseless violence.
Both of these times I remember acutely the stark fear – the vulnerability of letting my son go out into a world that has these idiots running around shooting people. But, let him go I did, as we all must do.
Two days ago, Adam Lanza gunned down 20 children and 6 adults. While the stories are still evolving, the principal and teachers gave their lives to save the children.
I cannot begin to imagine what the parents, the families, and the communities feel, but the overwhelming insanity of people who are so self-centered, so selfish and so willing to take anothers’ life, is just wrong. NPR carried the story of Emilie, a 6 year old girl killed by Lanza. Looking into the eyes of that little angel makes me so angry that this continues to happen….sick people with weapons taking out their rage on innocent people, in movie theaters, in schools, at gas stations.
I don’t have an answer and I don’t think the answer is as simple as some seem to feel. But I do wish we could get beyond petty issues and figure out how to make our world safer for everyone. And I will give my now-grown son a big hug when I see him this week.
What I do believe is that there has to be a place that little Emilie and all of those killed in senseless acts of rage will go – I don’t know what or where, but I have to believe that there is more for them than the short life they had here.
The picture of Emilie here is from npr.org