Tag Archives: Sandy Hook Elementary

Sandy Hook Elementary.

14 Dec

April 20, 1999.

April 16, 2007.

July 20, 2012.

December 14, 2012.

The above dates should stand out to all of us. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora, CO. And now, Sandy Hook Elementary School. All of these places that many of us have never heard of became national news when people took it upon themselves to walk into these places, these schools, and that movie theater, and open fire. Not even six months ago, I sat in shock, trying to find the words to describe my thoughts on what happened in Aurora, at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. For Aurora – my post from that day – still seems inadequate in actually putting my thoughts together on that tragedy.

Today, our country witnessed more evil. Twenty children and six adults in the town of Newtown, Connecticut were murdered. Their lives were ended violently and senselessly. They were killed for no fathomable reason other than someone felt the need to take a loaded gun into a school and go on a killing spree. In my post about Aurora, I mentioned that such tragedy could have struck in Anytown, USA. I am reminded again that I could have been on the receiving end of a phone call, telling me that one of my little brothers was a victim of such despicable violence. My brothers, ages seven and ten, go to elementary school, just like every single child who lost their life today did. It is a place to learn and make friends, a place to begin to build the foundation of who they will become as they grow up. It should never be a place of fear or trauma or violence. It should not be a place of lock-down and gunshots and death.

In watching the news today and in reading my Twitter feed, I couldn’t help but cry. The overwhelming grief I feel for victims I have never met brings tears to my eyes now, as I try to collect my thoughts to get them out in print. From reports that I read, the shooter targeted his mother and her kindergarten class. Let me say it again, so that it truly sinks in. He targeted his mother, a kindergarten teacher, and her class. Kindergarten. Children that are five and six years old, who have barely even learned to read or tie their shoes. They were massacred in the one place that is supposed to be a safe haven, even if their home is not. Twenty sets of parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends had to be informed a child they loved would never come out of that school again alive. Children. Kids whose lives had just begun. Kids who will never have a first kiss, who will never learn to drive a car, or go on a first date. Kids who won’t get married or go to college or go on to be President of the United States. Kids who won’t become scientists or ballerinas or doctors or lawyers.

My heart aches for everyone affected by this tragedy. It aches for the families of the victims, it aches for the survivors, whose lives will never be the same again. It aches for a community that has been completely torn apart by such a heinous act, that now has to learn to heal in the face of such atrocity. My heart aches for our country, as we all hold our breath and wonder when the next asshole with a gun is going to decide to open fire in a public place or in a school or a mall or a movie theater. It aches to know that such events polarize us as a nation when it should really be bringing us closer together. My heart aches wondering if this could have been prevented, if there were signs the shooter was going to do this. It aches that, in the aftermath of such events, people begin to forget, only to be reminded when the next tragedy occurs.

I am disgusted. I am disgusted with the shooter, and I am disgusted with the media, who reported who the shooter was before having all the facts. I am disgusted that the media is interviewing parents of surviving children, and most of all, I am disgusted the media interviewed and televised children that were present at the time of the shooting today. I am disgusted that someone would commit such an act of violence, and that someone could have so much evil inside them that they could kill any human being, let alone a child. I am disgusted that the shooter is dead, and will not have to be held accountable for his own actions.

In reading my Twitter feed, I was pleased to see most of the accounts I follow take the day to drop what they normally talk about and share their condolences, to question why this happened, to express their shock and despair and disgust. It reminded me that not all of humanity sucks.

I do not know any of the victims of today’s tragic event, but still, I mourn them. I think all of us, as a country, do. We all caught a glimpse of the worst kind of evil today, and no amount of arguing about gun control or mental health treatment is going to change that. These are absolutely issues that need to be discussed, but at the core of it all, would any of that have changed what happened today? I’m not so sure. What I do know is that we’re all pulling for those in Newtown, CT. Anytime a mass shooting happens, it rips open every old wound, and makes us relive each shooting from the past. Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora now have another companion in being Anytown, USA. Another community mourns its dead, and this time, it feels more personal. It cuts a little deeper.

My thoughts, prayers, and heart are with Newtown, Connecticut tonight, and they will be for quite some time.

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