Wednesday, December 19, 2012
When I heard about the tragic events in Newtown last Friday afternoon I was at home and was just about to write the day's blog post. It took me hours and hours to finish the post because I couldn't focus. I felt like it would be right to skip the day's post and instead write a reflection on the events in Connecticut but I simply couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't find the words to match how I felt. And in all honesty, I still don't know if I can find the words today but I'll try. I feel like it would be wrong not to devote a post to that event. And to those teachers. And to those kids.
I think one of the reasons this is so difficult for me, and for everyone, to grasp and to deal with, is because we all know someone who makes us think of those children at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have a cousin who is in first grade. To even imagine the possibility of something like that happening to her is just too awful. You may not have a cousin, but I'm sure you have a niece or nephew, a grandchild, a daughter or son, a neighbor, or someone who you thought of that day. Shootings in the United States have become far too common in recent years. But the shooting at Sandy Hook crossed an entirely new boundary because children were involved. And children are supposed to be safe. They're supposed to be full of happiness and innocence.
As the days go by it's hard to know what will come of this. I'm hopeful that legislation will finally be passed to increase gun control across the country. But it's not just the guns. It's people who are mentally ill and never get proper access to treatment. It's the stigma attached to being mentally ill. But even that is only a part of it. Our country has deaths from gun violence that are staggering compared to the rest of the world. I'm no expert, and I don't know what the solution is. But I do know that this event has shaken me to my core, and it's made me think differently about the world. And I just wanted to take a moment to say that.