My beloved home state has experienced its’ third mass shooting in less than 15 years. This morning, a stupid, selfish and insane thing happened inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in bucolic Newtown, Connecticut. One or more men came into the school and opened fire in the hallways and classrooms. I don’t know the total numbers of fatalities – one is too many – but reports are counting them well into double digits. Many of them are going to be children, little tiny children. The school teaches grades k – 4, so these small students are no more than 9 or 10 years old. The media are reporting that the school may have also lost their principal and a school nurse. I fear that the totality of this will be staggering, perhaps one of the worst our country has ever known.
I don’t have to tell you how painful a story like this can be. It’s the kind of thing that your mind can’t readily take in, never mind understand. I’m writing this now, blinking back tears and with the heaviest heart. It’s unknown, at this moment, whether there was more than one shooter, but at least one of the killers is, himself, dead. I don’t want to know what his motive is, and I don’t even care. Nothing can explain this tragedy that will make any sense or sound reasonable. I don’t want to hear how this is a gun issue and that we should reexamine the 2nd Amendment. I’ve been around long enough and seen too many examples of how humans can abuse just about anything to believe that this happened only because we can own guns. Give someone a pain-killer and they might become an addict. Provide access to the internet and there will be someone who will hack information and steal everything from and about you. Build a MacDonald’s and people will eat their way into a boatload of problems. So when these types of things, these mass murders, are called senseless acts, that’s exactly right. It’s not about guns. It’s about insanity and hatred and a mindset that doesn’t make any sense. If you’re hell-bent on killing someone, all of the laws in the world aren’t going to stop you.
If you want to do something, then tell your lawmakers that there are some folks out there, standing on a ledge and just waiting for the moment when they’re ready to jump, who need help with their issues. If your neighbor or friend or family member is exhibiting behaviors that don’t seem right to you, say something. You won’t be considered a busybody and you just might save someone’s life. Given the fact that the shooter or shooters were granted access to the school, I’m going to venture a guess that this was somehow a domestic or employment problem, and I can’t accept that no one saw something ominous or foreboding well before this tragedy happened.
For right now, though, stop and offer a prayer for all of those children and educators whose stockings are still hanging from the fireplace mantle and whose presents are under the family Christmas trees, never to be opened.
Bless all of you, my friends, Empress