Friday, December 14, 2012

An Unexpected Tragedy

I came home today expecting to write a blog about the rumored death of blogging...but when I turned on the TV, instead of Dr.Oz, familiar faces from NBC News were talking about a school shooting. Another one? How many have there been now? I've lost track.


I have a knee-jerk reaction to news of school shootings: bullies. Bullies have pushed some tortured kid too far again and a lot of innocent people have paid the price for it once again? When will parents learn from their mistakes and teach their children to behave like civilized human beings?

But today was different. The shooting at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut doesn't fit that pattern. A young man, heavily-armed and prepared to kill a large number of people, went into the school where his mother taught kindergarten and murdered twenty children between the ages of five and ten. He also killed six adults, including his mother. The only reason those numbers weren't a lot higher was due to the actions of the school's principal, who managed to turn on the public address system during her encounter with the shooter, alerting teachers who locked down their classrooms and saved their students and themselves.

Why did this happen? We may never know.

What has to be obvious to all of us is that we live in an increasingly dangerous world. We can't send our kids to school without wondering if we'll ever see them again. We can't go Christmas shopping or see a movie without wondering if we'll make it home alive. Walk down a street anywhere in the country and you could be shot by some moron who thinks he has a right to take your wallet, purse or cellphone because he's too lazy to get a job and earn those things on his own. Or you might be attacked by some idiot high on so-called "bath salts" who thinks he's a zombie and wants to eat your face off. And you're not even safe in the workplace or in your own home. If you don't go out, there's a good chance some jackass will come in after you. After all, you might have jewelry, cash, TVs, computers, cellphones or other items that can be sold to feed their drug habits.

Tonight, hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Put your petty differences aside. Forgive the minor offenses--and even the big ones--and cherish the time you have with them, because none of us is promised tomorrow.

20 comments:

  1. You are so right, Norma. Ugliness and evil walk among us. Hug your loved ones tight. And pray.

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  2. We will almost certainly understand everything about why this man did what he did.

    Maybe we're not meant to.

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    1. Is it possible to understand such evil?

      The killer's father issues a statement. He said like the rest of us, he's trying to figure out why.

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  3. Insanity is the only way to explain how someone can look at a young child and shoot them to death. I will certainly be hugging Kylie a lot harder before she leaves for school next week.

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    1. I don't envy you being in such a position. I'm relieved Collin's not going to school anymore.

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  4. Beautiful post Norma. You're so right--we never know about tomorrow. Those tiny angels didn't need to go so soon....Very sad.

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    1. My dad always said anyone who decides to kill themselves should just do it and not take anyone else's life as well.

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  5. I think that's the part that makes these situations even more sad and frustrating - that it's senseless. Of course natural disasters that take many lives are extremely sad and devastating, but they're uncontrollable. This isn't.

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    1. Whatever was going on in his life that was so unbearable, he had no right to take those babies and their teachers with him.

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  6. People seem to be crazy. And it isn't just the publicity making them that way. These things have happened over and over in the past. Makes you wish one day science could predict which people would snap and find a way to fix their DNA.

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    1. Look at the photographs of these mass murderers. Look at their eyes. They all have a kind of wild-eyed look about them. Even without knowing what they've done, I'd be creeped out just being near them.

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  7. Even across the ocean, the shooting made - and is making - big news. What a tragedy.

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    1. Talli, I really don't envy you now, about to bring a baby into this insane world. I told Collin yesterday that if he were still of school age, I'd have pulled him out after Columbine.

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  8. I feel very sad for your country right now Norma, it must be very hard for you to deal with these reoccurring nightmares. If guns are part of your constitution to make people feel safer, it's not working. Take care.

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    1. Stricter gun laws would only keep law-abiding citizens from obtaining them, unfortunately. Criminals and monsters like the one who slaughtered those little ones and their teachers will always find a way to get them.

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  9. So true. It's terrifying how places that should be safe just aren't.

    And yes, life is short, so we should forgive often and love more.

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    1. Kids used to be safe going to school, Misha. When I went to school, and when my son was in school, this sort of thing was unheard of.

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  10. Oh, Norma, thank you for this. I cannot comprehend the horror of what happened here, I fear it will just keep happening and I'm fervently hoping real gun control action will come out of this tragedy.

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    1. I'm not opposed to private citizens having guns for protection--I grew up in a family of hunters and marksmen, and Collin and I decided to get conceal and carry permits for protection--but why would anyone outside police and military need anything like what that monster used on those defenseless children and their teachers? They should be banned!

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