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.