Sunday, December 16, 2012


The big talk right now is about the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newton, Connecticut. This is one of those things that we will probably remember for most of our lives. Unfortunately, the shooter is the one that will be remembered most. In situations like these, the killers usually are remembered for being monsters. Personally, these are the ones that I will be remembering, as I believe we should hold onto love instead of hate:

I've seen countless posts around the internet about this event. Gun control, mainly. Politics. I don't believe that these are what we should be focusing on right now. Sure, we should look at the political side (gun control, mental health, etc). But we need to wait until the smoke clears some. We need to focus on other things instead.

There are 27 innocent victims who will never take another breath. Their lives were cut far too short. These are the dead we need to put in our prayers and memories.

There are husbands, who waited for their wives to come home. Boyfriends, who had amazing dates planned. Those wives and girlfriends can never show up. There are sisters and brothers, who will never be able to hug their siblings again. There are parents who saved up for weeks and months for that all the toys that their little angels wanted for Christmas. Those kids won't ever come home to open them. There are friends and coworkers that lost people they care very deeply about. Just as tragic, but less frequently thought or cared about, there is a whole family that lost two of their family members. They now have to learn to cope with the fact that one of those family members killed the other before killing twenty VERY young children and six more adults, and the whole world is now looking on them (both their deceased family members and the family itself) with little but contempt and blame. All of these people now have funerals to plan and attend. These are the living that we should be focusing on.

On December 14, when this happened, I was sitting at my son's school. I was waiting for his teachers to get back from lunch, so we could discuss his test results and his IEP for the school year. It took every ounce of restraint I had to not go visit his classroom just to reassure myself that he was okay and give him a huge hug. I knew that a change in routine could throw off his whole day, and I needed time to calm down, anyways.

I saved that hug for the moment he stepped off the bus. Later that night, we had a talk about what happened. I believe he should be aware of what's going on in the world around him, good and bad. I think he should be aware of steps he could take, should (God forbid) this sort of thing happen at his own school. As much as I would love to shelter him from everything, I think he needs to be prepared for that day when I'm not there to shelter him anymore. Right now, I don't think he understands much more than the fact that there are little kids who won't see their mommies and daddies. But for a seven-year-old, that's still pretty good.

As he gets older and understands more the bigger picture of these tragedies, I want him to remember those lost. I want him to remember that those who took lives had families too, and those families deserve the same respect as the families of the victims. I want him to know that there is a time and place for everything, and not all politics need to be brought up immediately after the fact. It's okay to give people time to grieve.

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