This morning when the shooting began, Alivia was settling into her day at kindergarten; Lucas was "safely" delivered at preschool, and Emma was with me, picking up Grampy for a trip to Walmart. My three precious ones in their secure Friday morning locations -- and yet, not so far from here, little ones like them were terrified by the sounds of gunshots, and twenty of them the fatal targets of this shooter.
I didn't hear about it until mid-afternoon, long after the terror had taken place. My first emotion was agony for the victims, the parents, everyone personally touched by this tragedy. My second emotion was to hold Lucas tightly in my arms, thankful that Emma was peacefully asleep upstairs, Alivia's class was safe, and Luke was snuggling with me watching Scooby-Doo.
My next thoughts were, once again, what is wrong in our society that produces people who are so angry or psychologically scarred, or violent that they vent their personal hatred on those they have never met -- those innocents who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
When these terrible things happen, we talk about stricter gun controls and stronger security measures, but these are not the crux of the problem. The problem is something much deeper. When I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, many of my classmates had guns and they knew how to use them -- they hunted with their fathers, and did target practice at the local gravel pit -- but we never had to worry about them shooting US. The thought never would have crossed their minds.
What is our failing as a society, or as parents?? Is there too much violence on TV, in the movies and on video games? Do children grow up with the lines blurred between fiction and reality? Are their lives too regimented? Do we talk to them enough and let them express their feelings, and help them to understand these feelings? Are we too involved in our own "dramas" to recognize when our children have psychological problems, or too ashamed to admit it and seek help for them?
I don't know the answers. I just know that tonight my heart bleeds for this quiet little Connecticut community -- and all I can think of is the terror of those precious little ones, and the agony of their parents.
Please God, Bless Us All --