I am having difficulty wrapping my head around what happened, even on day three following this horrific massacre. The last place a parent expects to lose a child; is when they are at school. As a first grade school teacher, it’s the last place that I expect to be gunned down as well.
No parent in their right mind ever thinks it might be the last day they will see their precious child alive and prepares for their untimely departure from this world. We worry when we cross the street with them holding their little hands tight and telling them, “Hurry come on let’s go.” We worry when they go to someone’s house to play where they are being invited for the first time. We worry when they go on their first big roller coaster and when they are first allowed to swim without assistance.
As they grow into teens, we worry when they mow the lawn, or use a hot glue gun. We worry they might smoke cigarettes or someone might convince them to try some narcotic. We worry they might give up on school and drop out. But where is the part where we even think for a second that someone will come into their classroom and open fire taking out the entire class?
What happened in Newtown Connecticut could happen anywhere. The pictures show a nice middle class place with pine trees and pretty homes, churches like the kind Norman Rockwell might have painted. A place where people embrace old world values and ethics: It shows people who care about family and school.
This mother of a son with an unusual personality disorder kept so many guns as well as ammunition in the house: Hundreds of bullets in high-capacity magazines of about 30 rounds each for the Bushmaster AR 15 rifle and two handguns. She knew he wasn’t quite stable. Did she really consider taking him to the shooting range a good idea? Or, would he have found another weapon on his own; perhaps a machete, pipe bomb or some kind of poison. Did she ever take him to see a Mental Health Professional or Psychiatrist?
They say he played a lot of violent video games where he could practice killing mass numbers of people in a virtual world. The teen-aged killers in Columbine were also said to have played these violent games. Did this desensitize them and give them practice and courage? Or did they have killing on their minds and in their hearts before they ever laid their eyes on this media? Some people think the media plays a role when they show the pictures over and over. They say it might give someone else on the brink of a mental breakdown a new idea. Were they at some point cast from society by their peers for being different? Were they possessed by demons? Was twenty year old Adam Lanza possessed by a demon?
Is evil—the yin to the yang of goodness? Does evil just exist regardless of what we do, just as good does? They say your chances of being killed like this are still less than being struck by lightning. Are these storms becoming more frequent? Is there any way to avoid the thunder?
Building bridges by reaching out to loners and talking to them could be something that helps folks who feel outcast by society. If they are thinking of suicide or killing, getting them to open up and talk might diffuse the situation. Everyone needs someone, especially a loner. Could we keep a counselor posted at every school please? Reaching out could be the first step to pulling someone back, who is on the brink. Is it possible to rally the forces of good to counteract the banality of humanity: Or is this part of our human heritage; that good and evil co-exist?