I have been trying to come up with something to say about the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday. But even though I can normally "write" a coherent, meaningful post in my head, this topic has not allowed my brain to do that; my thoughts are all over the place. Even worse, this tragedy came about 12 hours after the mother of one of J's classmates died, so I was already sad. So I am pretty much just going to do a free-write, and we'll see what happens.
One of my first reactions when I read about the shooting was the schools are supposed to be a safe place. If you read my last post, which I wrote about an hour before I heard about the shootings, I said school was the one place that I did not worry about when leaving my kid. You know what, after my initial shock and sadness, I still feel that way.
I have also written about how I sometimes think about how easy it would be for a deranged person to walk into the church where I attend daily mass. What is to keep people from going into a music hall, the mall, the grocery store, anywhere, really, and doing something unthinkable? Except after Friday, it seems as if whatever was unthinkable before no longer is so.
There is nothing we can ever do to make our world a completely safe place. But no one promised us a perfect place. After Friday, now more than ever I truly hope there is an after-life. Because this world we live in is, unfortunately, not so great. If this is all there is, well, sigh.
But despite the sadness and evil that exists in the world, we, as humans, have a lot of power to make things better. Just as that crazy guy (and I don't know what other adjective to use, and I am not trying to stigmatize metal illness) had freewill to commit those horrific acts, we have freewill to do that right thing. We can try to be nicer and more patient with people and not so focused on the things that don't matter. I went to confession this morning, and I am somewhat inspired to try to be a better person. Not that I think of myself as a bad person, but who among us cannot improve, right?
I have no idea what the answer is regarding guns, so I won't even get into that too much here, other than to say that, yes, a person had to pull the trigger, but if he did not have several guns to begin with, the trigger would not have been pulled, and all those people would still be alive. If I felt strongly enough about gun control, I would definitely try to get involved in some way, probably by calling or emailing my reps and senators. Who knows? This may be the event that gets me to that point. But for now, I will leave the action to the others who do feel strongly. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention something I do feel strongly about: teachers/administrators should not be armed. Unless the office personnel (or whoever that guy first cam upon) happened to be wearing loaded weapons, there is no way they could have prevented all the fatalities. And if anyone thinks that it is a good idea for "regular" people to be strapped, I can give you several reasons why it is a bad idea. Hopefully you can figure that out on your own. If not, spend a day in school and perhaps you will.
A lot has been written about the teachers (and teachers in general). And I can say, as I have said here and out loud before, that even as a sub, I genuinely care for the students. I'd like to think I would do whatever I could to save the kids if I were put into that situation, and I believe that most teachers would do the same.
But, dear God, would it be too much to ask that we never have to find out?