I wasn’t going to write anything about this awful day. I didn’t want to be one of those people who voiced their opinions on this horrific event. I feel mourning is a personal thing. But in the past couple of days since the shooting, I have seen communities come together to give each other strength and comfort in forms of candle light vigils, creating meals for the families and organizing venues for support groups. I have spoken with parents and hugged many in such sorrowful embraces. I know that for the families of those who lost someone on that morning at Sandy Hook Elementary, all this doesn’t do much to comfort them. But this effected so many families world-wide, that it seems so many people are struggling to deal with this tragedy.
I knew someone who went to that school, as many people did. Sandy Hook was not far from the school my children attend. And it looks very much the same in design. It could have been any school. It could have been their school, their children, and that reality scares everyone.
So with this event, many topics of conversation come up. Gun control, bans of assault rifles, added security in schools. But if you look at it this way. If you took an average, ordinary person who has been completely removed from all media. Then told them that a 20-year-old boy shot and killed his mother, then walked into an elementary school and killed 20 kindergarten children, seven teachers and then himself. The first thing that would come to their minds would be…How could this crazy young man do such an insane thing. And I think that is what this was. An act of insanity.
If their was a ban on assault rifles would this still have happened? It probably would have. If the mother who owned the guns would have kept them locked up or better yet, not let her son know she even had them, would it have happened, it might have. Could someone have seen the signs of insanity and help this boy before he could hurt anyone, maybe. But people for many reasons can just snap without any previous history of such behavior. We know he was not just reacting to an abusive childhood or trying to get revenge for anything. No one shoots children multiple times without being absolutely crazed.
It had nothing to do with video games or goth music. To assume so is to just trying to find a reason in a mind that had no reason. I grew up being bullied daily by my fellow school mates, I was ignored at home, I listened to very aggressive music and dressed in a very dark fashion. But never once did I ever have a murderous thought. Why? because I am not insane. For someone to take another life they would have to be not of sound mind. Let alone do what this boy did. Even for soldiers who have killed men on the battle field, who have had no choice. Or those police men who have had to take another human life to save the lives of those around them. They still are saddened by the event and even though they killed for the only justified reason, it’s still not easy for them. So this was an act of insanity. Plain and simple.
There are always questions, most will never be answered. Who knows why he snapped. Who knows if there was anything anyone could have done to prevent this. If the mother knew her son was disturbed, then why did she put guns within his reach. Why did she own a Bushmaster rifle. Newtown was voted the safest town in America two years in a row. So why did she feel the need to own so many weapons. How could a man dressed in fatigues and a mask carrying a rifle enter a school. They said he shot out the glass door and simply walked in. Maybe glass doors need to be addressed now. His mother had neighbors at home close by, why did none of them report hearing four gun shots coming from the home.
If there were tougher gun laws, would it make a difference. It might. I think you can own a hand gun for protection, and that gun can have enough power to stop an elephant if you want. But it should be illegal to modify it in any way. It should not be able to be easily converted to fully automatic or made to fit an extended clip. I think the same laws should be in effect for all fire arms. Hunting rifles do not need to replicate an M16.They don’t need to have short barrels, or be able to take extended clips. And not for any reason what so ever, be in the house of anyone with history of mental illness.
The amount of guns a single person can own should also be regulated. And I think guns owners should have to go through yearly audits to make sure that the guns are stored safe and away from children and that they are all registered properly and have not been altered. That sounds reasonable.
But any way you look at it. This was not the actions of a sane man. and you can never really predict what insanity can or will do.
I can’t possibly imagine what these young survivors will have to carry with them for the rest of their lives. The kids that ran past the gunman after witnessing their teacher being killed. The kids that hid in closets, bathrooms and corners. Just unimaginable. If this kid was trying to send a message, no one will ever know what that message was.
I was at a birthday party with my 6-year-old the following day, and all I did fight back tears the entire time. I have always put my children’s best interest before mine. My wife and I both gave up management positions, complete with pensions and good salaries and took lesser paying jobs with no real security for retirement in order to spend more time with the kids. We felt it was important to always have a parent at home. So for the past 16 years she has worked mornings and I have worked nights. Our house is small, are cars are old, and we don’t have the latest and the newest. But we are a close family and very much involved in each others lives. Would I be able to see the signs of mental illness? I would hope so. Do my kids have access to firearms? absolutely not. Do they play video games and listen to heavy music, sure. Do I think it desensitized them, not at all. I have seen their faces in the wake of this tragedy and I know they too feel the pain the world is feeling. I have seen their compassion for others. They are human. Those who take the lives of others for no reason what so ever are not by any means human.
Two days after the shooting a boy at my daughter’s high school threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot her. He was 15 and more than likely just being stupid and trying to shock her. But he was taken out of the school in handcuffs, arrested, and charged. He was expelled from school, given an order of restraint and registered as a possible threat to others. His father had to remove any weapons he had in the house and this child will never be able to buy, own or live in the same house as a gun. This is what things are coming to. Horrific events such as this effect everyone, everywhere.
I have no idea where I am going with all this. Only that it has been so heavy on my mind that I can’t think of anything else. My heart goes out to these families. And I just wish there was something I could do to help ease their pain. But so many must be feeling that way too. As my children get on the school bus this morning and head off the school, I again light a candle for those children who are gone, and pray that my children safely come home.