Heartbreak in Connecticut
I heard the news of the school shooting in Connecticut this morning, shortly after it happened. There wasn't much information then, so after following the story for a bit, I went about my daily chores. It was not until this afternoon that I finally heard the horrible details--20 children dead, 6 adults dead, one more dead at another related location, and finally the shooter himself dead.
No answers yet, and even when we do get the answers we can uncover they will never fully explain away the horror.
I am crying and praying as each part of the story unfolds, but beneath it all is a sure and certain anger.
I keep seeing those little kids huddled in their classrooms, hiding from the gunman who had invade their school. Those who survived knew the drill, and that is the sad part of it all. After the Columbine shootings, schools throughout the nation developed emergency procedures should their school be attacked. Here in New Jersey, schools regularly conduct drills so students and teachers will know exactly what to do in case of such an emergency. I have supervised numerous such drills in my classrooms over the years, and each time, I am chilled to think of what might happen if it were real.
When I was an elementary school student myself, we used to conduct air raid drills. We'd go out into the halls of the school and huddle on the floor with our heads covered so we would be protected in case of a nuclear attack. Of course, it really made no sense then, for if a bomb did hit, the building would afford no protection, nor would our folded arms. But somehow, it made us feel we were doing something in the face of horrendous danger.
I'm not sure the emergency drills we run today would actually do anything to stop a determined gunman, either, but at least it gives you something to do instead of sitting around, waiting to be a target.
But why should we have to hide in the darkness in the first place? Why should mass murderers be able to so easily obtain assault weapons to use against us? Why should the gun be such an icon of worship and power? Why should we delight in video games where we shoot guns with merciless intent? Why do we allow people to buy guns freely and openly without regard to their intent? Why do we live in a culture where the gun seems to be the ultimate answer to every problem?
I don't know.
All I know is that my heart is broken for all those families who lost a loved one today for no reason.