I am sitting here in my living room watching the tragic news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As every person in America who has learned of this terrible event, it has stopped me in my tracks.
I first heard about it early this afternoon. Pam and I happened to be out to lunch together and I was scanning through Facebook on my cell phone. I noticed that one of my friends was talking about a school shooting.
Sad thing is I wasn’t shocked by hearing that there was a school shooting. I even told Pam, “Oh, there’s been another school shooting”. But then as I read more, I learned it was at an elementary school.
Oh my God.
It’s so unbelievably tragic when there is a mass shooting anywhere, but at an elementary school? It’s just unfathomable.
My first reaction was shock, and then an overwhelming sadness came over me.
I thought of my 10 year old who was sitting in his classroom at the time. Like these kids who were affected today, my son was in school, probably so excited that it’s Friday, following the rules and learning new things.
I won’t even describe the sadness that I have right now because I know that if you are reading this that you are dealing with this news in your own way. It goes without saying that it is just absolutely tragic.
So, now my feelings about this event is anger. But, the shooter is not with us anymore. He took his own life in his final cowardly act.
So where do we put this anger?
Being proactive about assuring that our kids are as safe as they can possibly be in their schools needs to be priority #1. I realize that if someone is sick enough to even think to shoot innocent victims, then that person will go to any measure to commit his/her intended act. But there HAS to be an answer to increasing the security in our schools!
I am very happy about what has been done thus far. In Frederick County, the effort to eliminate bullying in our schools is commendable. History has shown that school shooters tend to be students who are considered “outcasts’ and who have been bullied. So this factor is extremely important and needs to continue being addressed.
There have also been security measures put into place. At both of my sons’ schools (elementary and middle) there is a buzzer at the entrance that you need to push to gain entry and there is a security camera that the office staff use to determine whether the door is unlocked or not. I just wouldn’t really want to be put in the position to determine that someone is safe to enter a school.
I have heard that in some city schools across our country that metal detectors are used upon entry. This would require a security person as well as the metal detector itself, which I am sure is quite expensive.
But, aren’t our children and teachers worth this expense? We raise money in our schools for events all the time – I KNOW that parents and community members would be happy to donate their money for this cause!!! Granted, school shootings are random (thank God), but the feeling of security and safety for our children, their teachers and parents – there just isn’t a price you can put on that.
Some people may argue that gun control is to blame for incidents like this. The fact that this shooter had access to a gun(s) resulted in a tragedy. But, honestly, I believe that if someone is that sick that they are capable of committing this act, then they will find a way to get a gun.
I’m praying for peace – peace for the victims, peace for the families/friends of the victims, peace for the community of Newtown, CT, peace for our country, and peace for our innocent children who want to go to school and see their friends and learn – without being scared.
Now go hug and kiss your kids, and tell them that you love them. I am.