The child within me still crys whenever he thinks of the tragic loss of 28 lives at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza shot his mother to death at home, then traveled to the Sandy Hook Elementary school and slaughtered 6 adults and 20 children, most of them just 6 years old, before killing himself. His motives remain a mystery, but the trail of death and grief he left behind will plague Newtown, Connecticut for decades to come.
Let none forget the 28 victims of the Sandy Hook disaster:
Charlotte Bacon 02/22/2006 - 12/14/2012 Daniel Barden 09/25/2005 - 12/14/2012 Rachel Davino 07/17/1983 - 12/14/2012 Olivia Engel 07/18/2006 - 12/14/2012 Josephine Gay 12/11/2005 - 12/14/2012 Ana M. Marquez/Greene 04/04/2006 - 12/14/2012 Dylan Hockley 03/08/2006 - 12/14/2012 Dawn Hochsprung 06/28/1965 - 12/14/2012 Madeleine F. Hsu 07/10/2006 - 12/14/2012 Catherine V. Hubbard 06/08/2006 - 12/14/2012 Chase Kowalski 10/31/2005 - 12/14/2012 Jesse Lewis 06/30/2006 - 12/14/2012 James Mattioli 03/22/2006 - 12/14/2012 Grace McDonnell 11/04/2005 - 12/14/2012 Anne Marie Murphy 07/25/1960 - 12/14/2012 Emilie Parker 05/12/2006 - 12/14/2012 Jack Pinto 05/06/2006 - 12/14/2012 Noah Pozner 11/20/2006 - 12/14/2012 Caroline Previdi 09/07/2006 - 12/14/2012 Jessica Rekos 05/10/2006 - 12/14/2012 Avielle Richman 10/17/2006 - 12/14/2012 Lauren Russeau 06/??/1982 - 12/14/2012 Mary Sherlach 02/11/1956 - 12/14/2012 Victoria Soto 11/04/1985 - 12/14/2012 Benjamin Wheeler 09/12/2006 - 12/14/2012 Allison Wyatt 07/03/2006 - 12/14/2012 Adam Lanza 04/22/1992 - 12/14/2012 Nancy Lanza ??/??/1960 - 12/14/2012
And yes, I count the shooter, Adam Lanza, and his mother, Nancy Lanza, as victims. I'm pretty sure that the shooter was mentally ill and not fully cognizant of his own actions. Nor do I believe that his mother was responsible, though perhaps having guns in a house where a young man who was known to be mentally disturbed was living, was poor judgement. I grieve for all 28 victims of this disaster.
In the end, there is really no one to blame, no one to aim anger, hate, or revenge at. We all have to contend with our own grief, each in our own way. And if we, strangers from afar, are grieved by this, how much more so must the folks of Newtown, CT be grieving, especially the parents, siblings, and friends of the deceased? That community is going to be hurting for a long time. I wish there was something I could do to lend aid, but I know not what it might be.
Even our president was so shaken by this that he was barely able to
maintain composure while addressing our nation about this event:
I've heard many people clammering for gun bans because of this event, but frankly, I don't think that would help much. This isn't a hardware problem; it's a wetware problem. We need to ask ourselves, what is wrong with our society that it produces people who can look a beautiful, innocent 6-year-old child straight in the eyes, then blow his brains out. Until we stop producing such people, this kind of incident will, alas, be repeated over and over. We need to teach our children love and logic. Obviously, we haven't. What have we been teaching them instead? Think about it. Then take action to correct it, before more innocent lives are lost.