Yesterday I met someone who would have been one of my students in 1998 when I was teaching 4th grade. It turned out she was in a different school at the time, nonetheless, she knew many of my former students. I have stayed in touch with many of them, and we were able to laugh, share stories and connect. Before I left the store in which she was working, I gave her a hug and said, "You are now a former student of mine."
Then the email came in from CNN. The first one. Then the second and the third, and then the tears came. The tears came as if these were my students, my own children. My heart filled with overwhelming pain, for the families, for the beautiful kids, and for every life that will be forever changed.
Whenever these tragedies occur, we hear immediate talks about gun control. The talks begin, the debates start and the conversations quickly fade. Will gun control stop these acts? I don't have that answer, nor do I care for the debate.
However, I do know that we need to face reality. We are living in a time that looks much different than it did 10 years ago. I believe a drug addict will do whatever it takes to find his/her next hit, an alcoholic will always find his/her next drink, and a madman will find a weapon.
Yesterday, in China, 22 students were stabbed outside of an elementary school. This madman chose a different tool.
I don't have the answer, but maybe it is time we became greatly proactive instead of sitting back and hoping we are not the next targets. Maybe it is time to be prepared, to be able to stop insanity, and to say enough is enough.
I am not calling for more weapons; I am calling for more prepared, preventive measures, whatever those may be. I think it is time we became proactive instead of reactive. Our beautiful babies deserve nothing less, as they are the goldest of gold. These are all of our students.
To all of those in Newtown, today and forever, I wish you peace, hope, strength, love and tranquility.