The lives of numerous families have just changed. Not from the joy of the birth of a child; a new job. Not from the excitement of an engagement, a child's win at a spelling bee or soccer tournament. No, yet again lives are changing today due to the senseless, cruel deaths from a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Just a few days ago, a shooting rampage in a Portland, Oregon mall resulted in the death of two people. Two people who have now left behind families and friends to mourn and ache and weep. What's the point of asking why? Is there a possible answer? Can anyone explain why this continuous stretch of gun violence is not stopping? Why gun laws continue to favor the gun owner?
What about the shooting in the Colorado movie theater? How many senseless deaths there are left to try to figure out? For the families and friends of those victims to spend the rest of their lives in pain.
I recently watched an episode of Katie Couric in which John Walsh was a guest. Katie asked him now after over 30 years since his son Adam was killed if it ever gets easier. His answer: "I will always be the parent of a murdered child". That is a fact that can never go away. The thought of how senseless and helpless that sounds chills me to the bone.
On May 20, 1988 my first born daughter was only 4 months old. That was the day that Laurie Dann opened fire in an elementary school in Winnetka, injuring many children and killing 8 year old Nicky Corwin. When my own daughters started school I wondered often if they were ever completely safe there. How many other parents wondered and worried about the same thing. Then the tragedy at Colombine in 1999. My girls would be starting high school in a couple of years after that; I wondered. I worried.
Two weeks ago my husband and I went to a movie theater for the first time since the shooting in Colorado. I found myself looking around and imagining the terror. Where would I go? Could I hide? Could I get out? How sad was it that something like that even had to cross my mind? How are those families going to handle this holiday season?
Now we have at least 10-20 murdered children. More adults. Families now left to mourn the loss of a child which no parent should ever have to do. Families left to mourn the loss of a parent, to be left without the joy of a mother or father to watch them grow. My stomach is turning, my eyes are filled to the brim with tears. I can't fathom the pain that will besiege these people. The unnecessary pain that has been inflicted and could have been avoided with stricter laws.
A friend just posted on Facebook wondering if every single public place should be installed with metal detectors. Is this what our society is coming to? A country where we all have to fear a simple day at a mall? An evening at a movie? Every single day we send our children to school? There are no words to describe how this makes me feel. I know I am not alone.
Facts about what transpired today will be coming out for days/weeks to come. But I only care about one fact: that this madness must and has to end. Gun violence is going to be the ruination of our country. When we have to fear leaving our homes in a country that is supposed to be the Land of the Free that is such hypocrisy. There is no freedom in fear.
I can't even say God Bless America right now. All I can say is God help America.