So I don’t know if you guys know this, but I do live in Connecticut and I have two little sisters. So today was not a good day. We’re not that close to Newton, but its less than 50 miles from where my dad works, which is close enough. We’ve been fielding calls from worried friends who, bless their hearts, don’t really know which end of the state we live in but know that my baby sister is in first grade.
There’s been a police presence at my middle sister’s school today; we don’t know if its related but it well could be. Schools across the state have been locked down.
I babysat today and my mom left me with instructions not to let my little sister know what happened. She’s seven, and we’ve spent the day calculating how long we can keep it from her. We’re not letting her change TV channels by herself, we’re typing in website addresses in ourselves. She’s not allowed to play with the other kids on the street, because no seven year old should have this explained to them by another seven year old. Adults themselves can’t really make sense of this, what are kids who still sleep with night lights going to think? This is probably only going to last until Sunday night, because Monday morning bus rides are a free for all under pleasant circumstances.
So shit’s insane.
What’s comforting me is the fact that yesterday more than 30 very talented and notable people donated their time and more than 19.3 million people watched a benefit concert yesterday to help us after the last major tragedy with “Sandy” in its title. Tragedy sucks, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and there is always an outpouring of support from the community. Enough basic human goodness will appear until its counteracts the terrible event.
And we’ll re-examine gun laws (we haven’t needed to raise a militia in years. We haven’t even called it a militia in years), we’ll start working toward comprehensive mental health care (without needing a death toll first), and we’ll keep talking about the role and responsibility of media when these things happen (maybe they’ll start a collage journalism class called DON’T INTERVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN HOURS AFTER THEY’VE BEEN IN A SCHOOL SHOOTING WHY DO I HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU 101. it’ll be pass/fail). Talking about this is not disrespectful. Its a way to balance the scales. As much as it hurts that there are 26 victims and a shooter dead now, 20 of whom didn’t make it to their teenage years, let something come from this. It was a senseless act of violence, but let it be the start of serious social change. These guys don’t have a future, but we can give them legacy. I think that legacy should be making it so this never happens again.
Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
my thoughts and prayers are with the families of Newton.