I am a teacher at a religious high school. Today, before the students were dismissed for winter recess, we all attended a mass. The mass started with a moment of silence for those who were killed in the Shady Hook shooting in Newton, CT. Then I listened to the clergyman say that the church we were in, as well as many other churches in our area would ring their bells 26 times for each person who died in the shooting. It was a solem moment for all, but as for myself what the man had said filled me with grief as well as anger.
The death toll for the shootings was 28, not 26. The shooter and his mother were also lives that were taken during the shooting. I cannot comprehend how the general public denies them their humanity. Just because he shot and killed people doesn’t mean he was any less human than you or I. I will never say that I agree with or defend Adam Lanza’s actions. As a teacher, I love children more than the world, and this hit far further than home for me. Regardless, I will always defend any persons right to be human. Murder is an unfortunate event that can and does happen in our society. In fact, the idea of murdering another human being is incredibly human. My country as well as others kill people every single day.
I sat through the mass hearing person after person say how merciful their god was, and yet no one acknowledged the idea that Adam Lanza and his mother were no longer living. It was 26 people a week ago, and 26 people this afternoon. How can you agree with your religion and call yourself devout if you yourself aren’t forgiving? You can’t just say that your god is all merciful and then during practice ignore two people who died just because you don’t like them. It’s incredibly ignorant and hypocritical. Sadly, I am a witness for all of my students that are being raised to think in this manner. It sickens me.
We are all flesh and blood. Strip me down and shave me. Cut off my ears and my limbs. Erase my memory, and teach me different things. Give me disease, or have me give disease. Give me a gun, or make me a killing machine. Whether I have an audience, or I dwell alone in a cave, no matter what, I am still a human being. And so are you. And so was Adam Lanza and his mother.