Monday, December 17, 2012

Three New Lessons Learned from Newtown, CT:

From my blog on
When I went to school as a child, I worried about a host of things: how well I finished my homework; what my new topics will I be surprised by today; whether or not there could be a pop quiz in a class; tolerating a bully’s asinine behavior; sitting through one more boring slideshow or movie in a science class; going to choir practice and accompanying them on piano; and getting excited about the next upcoming vacation. Never in my wildest imagination did I think about a person coming into school with a gun with the sole intention of wreaking havoc upon innocent lives.
That all changed when my son and daughter were in school. At my son’s elementary school, strangers were caught trying to lure young unsuspecting children into their cars. My daughter’s high school went to “shut down” status when a gunman was founding lurking in the forest around the school. My partner works at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where there are drills and advance preparations in place in case there is a repeat of the mass killings at Virginia Tech. He has said that there is a daily fear that one of the young students who are fragile emotionally may bring harm upon themselves or others. Young women at my university carry a concealed taser guns in case they feel threatened.
While my children, partner, and I have been spared personal experience of violence upon our lives, the same cannot be said of a growing number of people in our country.
In the last few weeks — during which 20 young children and six adults were killed by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, CT — there was also a young man who killed people at a shopping mall in Clackamas, Oregon; a young man shot a gun into the air in an elementary school in California; and an older gentleman with guns threatened to kill his wife and children at a nearby elementary school in Indiana.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so true. I am not a parent [yet] but my heart goes out to those who were not able to reunite with their children that day. The mere thought of it brings me to tears. I love how you introduced other methods of prevention instead of only suggesting gun control. I have heard so many people say that "this is why some folks don't need guns" or "gun control laws need to be mended and enforced" when in fact, those people are missing the whole point. When people feel victimized or physically or emotionally threatened, they will go to extreme measures to express themselves - whether it be with guns, explosives, etc. So I really appreciate you recommending counseling services, friendship programs, and the knowledge of diversity.