Hi Folks! Here are some thoughts, culled from your comments, that resonated for me. – L.
My sympathies go out to the parents and families. I cannot imagine what they must be going through. On the other hand, I have heard as much as I want to hear about it. Evil exists in this world and insensitive as it sounds, talking endlessly about this event is not going to shine any light on why it happened.
Shhh…I feel the same way. I even worry that focusing so much on it does the opposite of shine a light. It creates darkness: a belief that because 20 children died somewhere, suddenly, then all children are in danger everywhere, always. That belief can lead beyond sensible safety precautions to community-corroding measures, like the school in Anchorage (4,461 miles away from Sandy Hook) that held its annual Christmas concert over the weekend, but this time required all guests to sign in.
Uh – how did that make anyone safer? All it did was add a new layer of bureaucracy, while subtly suggesting that the school considers all visitors at least POSSIBLY mass murderers. (Unless they have proper I.D.s. Then they’re fine.)
Another reader voiced this rather taboo thought:
Why leave teddy bears in shrines when you could send toys to children in need?
Why don’t we grieve for all murdered children this way, including, for instance, the poor ones killed in housing projects?
This one’s from a teacher:
Many other staff members, besides myself, have pointed out that no matter how many safety procedures we have, if a crazy person with a gun wanted to shoot his way into the school there would be nothing to stop him. Whenever anyone asks what we’re “doing in response” I always say nothing really, sometimes bad things just happen.
And here’s one more subversive thinker:
I don’t need to watch interviews with 7-year-olds to know that they will need a lot of time to heal. I don’t need to see the pictures of the children and adults who were murdered to know that their families will miss them forever. I don’t need to know what happened at the funerals to know that this is one of the hardest days of these parents’ lives. And I don’t need to talk to my friends about how devastated I am. Because although I feel sad, my life will be the same as it was before, in just a matter of days. The lives of those who were actually there, and who lost loved ones, will never be the same. My wallowing will not do anything for them.
Wallowing is not always voluntary, of course. The sadness hits different people different ways. But to deliberately retreat from the mass misery is not evil or uncaring or even a bad idea. It’ s just uncommon. – L.