The School Shooting in Newtown

Readers, my heart is like yours: Shattered.

My perspective, however, may be a little different.

It’s impossible not to feel afraid, sad, sickened and deeply pessimistic when something like this occurs. However, “something like this” — well, there aren’t a lot of somethings like this, and that’s a truth I am desperately trying to remind my heavy soul. It may feel like “school shootings happen all the time,” but they don’t. They are rarer than rare. They are as unpredictable as anything can be. And if today we find ourselves making a mental list, “Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook,” that’s because they are few enough, in a country of 300 million, that we know their names.

This does not mitigate our sorrow, but it can — with some effort — mitigate our fear. It is not to dismiss the parents’ pain that I encourage you to turn off the TV. It is to keep some perspective. The perspective that almost dare not speak its name. The perspective that the vast majority of children in America will never encounter a psychopathic mass murderer at school, and to guard them as if they will is unnecessary.

Worse, it is bordering on ungrateful. – L

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