By now, you’ve heard the heartbreaking and tragic news that a young man dressed in battle dress uniform and armed to the teeth walked into an elementary school in Newtown, CT and mowed down small children and their teachers. As many as 27 are dead, including the alleged shooter, Adam Lanza of Hoboken, NJ.
As a parent of four beautiful children, I cannot fathom the depth of grief that the parents of the dead are experiencing right now. When you drop your children off at school or day care—as I have done for almost 22 years now—you expect to see their bright smiles and beautiful faces at the end of the day.
You expect to have them share all of the wonderful things they learned that day. About Thanksgiving. About Christopher Columbus. About trees, and birds and bugs and how E comes after I except in really funny circumstances.
You don’t expect to get a call from the police, explaining that a gunman has somehow defeated your kids’ school’s security system and that your beautiful child won’t be coming home.
What kind of individual perpetrates this kind of evil in our society?
More importantly, what has changed in our society in recent decades that causes people like Lanza to do what they do?
It’s not guns. Ok? We have had a well-armed populace since the founding of this great nation. We had guns in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.. What we did not have was mass shootings at places where innocents gather.
So, I ask again: What has changed?
I can assure you that there will be people who shamelessly attempt to politicize this horrible event. There is a special place in hell for them, but there is even a more special place in hell for those who would harm children.
Hug your children tonight. You can never tell them that you love them too much.
Update: The alleged shooter’s name has been corrected.