I’ve Had Enough of the Senseless Violence

Over the years I can remember only three news stories or events that turned me upside down and made me feel sick to my stomach: the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Princess Diana dying in a car crash and the insanity of what happened last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.  The tragedy of what took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School has brought the gun control debate back to the forefront again, but this post will not be about re-examining gun laws in this country.

As the story was unfolding I was in my basement working on a home improvement project.  I was taking a break when I received a notification of a blog post from a friend of mine in the UK and the author was responding to the breaking news about the shooting at the school.  That’s how I found out about it.  I went to a news site on my cell phone to learn more.  After my wife came home from work we watched the emerging details on the national news.  My jaw kept dropping lower and lower as the details came in.

I was furious.  I was frustrated.  I was dumbfounded.  And I was saddened beyond belief or explanation.  I was stunned at how this affected so many people in so many ways and how this will affect people forever.  The families, friends, the community of Newtown, everyone everywhere.  I wanted to drive down to Connecticut and do something to help someone.  I was beside myself with anger over how one person could do such a thing that has and will continue to damage so many things for so many people.  It was a selfish act of violence that is happening all too often in this country.

And you can bet that as the details of the shooter’s life come out, we will be exposed to how he wasn’t raised right or how he came from a broken home and how he left so many clues leading up to this unspeakable event that someone should have been able to stop him before all of the carnage.  It’s the same thing over and over again in this country.  These kind of things happen so often these days I don’t know where you can go outside of your own home and be safe anymore.

As I received more information about the tragedy on Friday I kept thinking of something I have said so many times to so many people: I am so relieved that I don’t have children that are in school.  I don’t know how parents these days can deal with sending their kids off to school each day and not knowing if they will be returning home.  The innocence that was lost last Friday is heartbreaking.  The things some of those children had to see are unspeakable.  The lives that were taken that day, so many of them so young, is an unacceptable, unthinkable loss and bares witness to the outcry for something to be done and done NOW.

Teachers are so often criticized and overlooked but I have never doubted their worth.  For many, teaching is a thankless job but for everyone, it is a necessary thread in the fabric of not only this country but the world as a whole.  What the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School did Friday was nothing short of heroism, their love for their students and their love for what they do every day.  They were trained for things like this but let’s face it, being trained for how to respond during a crisis like that and actually having to use that training in the real situation are two very different things.  I salute teachers everywhere and I never doubt their worth.  If it weren’t for the teachers I had while in school I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I wouldn’t have had the life I’ve had.  I praise the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School who, without thinking twice about it, put their own lives on the line to protect their students.

If you have kids, hug them a lot and talk to them.  If they’re away at college, call them.  Look for any signs that they are acting out of the ordinary and don’t hesitate to get help for them or for you if you feel it’s necessary.  Children are a commodity we have that can’t have a price tag attached to them.  They are more precious than anything in this world and everything must be done to protect them and secure their future.  That is a parent’s responsibility, and that is the responsibility of all of us including government.  The kids that were gunned down last Friday were all cheated, and that cheats every one of us.  The adults who lost their lives did so with honor and we should remember them also.

I guess part of this is also about how things have changed since I was in school.  We didn’t have to pass through metal detectors to get through the doors.  We didn’t have security cameras.  When we went to school we felt safe.  The last thing on our minds was having to worry about violence.  My, how that has changed, and it is a very sad thing.  Malls, movie theatres, churches, anywhere where people can gather are now a potential tragedy and that bothers the hell out of me.  It should bother the hell out of you, too.

But no matter how upset this most recent shooting makes us we can’t forget about the innocent kids and adults who paid the ultimate price for the breakdown of our society.  We can’t forget about the community of Newtown, Connecticut who are left to deal and struggle with the aftermath of this mess.  And perhaps most importantly, we have to recommit ourselves to being vigilant and on guard for the sake of our own children and their futures.  We don’t owe that just to them, we owe it to all of us.

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5 Comments

  1. KDawg

     /  December 15, 2012

    Nicole,

    Well said. There may not be anything that can be done to prevent this sort of thing. All a school can do is put measures in place like the ones you referred to and be vigilant. I hope that your boys can get through their school years without ever having to experience this type of thing. The statistics say that will be the case. I suppose it’s like flying on an airplane.

    One thing I would like to note, though, is if you look at other countries around the world this sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen, or happen as frequently. What happened in Norway last year was an exception. But there has got to be something that can be done if not to end this sort of thing but at least to slow it down and not make it happen as much.

    Thanks as always for reading and providing your feedback. That’s what makes blogging fun and enjoyable for me. And to you, Bob, Brett and Rocky, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, safe and happy new year!

    Reply
  2. Nicole Jacobs

     /  December 15, 2012

    Kurt, at the beginning of this year Brett’s school was installed with 50 new cameras (previous to this they only had 3), electronic locks at every door and an intercom for entrance into the front door. I was at first frustrated that a private school of only 600 high school boys needed to spend so much money on an arsenal of security when we have to pay for everthing from books to sports. After talking about it with other parents I realized it was money well spent for the safety of my child and all the people who go there everyday. After yesterday it is now apparent this may not be enough. We can say the solutions are more gun control, or more mental intervention, or just accountability but will any of this really stop someone from snapping and going crazy? I don’t think so. You can say a person is crazy or needs mental help, make a police report or tell a person of athority but until that person snaps nothing can be done. We as a country will spend the next days, weeks, months, years and decades trying to figure out a solution to this problem that I am affraid has no solution. We can only hope that if when it happens again, which it will, there will be people like those teachers there to help save lives.

    Reply
    • Tony

       /  December 23, 2012

      Maybe the answer lies within the school. What is being taught to your children? What I see of the current education system is disheartening. It needs to be repaired. Yes these teachers were heroes, in this chaotic turmoil. I see them as culprits as well. They have disemboweled themselves to a system that believes no child left behind is a good thing. That all kids are created equall, definitely not a racist remark, that your selfworth is not the most important thing. I have a nephew that was allowed to take his final highschool exam home which he promptly had his girlfriend complete, thus graduating. There are kids at the local market that can’t make change for a dollar on a 99 cent bill without the computer telling them so. Kids don’t come out of school anymore wondering what they can do to make the world a better place, they wonder what the world can do for them. There is no independent thinking, there is no recognitive for being thoughtful, moral, respectful. I took an online course in business mangement, after being asked to comment on something I was accused of plagiarism! I am a great thinker, and realize that perhaps someone before me may of thought the same way. If I cannot think for myself then I am just burning oxygen.
      Yes there are good teachers, maybe they could be great teachers if they weren’t being told what to lie to our children about by a liberal oversite committee. Those locked doors aren’t meant to keep out guns or bad people. They keep you out. Go to your school ask to spend not a day but a week in the classrooms. If you find a conserted effort to keep you from that, take no explantion or excuse to keep you from that, or take your kids out of that school immediately. The heartfelt loss in that community is unthinkable, Will it happen again, yes unless something is done. Will that happen, not without takeing back control, being involved. If your kids come home with good marks and they didn’t earn them then there is something amiss. Be involved…TOTALLY. You must earn respect, Teach your kids that and perhaps peer presure, lifes trials and tribulations won’t be so oppressive that it drives them crazy enough to commit these heinous acts.

      Reply
      • KDawg

         /  December 23, 2012

        Uh oh, this is making me start to think about one of my biggest pet peaves and how it affects our society. I HATE the fact that in many youth sports leagues now there are no losers. Everyone is a winner. Everyone gets a trophy. The thing I dislike so much about this is that it doesn’t prepare a child for the real world that’s out there after they get out of that little caccoon. They aren’t prepared to handle the competition, victory and defeat that comes with everyday life in the real world. Since they’re not prepared to deal with that, they will deal with it in whatever way they first come up with which can’t always be good. I think kids should be taught not only how to win properly but also how to lose. Winning and losing happens every day in the real world and a person needs to know how to correctly deal with both of those experiences.

        Reply
        • Tony

           /  December 24, 2012

          I could only add that in becomeing prepared in the(for the) social capitol(sorry to use a liberal term) entrace to real life; one would only hope that young adults would learn to take a side and be proud they can serve that side honorably. That was a long sentence but I’m in a hurry.

          Reply

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