Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Thoughts are With Those Who Mourn Their Dead . . .

A hundred years from now it will not matter
what my bank account was,
the sort of house I lived in,
or the kind of car I drove.
But the world may be different because
I was important in the life of a child.

Life as many know it ended Friday morning, before 10:00 AM, in Newtown, CT,
when a troubled young man, who had already murdered his mother in her sleep,
drove to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and there he managed to get past the
initial entry barriers and within 10 minutes of entering the school, had shot and killed the 
principal, the school psychologist, and turned his bushmaster rifle on the teachers and 
children in two of the school rooms.

Now families, communities, and the entire nation is still trying to "wrap our minds around" the reality of this level of violence, the horror that so many children witnessed, the
sense that over 550 children experienced that their lives were no longer safe.  Vigils,
prayer services, community gatherings, family assemblies, and now 28 funerals will be held
in and around Newtown, CT--20 children, six teachers & school administrators, one mother 
and her son, the shooter.

I can only add  my voice to those who are mourning the senseless deaths that have marred the American consciousness, remembering that not only Newtown residents are in mourning, but there are those who were terrorized in Clackamus, OR just two days before this school shooting.  We remember those in Aurora, CO, in Oklahoma City, OK, in Newport Beach, CA, and all the communities in the United States where 24,000 kids have died in the past two years.  And reflecting on the words of the President of the United States, have we done enough to keep our children safe?  And if we have not done so, why not?

It is these thoughts that keep circulating through my mind today, and I felt I needed to express my anger that any child dies, whether s(he) is sitting in a school room, or playing in front of the house when someone starts shooting from a car that is driving past that location. That same anger sizzles and pops in my heart over the abuse children suffer, at those who drink up or spend grocery money on drugs, rather than feed their kids.  

We will never solve all the problems of the world, and there is no law or set of laws that will eradicate evil from the world.  But reasonable people make reasonable laws so that there is a reasonable expectation that our children will be safe to grow up and reach adulthood in pursuit of a meaningful life.  Just as each of us has individual choice about the aspects of our own lives, so we as a nation make choices of what we want to be the factors of American life.  Are our guns, especially those military-type assault weapons, so necessary to us, so precious to us as a society that we just have to have them?  Are we willing to put the safety of any of our citizens, especially our children, at stake in order to satisfy our lust for violence?
These are questions we all have answer, and it doesn't appear that there is any better time than now.

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