No Words

I have been doing what everyone else in America has been doing since Friday, watching the news for any new details about the Sandy Hook shootings and asking why? That is the question that people across the country are losing sleep trying to answer. Why would someone do this? Why at a school and why of all people, children? Since the shooter took the easy way out, we will never get a real answer.

There are no words to even describe what happened and even if the gunman was here, I am certain no explanation he could give would answer that question in a way that would satisfy our anger. I can't stop thinking about the children, the teachers and faculty, and now the families and friends left to deal with the loss of them.

My son is in first grade. I can not help but torture myself with the thoughts of what if. What if this happened in our school? We have learned it can happen anywhere, in any town. The horror of the what would've been if the same thing happened in my town, in our school, to my son. It instantly makes me overcome with sickness. The thought of scared children and teachers hiding in closets and bathrooms. The fear they must have felt as they were approached by a scary stranger with weapons that were like nothing they could ever imagine. It is almost unbearable to imagine, but perhaps we need to. It seems just when you think you are safe, that nothing like this could happen in your school, to your child, it does.

This has brought out a million opinions about what should be different, who is to blame (we need someone to blame) and what needs to be done to "fix" what is wrong with our country. I am just not sure there is one solution as much as there is a need for several things to be fixed.

The first issue that comes up is gun control. Of course, you get people who are outraged and want better gun-control. In their minds, if our gun laws were different, this never would've happened. This is a touchy subject. I understand people want the right to own guns. I understand people enjoy hunting and target shooting. I also understand people want to legally be able to have a weapon in their home to keep them safe.

I am not one of these people. I don't own guns, nor do I have a desire to. I don't feel a gun will make me safer in my home. I would live in the fear that my gun would be found by one of my children or their friends and someone would get hurt. Yes, I know you can lock your guns in a safe, like most people I know who have guns used for hunting do, but if I own a gun for the purpose of keeping me safe, I am not sure how the gun safe makes sense. Am I going to go unlock my gun from the gun safe as the intruder (or whoever) is in my house? It doesn't make sense to me. There would be better odds of one of my children getting their hands on that gun than there is of an intruder coming into my home and me even needing the gun. That is how I feel about guns for protection.

The owner of the guns used in the shootings was the gunman's mother. How safe did they keep her? Instead, her son took her guns and killed her, with her own guns, before heading to the school to kill an additional 26 innocent people. Without the use of her guns, this story would be a whole lot different.

I appreciate people's rights to own a weapon, but I don't think more guns is going to solve this problem. Perhaps stronger gun laws would, I don't think it would hurt. I would also like to think that responsible people who want to own guns for hobbies, etc would welcome these stricter gun laws because they would want people to be safe and responsible. I understand guns don't kill people, people do. I also understand that guns make it a lot easier for people to do. Adam Lanza wouldn't have gotten very far without those guns.

Mental health is also a huge topic of conversation. The thought is if these mentally ill people had access to help, they wouldn't go crazy and kill people. Perhaps. I can say from experience, getting a family member help for being mentally ill is incredibly difficult. There are more people struggling from mental illness than there are places to help them. This is a problem.

One thing we also have to consider is are we just assuming all the people who commit these crimes are crazy? The CT shooter had no police record and was not being treated for any sort of mental illness. He was described as "very intelligent, although quite and a little strange." Does that make him legally insane? Or, do we just assume that anyone who does something like this must be insane, because otherwise they would just be evil and that is hard to imagine. We don't want to consider the fact that the guy might have just been a fucked up maniac. We want him to be insane so it is easier to stomach the idea of him. Mental illness is a very real problem and perhaps the shooter was mentally ill, but there is a chance he wasn't. We can't automatically let him off the hook by assuming he was crazy.

Then there is religion. There are people who believe that the problem isn't with the guns or mental illness but rather the fact that God is not allowed in public schools. This one really stumps me. I didn't know God wasn't allowed anywhere. I thought God, and a persons faith more specifically, was always with them. Our faith is in our hearts and souls and no one can take that away from a person. I am not sure how it would've mattered if prayer was allowed in school because at the end of the day, you need to believe in God and that prayer in order for you to live by it. My guess would be someone who is sick (mentally or otherwise) enough to kill an entire classroom of small children wouldn't have changed his mind because of God. I am not sure how someone who kills children can even believe there is a God. I can also assure you there was plenty of prayers being said in Sandy Hook on Friday morning. Faith is in you and you pray whenever you need / want to. It doesn't matter where you are.

I am feeling anxious to bring my kids to school tomorrow. I know in my head that our schools have strong safety measures to try and prevent a situation like this from ever happening. They have intruder drills and my kids both know where to go and hide and what to do in case, God forbid, someone ever get into their school. In my heart, I want them to be home with me, where I can see that they are safe and where I feel in control of what happens to them. Yet tomorrow morning they will go to school and I will kiss and hug them goodbye like all the parents did to those 20 kids last week. I will say a prayer and hope that we can find an answer to the question why and that we, as a country, can find a solution so this never happens again.

I will continue to keep the people of Sandy Hook in my thoughts and prayers and to the 20 little angels and the 6 heroes that left this world too soon, I wish them peace.

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