On December 14, 2012 at 9:30 a.m., parents around the world watched in horror as news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut reached our living rooms. My first gut instinct was to go to my children’s schools and pick them up and bring them home. Where they would be safe, protected. I could not even begin to comprehend that my children would not be safe – even at school – in our society. Other friends felt the same way, as the phone lines lit up and we talked to each other about the horror we were watching unfold on television. I emailed my son’s teacher to inform her of what had happened, and asked her to hug each and every one of those children for me on their way home Friday afternoon. When my own son arrived home on the bus (yes, I withheld the urge to run to the school and bring him home, but it was hard), I was waiting outdoors for him and grabbed him up the minute he stepped off the bus and just held tight while tears streamed down my face.
When did we, as a nation, reach the point where even the innocent are no longer safe? Why must our children become the focal point for madmen, cowards who can not deal with the problems in their own lives, that they have to target innocent families and destroy their lives in a matter of seconds?
It just doesn’t make sense to me. Being an individual who thinks the best of everyone, I have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that there are people in this world who just don’t care how they affect others with their actions and words. Adam Lanza didn’t feel a bit of remorse after killing his own mother, and then walking into that school and killing 20 innocent children and 6 adults. They were happily looking forward to the Christmas holiday and making plans to spend time with their loved ones, never once giving a thought to the fact that they would not be here to celebrate Christmas with their families this year.
I could go on and on for pages with regards to my personal thoughts and feelings on this matter, but I won’t. I will, however, state that while I have the utmost faith and trust in the faculty at my son’s elementary school, it does concern me that they have a campus-style school. It is something that has always worried me a bit, in the back of my head, but our school district has a great system in place, and for that I am grateful. I was extremely gratified to notice that when I went to deliver gifts to the staff and teachers on the 18th, just 4 days after Sandy Hook, it was comforting to see a more noticeable police presence at the school, locked doors everywhere, and that nothing at all was getting into those classrooms or hallways without someone on the inside admitting entrance.
I will be watching the discussions regarding gun control and our children’s safety closely, and I will be doing my part as a parent to ensure that my own personal feelings on the matter are heard and that something is done about the violence that is just escalating out of control in our society. I will also be watching closely how our government handles the checks and balances of gun purchases with regards to those with mental illnesses. On a personal note, I do not consider Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder to be classified as a ‘mental illness’ per se, however; I will be the first person to tell you that I never want my son to have the right to own a gun. As a parent, I know that if he had that right, it would lead to nothing but complete and total disastrous consequences due to his impulsivity and quick temper. He wants to join the military when he gets older, but due to his ADHD, they will not accept him into the Armed Forces for that same reason. Allowing him to be armed and part of a team is not something that the military wants to deal with – so why should civilian life be any different? I look at the right to bear arms like this – if you cannot join the military, then you should not be allowed to purchase or own a gun of any type as a civilian. My personal opinion is that the only guns that should be sold to civilians are the type that are used for hunting. There is simply no reason whatsoever for civilians to own assault rifles.
National Moment of Silence
On Friday, December 21, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has asked for a National Moment of Silence to honor the victims of Sandy Hook. I will be participating, and will most likely be in tears once again for the majority of the day recalling the events of last week. Womens Forum: The Place for Moms, has a touching tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy on their site. Please take a moment to read it if you will.
I leave you with a beautiful poem, written by Cameo Smith of Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania, as a tribute to the victims of this senseless tragedy. God Bless each of us.
Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air,
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say,
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse,
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy, “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King!
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of Mom and Dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, at world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools,”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”