Before I begin, I must apologize in advance. Those of you who normally read my blog for happy, go-lucky stories, will not find one here today. It breaks The Scribe’s heart to have to discuss this story, but I feel I must. Out of respect for the families who have lost a loved one, no photographs accompany it. And so…
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As the story unfolded yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I could not hold back the tears.
Twenty-seven people were dead; 20 of them were innocent children.
A shooter, after killing his own mother by shooting her in the face, drove to the school where she was allegedly a teacher, killed the principal and the school psychiatrist, and then hunted down two classrooms of children that his mother allegedly taught. Just writing this is horrifying. I can’t imagine the panic, fear, and disbelief that adults, police, and firefighters had to endure while trying to get children out of the school and to safety.
And then, of course, there were the parents whose children perished inside the school.
When I talked to my kids about it last night—allowing them to watch some of the coverage as it unfolded—I only had one message to share with them: Yes. There is evil in the world. And sometimes you can’t see it coming.
A quiet little town in Connecticut—a town where our cousins Gary, Angela, Erica, and Marissa live—will never be the same. One deranged, evil person can change a town and affect the lives of hundreds, thousands, or more people 11 days before Christmas. And perhaps that’s why I couldn’t stop watching last night. I pictured people our cousins knew mourning the loss of a child, a principal, a teacher, a sister, a brother, or a friend.
In an interview with one of the very young children, the child described how the teachers closed the blinds and told everyone to get down and locked the door “to keep the animal out.” The beautiful, naivete of children. He was innocently calling the madman an animal.
And he was right.
In that vein, that animal was a coward. Killing innocent children for the sake of … what? None of them deserved to die. None of them deserved the hand that was dealt yesterday. And so we find ourselves asking why? People want answers. Over and over on the news last night, the one question that kept being asked was, what was the motive?
Who cares about the killer’s motive? Nothing can justify what occurred; it won’t bring anyone back. Children are dead. The principal, who would dress up in costumes and tried to make learning fun, lost her life doing her job. The school psychiatrist was months away from retirement. It’s nonsensical. No one can make me understand. There simply is no justification that will ease the pain for anyone.
And so we are left shaking our heads, but needing to make sense of it in order to communicate with our own children.
Unfortunately, I’m left with only this to tell my children: I cannot lie to you. I don’t know why this happened, and I certainly can’t explain it to you.
It’s simply inexplicable.