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The Suburbanite
  • Adventures in Parenting: Good will overcome Conn. shootings

  • I wish I weren’t writing this. I dreaded writing this week and enlisted suggestions for column topics from friends because I was emotionally numb and procrastinated until far past my deadline.



    So here I am, writing for the third time in less than two years about a mass murder committed by a lone gunman in the United States.

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  • I wish I weren’t writing this. I dreaded writing this week and enlisted suggestions for column topics from friends because I was emotionally numb and procrastinated until far past my deadline.
    So here I am, writing for the third time in less than two years about a mass murder committed by a lone gunman in the United States.
    So here I am, first graders’ faces, snippets of news stories and photos of the shooter playing through my mind. I am trying to comprehend the murder of innocent people, seeking an explanation for the shooter’s actions and looking for the right words to discuss it. No matter what I write, or what I erase and rewrite, I come up short.
    Why are we going through this again?
    Something is incredibly wrong in our country and something has to be done about it. Now. Not after it happens again.
     But I don’t have answers on what must change. Is it access to guns, banning semi-automatic weapons, increasing mental health services and treatment, increasing security at schools, increasing security in all public areas, banning violent video games or decreasing violence depicted in the media? I don’t know if it’s one or a combination of these things.
    Since Friday’s shootings, I have heard countless solutions proposed to counteract or stop the increasing pattern of mass shootings in the United States. Everyone seems to have the “right” answer. For everyone who voices their opinion, there are others who attack them and their propositions with anger and hatred.
    Maybe our anger is masking another, more powerful emotion: We’re terrified.
    We parents who send our children to school every day expect we will see them again. We go on with our adult lives while they are gone and believe they are safe. We don’t expect to hear a news bulletin and only register the words “elementary school, children, shooting.” And then it sinks in, the whole story. It wasn’t at your child’s school. It was somewhere else. It was in a different state. You might have thought, as I did, “How awful, how horrible. This is so tragic. Those poor children, their poor parents.”
    Or secretly, you might think to yourself, “Thank God it wasn’t my child.”
    Later, after the shock has worn off, you hug your child after school, thinking again how grateful you are it wasn’t your child. This is when the nagging terror creeps into the back of your mind. Because it could be your child next. It could be my daughter, Maggie, some day. I thought all of these things, and I am not proud to admit it.
    But then I realized: Though one shooter was intent upon destroying lives, there were far more that day who risked their lives to protect others. For one tragic event, there are countless more miraculous ones. We have to go on, not in fear and with hatred, but with trust and hope for our lives, our children’s lives and our country. I believe there is far more good than evil, more angels than devils and more we must do to find a solution to a horrific problem.
    Page 2 of 2 - There was one shooter. There are far more of us.
    We can overcome. We can change things. We must.