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Friday, February 8, 2013

Sandy Hook Observations: After the fact: Part 1

I was going to do all of them in one blog, but it is a daunting task and there are so many, so I decided to break them up and do one every week or two. I realize that most are sick of it all by now and either way they don't want to read a 30 minute blog. So, I broke them up. Here is the first one.
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It has now been 8 weeks since the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. They say time heals all wounds. We could debate that, but time does seem to take the sting out of them. As time passes, the emotion of that day and the week or two that followed has given way to lots of discussion and debate. And as it stands now, the status quo and a return to how it was before. Pretty much what always happens in these types of situations. Will there ever be any concrete, tangible changes because of what happened at Sandy Hook? I doubt it. But at least for a short time it brought those issues to the surface like no other event since 9/11.
There were so many layers to this story and all the hysteria and debate it caused. When you boil it down however, Sandy Hook was the act of one very disturbed 20 year old and the tragic loss of 28 lives. Yes, I wrote 28, because I include Adam Lanza in that. He was human and I am sure if he had his choice he would not have wanted to been born broken and disturbed. That isn't really what this blog is about, but I wanted to mention that right off the top. A lot of people lost their lives on December 14th, 2012 and millions of others will be forever effected in some way. 
This blog however is about some observations I had in relation to what happened before and after the incident. Some bear on what did happen, but only indirectly.

1) The way people reacted to this initially on that day.

There seemed to be shock and horror. Horror I get. It is horrific what happened. None of us can imagine that happening to our kids. But shock? Nope. I don't know how you can be shocked when this sort of thing happens with alarming frequency and consistency. Yes, it was mostly kids, very young children this time. The kind of kids that many parents can relate to. Kids just like they have. Helpless, innocent 6 and 7 year olds who didn't really know about the big bad evil world we live in. Part of the way we cope with life is making certain assumptions. One of those is that our young kids are safe in grade schools where kids are not old enough to do more than have playground fist fights and wrestling matches. Six and Seven year olds don't carry guns or knives to school. They don't form gangs of bullies and torment kids the way 13, 14 and 15 year olds do. Other than that, schools are supposed to be safe havens. When you send your kid to school, you expect him or her to show up on that 3pm bus home at the end of the school day. If you go to pick them up, you expect them to come running out with their backpack and school books. 
But life in this day and age simply isn't like that. This time it happened at a school. Six months before that it was a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Six months before that a shopping mall. Every day in America it happens just about anywhere you can think of. This was bound to happen. The luck of the draw. Horrific, yes. Shocking. No. 
Inevitable.  
And you can be certain of this: Armed guards or no armed guards in schools, this will happen again. Maybe it wont be 27 killed, maybe more, maybe less, but it will happen. Many times. As the frequency of incidents escalates because America is a very violent culture and just about every American has access to any gun they want, when the economy gets worse and people become desperate, the frequency of these types of incidents are going to increase, not decrease, armed guards or not. The only shock is those that simply refused to see the signs of this type of reality for years and got smacked in the face on this day. Hopefully they are horrified and outraged next time, but not shocked. I would be shocked if it didn't happen again in the next two years.

Point 2 next week. 

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