For so many, today was filled with sadness and heartbreak as two of the twenty children from the Sandy Hook school shooting were laid to rest. Ever since I heard about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut this past Friday, I've been experiencing so many emotions - running the gamut from numbness upon hearing it, to heartbreaking sadness and currently, anger.
When the news first broke about the shooting, my first reaction was to text my sister who lives in Connecticut to see if that school was anywhere near her. She responded that it was far from them but news of it had reached their schools. While I was relieved initially that my nephews were safe, I was struck by the sheer scope of the tragedy that had occurred.
As news and pictures of these children being escorted by the police to safety were being broadcasted on live TV, I felt numb, thinking how this could have happened. How could one person cause so much heartbreak? Over the next few hours, all I heard over the radio and saw on TV were reports about this unimaginable tragedy. Each time information was reported, I felt like crying. I didn't know anyone from that school, but my heart went out to all the families whose lives were forever changed in an instant by one person.
Should there be stricter gun laws? Should there be conversations about mental health issues? Should schools employ security companies trained to retaliate against any attacks on the staff and/or students? Should bullet-proof windows be installed with the hope that it deters anyone from attacking schools?
I don't know the answers, but I refuse to let violence win. Yes, this massacre was caused by someone who was mentally ill, but should that be the end of it? When will we as a country say "enough is enough"? How many more school shootings must we go through before something significant is done? I don't subscribe to the saying "an eye for an eye", but it has been so hard not to think that way, especially after seeing the faces of those whose lives he disregarded, slaughtering them like animals.
For this mother who has, since that day, become more aware of how precious life is, the only thing I can do is voice my concerns and hope that it makes a difference. The faces of the children and educators that were taken prematurely will not be so easily forgotten by many. As I hug my daughter a little tighter in the days to come, I hope that we can make sense of the madness. We - all of us - need to find viable solutions to end this senseless violence. That's my take on this, what's yours?
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