I just walked out to grab a coffee to come out to my office to write this blog and as I did I passed the bedroom of my 9 year old daughter sleeping. Her name is Laura. I stopped and watched her sleep:-trying to get my head around the incredibly sad situation in the US this morning where 20 children under the age of 10 have been gunned down and an additional 8 adults, teachers, have been killed at an Elementary School in Connecticut. There is a collective sense of grief as we all shake our heads in disbelief that this has happened again in the US. As it happened literally only hours ago, it’s still very early days in the timeline of this horrendous crime, but I thought I would blog a few thoughts I have about it.
I can’t begin to imagine the horror for a parent to hear of a shooting in their child’s school and not know whether their child is alive or not. I trying and project myself into the situation and I think of the initial phone calls or twitter feeds that I would read telling me that there was a shooting at my daughter’s school. I imagine being panicked. Suddenly there is nothing more important in the world than getting to the school. I grab the car keys and rush to the school, driving for the longest 20 minutes of my life:- Praying desperately that Laura is safe. I would be fumbling through the radio stations trying to hear any news. I imagine the frustration of hitting the police road block and screaming at the police to let me through. I imagine running to the Assembly hall, my eyes scanning the scared contorted, tear stained faces of the children there, looking for a face I know. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be told, my daughter has been killed….. We so need to pray for all parents of children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
We need as parents to hug our children more. Tell them more that we love them. Be cranky at them less. Let them be the children they are. When they drop and break a glass – it doesn’t matter. When they get grass stains on their good pants because they were playing on the grass with the neighbour’s kids, that’s ok too. When they go out and leave their bedroom a mess – it’s not the end of the world. Too many parents have regrets about how they parented. If you need to – change your parenting style. Go and buy some silly string today, have a water fight, be spontaneous:- make your children smile.
For those parents who have lost children in this tragedy, we must pray for them. I simply cannot imagine how they would be feeling right now.
For the Children who weren’t killed, but will be incredibly traumatized, we need to pray for them also.
For the Emergency Services Personnel who were the first responders, what they have seen today, will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Pray for them.
I know Americans are proud of the constitutional right they have to bear arms but surely the right to life trumps the right to have a gun. It was only several months ago that a man walked into a midnight screening of the Dark Knight and opened fire killing 12 people. In April 2007, 32 students were killed at Virginia Tech Campus. In July 1991, 23 people were killed in Luby’s Cafeteria shooting in Texas. In April 2009, in a New York Immigration Office, 13 people were killed. Maybe it’s time the US looked at gun control.
I am trying to get my head around how messed up a 24 year old man must be to simply walk into a school and open fire on little boys and girls. Maybe it’s too early to say this, but I think at some point we need to look at the society that we have created that is producing mass murderers at 24 years old.
So much sadness. So big a need for prayer.