To my readers: I will re-post my Christmas greeting shortly. I did not want it to be drowned out by this but I feel the necessity to say the following:
Where do we go from here? Today (12-14-2012) in my home state of Connecticut, just about ten miles east of the town of Newtown, the second worst school shooting since the Virginia Tech shooting took place at circa 9:40 a.m. I remember both the V.T. and the Columbine shootings, but (1) it was a jogger’s jaunt from my own backyard, and (2), elementary school children, some in kindergarten.
Take 9-11, V.T., and Columbine; in all cases my heart ached and my tears shed. But a reporter on WEBE radio out of Westport, Connecticut spoke about the time he attended a funeral of a baby that was accidently killed. How it was too much for him to watch pallbearers carry a casket that small. There are going to be many caskets of sizes smaller than that which should never have come to be.
I graduated Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT in 1981; and when I think about how at 7:40 in the morning, you just walked in the front door and headed to first period class; then went through the five to six classes you had on your schedule that day. Today, Brien McMahon, like many other urban high schools has a security system, security guards, and everybody including the student body has to walk through metal detectors on their way to first period or wherever they are supposed to be. I get it, Norwalk is a city. A suburb with respect to New York, New York, but a mid-sized city tucked away in lower Fairfield County with its share of bad neighborhoods, crime, and juvenile delinquency. But today something horrific beyond comprehension took place in an elementary school in a small rural town.
Has it reached a point where even small town elementary schools need security and metal detectors? Do our teachers have to study marksmanship and learn how to disarm such unwanted guests? Is all that is left of enjoyable childhood is the first four years of life before one’s parents enroll the child in kindergarten?
This is not a blog article on gun control or criminal justice issues such as the death penalty. The shooter killed himself after he killed about twenty children and six adults. The only criminal justice system that could work for someone who does something heinous and then kills himself to not face justice is God’s judgment when the time comes. This is not a blog article on the American Dream, American politics, or even on the future of America. The only comment I can make in passing is that it actually makes the Fiscal Cliff really seem like a foothill. The future of childhood is on trial right now. This is the Christmas season; supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year to be a child. The lives of the surviving children who attend Sandy Hook Elementary School will never be the same.
I don’t know how to conclude this article, except to give my deepest condolences to the families of those parents of Sandy Hook schoolchildren who lost a child and too the staff, faculty and surviving pupils who have to bear this grief for the rest of their elementary school years; and possibly for the rest of their lives. God speed these miniature souls to their creator to dwell in the part of the Kingdom reserved for children who did not live to see adulthood forever and ever. Amen.