Shame

This morning as I was getting ready for work, a horror was beginning to play out in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut. 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School where she taught and murdered 26 innocent people – including 20 children.

I have seen no shortage of hurt, sick and dying children in my profession. The one thing I have thankfully never had to see is a child dying of a gunshot wound. Contrary to what gun control advocates would tell you, small children don’t die of GSW’s very often. I run on child drownings several times a year, but in six years I have yet to run on a single child killed by a gun.

Unfortunately the statistics mattered none today. It almost seems as if Lanza was bent on killing mostly children. Unsurprisingly we don’t know the motive. In less than 24 hours, though, what innocence we had left has been shattered by a terrifying monstrosity that we never would have imagined in our worst nightmares. Tonight, the parents of 20 young children are sitting in shock. They know their children aren’t coming home, but they have not yet been officially told. The investigation has barely begun.

I had resolved this morning that I would not write about this so soon, but it cannot be helped. News was still fresh when some in the media began going after those who have been affected by mass shootings in the past. Some urged caution in how we react, but the media was really after statements from those who now advocate gun control. Several have angrily said that it’s the availability of guns in America that makes these tragedies possible.

Has anyone ever wondered why all of the mass shootings that happen here in the US always take place in so-called “gun-free” zones, places like schools that have strict zero-tolerance policies? Shooters go to those areas because they can inflict maximum casualties and nobody will fight back – because they can’t. Paducah. Jonesboro. Littleton. Aurora. The Oregon mall shooting just a couple of days ago – and now, Newtown. Malls and movie theaters in states where open carry is allowed almost always post signs telling patrons not to bring their legally-owned weapons inside, which is their right; the only problem is that the bad guys do not care about the rules any more than they care about the law. Murder is illegal, but they still commit it. We’ve made heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines illegal (among many drugs) but people still abuse those substances at rates that are unbelievable. I fail to understand how anyone believes that making guns illegal is going to solve the problem.

I’m not a parent, but I am an aunt. When I see things like this my mind goes into overdrive. I can’t even comprehend what my reaction would be if I were this powerless. I’ll tell you this, if some thug threatened any child (especially one in my family) in my presence, he would not survive the experience. If I’m watching those kids and someone breaks into the house, there will be no question nor any hesitation – I will make sure that person can never harm them again. We should be absolutely furious with anyone who dares to try to do harm to our kids. We should not be begging or pleading. We should be ready to do fatal damage to anyone who tries to harm or kill a child in our care.

Instead, we have gun-free zones. We want everyone to FEEL safe. I almost never go to the movies and avoid malls like the zombie apocalypse because I would be a sitting duck in those places. While I can understand some victims wanting to have a “discussion” about guns in America, I would rather they look hard at how we treat criminals and those who would become criminals. We’re so willing to become violent over politics, but we’re not willing to defend ourselves? How did we become a nation of people who would rather leave the most defenseless among us completely helpless in the face of evil?

Stop trying to make sense of this. There is no sanity involved. There is nothing even remotely normal about a 20-year-old gunning down a room full of kindergarteners, and trying to normalize it is just as insane as the act itself. One or two armed teachers could have stopped this before it happened. A gun could have saved lives today. Instead, the bright lights of 26 pure souls were extinguished.

It’s a sin and a shame that we weren’t willing to do more.