Sandy Hook Elementary: This could have been any school, any of our kids

Words are woefully inadequate here, but I'm a writer, so I have to write something.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor

There is absolutely nothing I could write here that will make a bit of difference, provide the tiniest comfort, or bring the least solace to grieving parents, families, and friends in Newtown, CT after today's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school. None of the details matter. All that matters is that at least 27 people are dead, 20 of them small children, and 600 students who heard their playmates and teachers being gunned down are unspeakably traumatized.

I could spin this post to be about technology. After all, we could lock down every school with key card access, video surveillance, RFIDs, and any number of other bits of technology to keep our kids safe, but this is hardly an environment conducive to learning and simply being a child.

I could talk about violent video games and media glorification of violence but I think most of know this has nothing to do with any of that.

I could make this a rant about gun control but now isn't the time and this certainly isn't the place.

I could make this about education and the fact that if kids don't feel safe, they can't learn. But Newtown, CT, is an affluent community with virtually no poverty or violence and no reason for students to feel unsafe, whether they are in their schools or traveling between home and school.

I could write about how school violence is a sign of our increasingly isolated and social media-driven society, where a lack of personal connections means that people who need help aren't being identified before they do something like this, but it's not as if the entire country is going to abandon social media and start having lovefests over big community dinners.

Unfortunately, all of that is empty crap when so many kids have just died. So all I'll do is add my worthless condolences and sit at my computer thanking whatever higher power might be out there that it wasn't my kids. Because it could have been Anytown, USA, and it could have been #AnySchoolElementary that's trending on Twitter right now instead of Newtown, CT, and Sandy Hook Elementary. Whatever comes of this, something has to change. Whether it's our laws, our mental health safety nets, the environment in which we educate our kids, or something else entirely, this can't happen again.

To the parents, families, friends, and loved ones whose lives have been senselessly shattered today, I can't express my own sorrow and I can't even imagine yours.

And to those who lost their lives today, rest in peace.


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