Sandy Hook: When the Magic Dies
It’s human nature to be protective of our children, just as it’s human nature to react with rage and sorrow when children are kidnapped, abused or murdered. Lives have been stopped cold in their tracks before they had ample chance to bloom into their fullest possibilities. And for those who survived, most especially those in or near the school who saw or heard the gunman’s rampage, the magic of childhood has died.
In spite of our natural anger, I hope that we will wait until all the evidence has been collected before we make matters worse by jumping to conclusions and pointing fingers at lists of directly or indirectly responsible culprits. When tragedies strike, it’s quite natural for people who have been warning about the possibilities of tragedies to leap into the discourse on news programs, Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere with solutions that feature their own agendas and issues.
While some of these people may be right, the causes behind the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and all the other recent shootings comprise a complex puzzle with many pieces. While it’s human nature to jump into the dialogue with issues about which we are passionate, we risk muddying the issue by implying that one contributing factor is the sole cause and that fixing it in some way will make the entire puzzle fall into a clear picture.
Not only do we defame the dead by using them as rationale for pushing our pet issues, we stifle the search for answers by reducing all the causes of mass shootings down to one or two overly simplistic prospective solutions.
Whether it’s through silence, meditation, prayer, attendance at vigils, personal interaction with survivors, or offers of help, I firmly believe this is a time to focus on the needs of those who are suffering.
Then, after the victims are buried and those near to them have had a chance to begin a long healing process, we can honor Sandy Hook Elementary by moving forward with a rationale discussion of the multiple causes behind our epidemic of mass shootings. We owe them that.