My first reaction when learning about the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, was to consider the seeming normalcy of the morning for those families, only to have it reach an almost-surreal conclusion. I think of the thousands of same-old school days have come and gone for me as a parent: giving lunch money, finding the other sock or lost homework, negotiating after school activities, and letting them go off on their way. I am stunned at the damage done by a single individual in the span of 10 minutes, what he has irretrievably taken from dozens of families and hundreds of people, and how powerless the entire population felt watching — we are all children, parents, siblings, and teachers — shocked and hurting right along with those closest to the victims. We will continue to bear the horror with us, weep with those who mourn, and rage with those who rage.
Through this, I have not wanted to pity the boy who pulled the trigger and have thought the diagnoses and motive as unimportant in the wake of what was left behind. However, I am also aware (somewhere deep in my soul) that this person burst forth from our collective psyche; this kid who pulled the trigger is someone’s son and an offspring of our culture. Beneath the surface, our society is deeply unhealthy, and unless something is done to correct that sickness, the symptoms will continue to surface.