We are accustomed to checking CNN, Twitter, and Facebook throughout each day for the latest news and entertainment. Although, lately we have been faced with the ugly reality of tragedy far to often. In the course of one week we have been alerted to two different shootings at opposite ends of the country. One in a shopping mall near Portland, Oregon and the most recent at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
While senseless shootings are always mind-boggling stories to fathom, it is utterly repulsive when it involves the innocence of children. We kiss our kids each morning and tell them to work hard and enjoy their day. It never occurs to us to warn them of life threatening dangers that could befall them within the walls of school.
As I drove to my daughter's school this afternoon, I struggled with what to say. She had planned to have a friend come home with her to make cookies for a cookie party tomorrow night. As we arrived home I told the girls about the incident that occurred earlier in the day. We watched a few minutes of CNN where a heartbroken President Obama briefed the country. It was at that moment that I turned the news off. While it is tempting to remain tied to the ongoing coverage, I do not believe it is healthy for children to hear the grizzly details over and over again. I simply told them that they should not be afraid to go to school, not be afraid to go shopping, and not be afraid to go to the movies. The only thing I advised them to do is to pay attention. If someone says something that is out of character or if they hear someone make a verbal or physical threat, tell someone..anyone. Even if it is done anonymously. I also reassured them that people are inherently good even though we continue to hear about the bad.
I can't help but comment on the issue of gun control. It is absolutely imperative that our leaders come together and legislate the issue of gun control as these deadly weapons continue to to find their way into the wrong hands. Enough is enough and sadly it is taking the death of the innocent to move this issue to the forefront of the conversation.
So, as it stands tonight in our house, the cookies have been baked and the sound of giggling girls can be heard from upstairs. We should count ourselves lucky and hug our kiddos a little tighter as we put head to pillow. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved with the senseless events of the day, as well as the community of Newtown.