Everyone has an opinion on the killing spree that took place in Aurora Colorado. Let me give you mine.
I'm tired. Tired of seeing/reading/hearing of demented men, because they have all been men, deciding the answer to their problem is to shoot or blow up innocent individuals. There are so many questions running through my mind, the biggest, and the one with no clear cut answer, is why. Why are there such hate filled people? Why do this is? Why ruin innocent lives?
Two. Hundred. Sixteen. That's the total of innocent lives lost in the U.S. to a deranged individual's since 1999's Columbine's tragedy. Of course, this number doesn't include the lives of all those affected by the senseless loss of life. Who's affected? Everyone. Families, police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, EMT's, bystanders, you, me, everyone. However, none more so than the families who are left behind to deal with the sorrow that follows having your son or daughter die such a horrific death. There are also the families of the murders. How tragic to have that label attached to your family for forever.
Several years ago, there was a missionary serving in my Little Corner of Texas who was a Columbine survivor. She was in the library and witnessed everything first hand. I never talked with her about her ordeal, I didn't want to open wounds that had taken a long time to heal but I did read her account of it in a book that she and a couple of other survivors co-wrote. I cried as I read it. Just as I've cried with every sentence I've read about Friday morning. But tears don't bring solutions.
I'm left wondering, is there a solution to this madness? How have so few been able to bring so much sadness to so many? After each of the tragedies, there is always a call for gun control and, I'm going out on a very precarious limb here, I'm in favor of it. I'm not asking that everyone turn in the guns they own nor am I saying that no one should own one. I am saying that something must be done to make owning a plethora of semiautomatic weapons nearly impossible. As I see it there is no reason to have in one's possession something that will unload seventy rounds in a nano second. If an individual needs one for hunting, my question is, what the heck are they hunting? If you can't shoot down an animal with one shot, then don't hunt.
Perhaps a beginning to a solution is to look at what has happened to the moral compass in our society. There was a time when sassing an adult was tantamount to slapping them in the face. Should we return to those times, perhaps not but we do need to instill a greater sense of right and wrong in the youth of today. I could go on and on about what I see on a daily basis in my classroom but I won't. Suffice it to say that in the twenty years I've been teaching things have changed dramatically.
So do we quit going to malls, schools, work, and now theaters. No, if we do the bad guys win. What then? As I said earlier, there is no clear cut answer. I will seek solace in what I know to do best, I will pray and I will love those around me. But I will do so with a heavy heart.