I came home from Starbucks to suit up for a run and turned the TV on for a few minutes while getting dressed. The news of the shootings of at least 27 people at the elementary school in Connecticut is on every channel.
What a terrible tragedy to process–if it can be processed. As a former school teacher, I remember one day when there was a report that someone had a gun. We were all so terrified, waiting to find out that it was safe to leave our classrooms. How would any of us have recovered if someone had been harmed that day?
I would never presume to have an answer to any of the questions we must ask ourselves when something like this happens, but I honestly wish that we would prioritize the questions and have a conversation in this country that makes it seem like we really, really CARE about preventing this from happening ever again. Teaching children how to respond in case a shooter enters their school is completely inadequate.
How do we keep guns out of the hands of people who want to shoot people with them? How can we identify and help unstable people before they break? How do we eliminate the societal contributions to the deep rage and instability of individuals who become violent (family violence, poverty, racial and power differentials, etc.)?
Who should lead these conversations? Would it be so hard to agree on how to make our country a safer place for children in our schools? These are just the questions in my heart right now… What are yours?