December 14, 2012, was very likely like any other day in Newtown, Conncecticut. Alarm clocks buzzed or started blaring music. Parents grudgingly rolled out of bed and started the sometimes lengthy process of getting their kids up and at ’em. Little bodies needed to be clothed and they had to search for shoes and coats. It’s winter after all.
Then comes breakfast and the ride to school. Discussions had to have been reopened about the proximity of Christmas vacation and what would be the plans for the kids’ time off. Little minds thoughts likely flitted over where the presents were being hidden this year. Then, after being dropped off came the time to get busy and focus on what the teacher was saying.
The parents of all of these children assumed they would be seeing them again that evening. Not one of them thought the unthinkable–that some deranged loser would choose that day to go around the bend. Not until the phones began to ring and the news spread like wildfire. There had been a shooting and there were casualties. 20 of them were children. 20 little lives snuffed out senselessly by a maniac who was armed to the teeth, prepared to do as much damage as humanly possible. Yes, the shooter was dead but…
What will happen now?
Parents will rage against the cruelty of how easily such a barbaric and cowardly act could be perpetrated. The anti-gun lobbyists will rage even louder in favor of more gun control laws. People will cry, funerals will be held, Christmas gifts will go unopened or be donated and life will go on regardless of how difficult it will be. But nothing else will change.
No matter what comes of the endless discussions in Congress or the state legislatures, no laws will change. The simple fact is that this kind of event is impossible to predict or prevent. The human psyche is too delicate and there are no warning signs unless the maniac announces his intent on Facebook. Criminals seldom if ever summon the police prior to their crime.
The only thing that is guaranteed is that this event will end up as a Lifetime Network movie of the week or a one hour documentary on Investigation Discovery network. Either will serve to rekindle the pain and remind us all how precious life really is. Until that film is aired–or immediately following its broadcast–this will happen again. It’s inevitable. The only factors that will change is where and how many innocents will suffer as a result.
The only questions will be “Why did this happen?” and “What will happen now?” What’s truly unthinkable is that there will be no answers that will ease anyone’s pain.