Tuesday, December 18, 2012


On Friday around 3, my husband gave me the news about the school shooting at Connecticut.

A few minutes later I left to pick up our son from Elementary school. The feeling foremost in my mind was one of helplessness and seething anger.

Many times I wanted to write about how I felt but every time I started, the words seemed shallow and artificial. The feelings expressed in flat adjectives, inadequate.

Driving down Main street, I realized that not far from our local Dairy Queen is a little cottage with an unpretentious sign outside. Firearms for sale, it says. A cute little cottage. A horrific cottage.

How easy for someone to stop there after lunch, buy a weapon, swing by K Mart for some ammunition and then oh well, look its 3:15, school gets out right about now. Maybe I could just....

Or lets make this even easier, mum owns a ton of guns, I could just borrow a few today. I'm sure she won't mind.

Little do we realize or perhaps at times such as these, we do realize how much power a random individual can have over our lives and if they put their evil minds to it, they can shatter lives as easy as smashing glasses against the wall. How easy it is to do harm.

Everyday we must end with a sigh of relief if nothing bad has happened is how I felt that day.

Our sons' teachers wrote to us parents asking us to hug our kids just a bit tighter that day. I didn't because if I had I would have broken down. I acted as normally as I usually do--my strict mean, brisk self. At least I tried to.

I had to because all that has been coming to mind since that afternoon is what the parents and survivors must be feeling. Pain so immeasurable. Pain of the kind I have no strength to bear. And every time I started to cry.

Every time we hand over our most precious ones to others to care for we take so many chances. We walk a tightrope everyday even with normal parenting. Worrying about whether your child may never return from school is something we haven't or at least I haven't lived through.

Ask a mother in Baghdad and there is the other side of the story. I got a glimpse of how that mother in those countries and places must feel. Every single day.

Death is something we are taught to expect, Untimely death not so much but we find ways to explain them--acts of God, war. Somehow we find solace.

But death in this manner--for no reason except that someone decided one fine day to take out his frustrations on innocent children is pure evil. And so easy to inflict that it leaves us trembling in our bones.

People are talking about the right to bear arms in a society that has much changed since it made sense to carry weapons everywhere. People are offering solutions asking teachers to carry weapons to defend themselves should such incidents occur.

If I lived alone in an isolated house in the mountains, perhaps, maybe I might keep a rifle handy for the odd bear. But assault weapons? Can you picture your daughter's kindergarten teacher keeping an assault weapon under her desk just in case?

Where do we go from here? How can this civilized society call itself that when such things go on happening.

Terrorism, suicide bombings, religious killings we get outraged about. But it can be defined. It is an aberration, against all Gods and religions. Yes. And must be stopped. Yes.

But this? What do we even call this?