I was wrapping up a meeting with my team on Friday when I just happened to go to CNN’s website. I saw the headlines about the Newtown shooting. At the time, they were reporting 20 dead, “mostly children.”
The most sickening feeling of grief immediately washed over me. I looked over and saw that same feeling on the face of the only other team member in the room who has kids.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.
I’m not saying that non-parents can’t feel the grief, too. I know that it’s a tragedy no matter what your family looks like. We all feel the sympathy and the weight of this crime because we’re human. But I think that when you have a child (or children) of your own, it’s worse because you actually go there in your mind. That love you have for your child—that scary, all-consuming, chest-tightening love—it means that you simply cannot.even.imagine living without this beautiful little being. And to actually allow yourself to think about that possibility? They are dark—the darkest—thoughts. But for us, they are not real. We can all shake it off and go cling to our babies and pray and swear to never let them out of our sights for as long as we live.
On Friday, twenty sets of parents were not so lucky. Twenty-six sets, actually. And countless other family members and friends who had parts of them ripped away for no good reason.
It’s incomprehensible. I don’t think we will ever stop asking WHY.
But as baffled and disgusted as I am with the shooter, I have also become enraged with the media.
Since when did it become OK to report oodles and oodles of RUMORS and SPECULATION as if they were facts, simply because you are trying to stay “up to the minute” and break the story before your competitors? I mean, I know this is not a new phenomenon, but with this situation, it seemed as if this problem was running rampant.
Take for example(s):
The shooter is identified as R*** *****. Hours later, it is confirmed that it’s NOT HIM at all, it’s his BROTHER.
The shooter’s mother is supposedly the motive behind the entire thing. She worked as a kindergarten teacher. He went into the school to kill her and took a whole lot of innocent women and children with her. That then changed to NO, nevermind, she was a teacher’s aide (or a substitute teacher, depending on who you were watching) but wasn’t working that day.
And then it became, Oh wait, nevermind, she has NO CONNECTION TO THE SCHOOL WHATSOEVER.
Then there was a report that the shooter had gone to the school earlier in the week and had an altercation with four adults there. Three of them were dead and one was not at school that day. But there was no truth to that AT ALL.
And see, if you happened to be watching the news when one of these things was reported and haven’t been following it closely since then? You could be spreading false information. THANK YOU, NEWS MEDIA. I just want to know, what is wrong with saying, “We don’t know yet. We DON’T KNOW why. We DON’T KNOW how.” What is wrong with “We don’t know”?!
And don’t even get me started on the assholes who weaseled their way into homes for exclusive interviews with TRAUMATIZED THIRD-GRADERS. (And yes, I do take major issue with the parents for allowing it, too.)
In so many ways, I hate what our society has become. HATE.
On the other hand, President Obama is taking the opportunity to try to make some changes, ones that I believe could only help, not hurt. I know there are two sides to every coin and I see and understand the arguments. But no one is trying to take guns away from law-abiding, sane citizens. No one wants to revoke your second amendment rights. But shouldn’t all gun owners gladly jump through a few extra hoops if it means that we can MAYBE, POSSIBLY make it a little harder for wackos to get their hands on these weapons? I don’t even necessarily believe that better gun control would’ve prevented this crime in particular—they were his mother’s guns, not his—but I have strong feelings against assault rifles. I don’t understand why anyone needs one, period.
At the end of the day, I don’t know that Obama will be any more successful at this type of change than anyone who has tried before him, but I would like to see someone at least try to fix what is broken here. I know that guns are not the only answer, but again, it seems like it can’t do any more harm.
Speaking of Obama… he cried on live television on Friday. He wiped tears away as he delivered a speech to offer condolences to this little Connecticut town that has been rocked. For the parents whose lives have been ruined. Some people criticized him for it, but I found it so comforting to know that the leader of the free world is not immune to this sadness. He has a heart. And it’s not weakness—he wasn’t up there crying as our president, he was crying as a father. It was hard not to cry.
And to continue my rant and focus on a completely different person… can we talk for a minute about Tom Brady? I don’t talk about him much anymore because I’ve seriously been THREATENED in anonymous comments on this blog for things that I’ve said (in jest) about Tom Brady in the past. But if you were watching Sunday Night Football last night, perhaps you noticed this yourself.
Before every NFL game yesterday, there was a moment of silence and/or a tribute of some sort to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. At Gillette Stadium, they were launching 26 flares into the sky to honor each one of the people who have lost their lives. The camera hopped around to different players, coaches, people in the crowd—all looking somber, some with wet-looking eyes. Then, cut to Tom Brady.
Dude wasn’t even paying attention, and then HE BLEW AN EFFING SNOT ROCKET. Right in the middle of all of this.
Now, I’m no fan of Tom Brady’s, and I’ve made no secret of that. But I just have to ask—how can you defend that? This man is a father. How can you…? How did he…? I just cannot even…
But I digress. These are just a sampling of the things that have been running through my head since Friday afternoon.
For everyone who lost someone in that school on Friday—whether they were 6 years old or 56 years old—I am just so, so sorry. The nation mourns with them, and many of us struggle to continue on with our everyday lives, too. I had coworkers and friends who drove their kids to school this morning because they could not bear to put them on the bus. For me, I know that I am still lingering longer at Nora’s bedside each night, giving extra kisses, extra hugs, and extra “I love yous.” We know not the pain that these families are experiencing, but we do feel some semblance of it, just in knowing all too well what it is that they’ve lost.
Rest in peace, sweet babies. And to the heroic teachers and administrators… thanks for doing all that you did, and sacrificing yourselves in the process.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
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