I was busy most of yesterday and after I dropped the girl off at daycare, I spent my day working on a variety of things - and was away from the internet and television. When I was finally done, I checked in on Facebook and my heart sank. Connecticut. How? Why? There is no sense to be made of it.
Parents had dropped their children off at school that morning. Teachers went to work. All were no doubt confident that at the end of the day, after recess and lunch and math and reading and playtime that they would go home. Home to their parents, to their spouses. Home to suppers and baths and bedtime. Home to the mundane things that as parents and spouses we take for granted.
Twenty children did not go home yesterday.
Six spouses, brothers or sisters, mothers or fathers - did not go home yesterday.
We take it for granted that our schools and workplaces are safe places where students go to learn and teachers go to teach.
Yesterday proved that it only takes one to shatter that delicate presumption - one man, with access to efficient weapons of destruction can perpetrate an act so violent, so beyond the pale, on victims so innocent.
I hugged my children a little closer yesterday. I tolerated the chores of motherhood, with a little more gratitude that my mundane life was intact. And I thought about how important it is to better understand what has happened - how important it is to ensure that the risk of such things happening is minimized.
What happened in Connecticut yesterday should never happen again - it did not need to happen, and it does not need to happen again. It is time to look at the tragedy with a critical eye and determine what needs to be done - what might be necessary to restore faith that when parents send their kids to school and spouses to work that they will come home home at night.
It's time to look at what needs to be done so that schools do not need to be the equivalent of high-security prisons in order to provide safe places to learn and work. Maybe better gun control is part of the answer. Maybe better mental health resources and access to those resources (regardless of income or health insurance status) are needed. Maybe schools need to be a little more secure and extra vigilance is needed with respect to those who teach and learn there. Maybe communities need to pull together a little more to know each other a little better so that maybe a future gunman never gets to the point of donning a bullet-proof vest, arming himself with assault riffles, and perpetrating the kind of violence that should be impossible to perpetrate on dozens of innocent victims. Maybe taxes need to be a little higher to pay for the things that need to be done to ensure what happened never happens again.
It's time to focus on what matters - ensuring that parents can take for granted the mundane chores of parenthood matters, ensuring that students can go to school to learn and never have to worry about not going home matters, ensuring that when teachers go to work they can focus on helping children learn matters, ensuring that there is access to mental health resources matters, the families of the twenty children and six innocent adults who lost their lives on Friday matter - access to assault rifles does not.
I hope insult to injury is not added to this utterly tragic circumstance - I hope that America takes the opportunity to understand better what happened and the circumstances that made it possible in the first place and does what needs to be done.