We have failed our children. They may not be aware of it, but it should be totally and painfully obvious to us at this point. According to The Daily Beast, there were 24 shooting incidents at schools in this country before today. Now there are, of course, 25. The latest took place just 8 miles from the infamous Columbine High School and not that much farther from the theater where 12 people were killed in another mass shooting. If those two incidents were not enough, the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut should have been more than sufficient to illustrate just how poorly we have served the ones least able to protect themselves.
The Daily Beast article discusses trends in school violence. In the aftermath of Newtown, we discussed constitutional syntax. In the mean time, children are dying. Children. Are dying. Why is this ok? I used to be the kind of person who really wanted to understand all sides of every issue. There are plenty of issues I’m still willing to debate. But when we cannot take even the simplest steps to preserve the sanctity of public spaces for children, I admit to losing the ability to engage in reasoned debate. Maybe because it is impossible to have a reasoned debate with someone who finds the routine death of children to be an acceptable price to pay for the ability to carry a lethal weapon themselves.
And we have come to treat these things as routine. There have now been 25 shootings in schools since the massacre at Sandy Hook. One every other week. I had no idea, and neither, I’m more than willing to bet, did you. It has become common enough that the national news media no longer feel compelled to report each incident. Those that do get reported flash across our consciousness about as quickly as a paparazzi photo of some poor woman’s inelegant exit from a limousine. I despair when I think about these things. My daughter and two friends sit blissfully unaware in the next room, watching the “Sound of Music.” It seems like all I can do is pray that they will never know what way too many their age will never be able to forget.