Hug your kids tonight?
Really? This is being thrown around over and over by adults who are "shocked" by this school shooting. And it baffles me. Who needs a tragedy to remind them to hug their kids??? Who doesn't hug their child every day that they see them? Life is fragile, life is fleeting. You shouldn't need a mass murder to remember this. If you need something like this to remind you to show affection to your child and appreciate them, you need to get your priorities straight.
Every damn day, children die. It's ALWAYS a tragedy, even though 99% don't make the news. Stillbirth. SIDS. Medical malpractice. Disease. Abuse. Neglect. Car accidents. Choking.... etc etc etc. Children die every day and no one ever thinks it could be their kid until it happens. But the truth is... it could be your kid... tomorrow, next week, next year etc. Life is fragile, life is fleeting. Every day, thousands of children die. Every single one is a tragedy, even if they don't get candlelight vigils and news coverage. Don't get so wrapped up in feeling invincible, like it could NEVER be YOUR OWN kid that you take them for granted. Hug them every day, show them you love them, do your damnedest to protect them. Don't take them for granted, because one day, your kid may be one of the thousands that die every day. Don't be so caught up that it takes a mass murder to make you remember you are blessed with having them in your life today. 20 children died in their school in Connecticut, as part of the thousands of kids who died yesterday. They're all missed, all tragedies.
Many people are emotionally exclaiming that they are going to home school now because of this. Schools DO need to be safer. But no, it's not a reason to home school if that's your ONLY reason you want to. I think metal detectors at the gates around schools and having closed campuses. It's too easy for random people to walk in. Paying for the thousands of extra cops that would require would mean a lot of money..... of course, I can think of lots of things I'd rather the govt. drop to pay for that instead but yea, pipe dream.
After Columbine, I think some schools did tighten up... but a big problem with how people react to preventable tragedy that didn't directly affect them is they are horrified for a couple days and then go on with their lives as if it never happened. So everyone who is making a huge deal about how broken up they are today over this, what will they be doing about it next week? Next month? For many people, this is going to turn into just another date on the calendar. It's going to be just another historical event. Another paragraph to go into the history books. Instead, we need to make changes. After the Oregon mall shooting, some psychologists called the way people reacted "odd", an odd social shift to be exact. Why? Because they reacted instead of sitting there. How is that an odd social shift? But those where adults. What happens when someone takes a gun into a school instead? Kids die. Adults die trying to protect them.
The why's don't really matter. Why- because the gunman was a sick bastard. An attention-seeking psychopath. Whatever they are, we can't actually lock every single crazy, dangerous person up before they cause mayhem. And who doesn't matter either- they are dead and justice can never happen. Making them into celebrities is doing nothing good either.
But how matters. It's the most important part. How did he get into that school? How did he get those guns? How can we prevent other crazies from doing similar things, taking lives in a similar manner. How can we protect our kids in places that we crowd mass numbers of them into 5 days of the week with minimal adults? During the school year, children spend the majority of their waking hours in a vulnerable place, with too few adults there to prevent tragedy. Most schools can't even keep their own young students inside, much less keep dangerous adults out. Why is that? Mainly for two reasons- a naive, idealist idea that surely nothing bad will happen to your kids, in your area AND a government that is focused on test results, not the students. Our schools need to be closed-campuses. Only approved entry and exit. Metal detectors at the gates. And for if someone does get in, there ought to be a warning system to lock it down. Prisons and some hospitals can electronically lock every door inside them if needed. Escape exits- schools have fire exits which often can only open from the inside and if opened, an alarm sounds... why not put one in every ground-floor classroom? There are lots of things school could do to be safer. But they aren't just going to magically happen because today everyone is so sad about a shooting.
I know many people are claiming this is because of guns. But the gun did not walk itself into that school. The problem is people. If we could somehow melt down every gun on earth, then sure, that would be a better world. But if we where to make guns illegal to have, then the moral, law-abiding people won't have them and everyone we should be worried about still will. Let's make guns harder to get (psych. evaluations before buying perhaps) but don't try to pretend like outlawing them would solve anything.
20 children died in their school this time. Innocent, very young kids who didn't have a chance against this gunman. Preventable and tragic deaths. But thousands kids die every day from preventable, tragic deaths. Stop talking about how this makes you appreciate your kids more (really, you need mass murder to remember to hug your kids?) and start trying to help.