The Newtown CT shock of last week…..still shocked!!!

17 12 2012

I can not express my empathy, sorrow and pain enough about the tragedy that played out in Newtown CT at Sandy Hook Elementary.  The deep desire and wish to just be able to remove all that for every mother and father affected by it.   For every brother, sister, husband or wife of a victim. Shock is still an understatement and my wonder about what is “next” does not describe what by now we continue to learn about the circumstances but more importantly the beautiful kids and teachers we lost.  During my lifetime this is the 5th tragedy I get to see as a father, an uncle and friend to many other fathers and mothers wondering about the very same as I do:  “How do we truly keep children safe and protected from such a tragedy. How do we protect them and reassure them especially now of their own safety.  Kids are curious and inquisitive, unbiased and sweet.  They certainly do not understand the exact details, but they understand better than we did when we were little, what death and loss is about.  They hear it so many times, but it is far removed from their day-to-day lives, as we protect them and keep the really “bad things” away from them.  We try, regardless if they’re 5 or 15.  Not here.  We didn’t. We couldn’t!  So the question is, did we fail them?  Did we disappoint them?  Did we let an entire generation down and set them up to fear life and people around them?  We can not allow one crazy mind to destroy kids being kids, and relinquish their beauty of curiosity, trust, playfulness, openness and make them give up being a child!  I refuse to do that as a father and refuse to accept that this is what we need to do and is the only option.

I saw last night a Republican politician on CNN justify 48 hours after the tragedy the right to bare arms, his right to carry a concealed weapon…really???  This is not a political issue, this is a call upon everyone in this country to take a look at how easy someone can get a hold of a weapon.  Criminals will always be criminals, but a mother carrying a gun just because she can, a father with a full collection of rifles in his house unlocked and someone either breaking in  or even a child such as the bad apple last week simply taking the parents weapon and go crazy – a stricter and very different law would have possibly eliminated “Newtown superdark Friday”.  Again, I am not looking to politicize, but frankly is there a gradual way?  I do not believe so and I believe that the “cowboy mentality” as much as it is historical and anchored in the US constitution, may need another look at it.  We do live in different times and protecting your land and house as well as defending borders and assets has been officially transferred to police and other agencies, which are doing a good job overall and maybe they need to be called to action even more.  Good advice is hard here.   No one will be able to bring the children and teachers back.  As President Obama said beautifully yesterday to not let us waste the life of the children and teachers but make it their legacy that we found a path forward together to create a system, a law, an evolution of past practice and allow everyone to take a fresh look at every aspect of what allowed Friday in Newtown to happen.  Every action, non action.  Every law, regulation and permission as irrelevant as all of it may look at first. We need to and we need to take action now.  We owe each teacher and child just that.  Not next year, in 5 years, NOW!  We truly have to!  I can’t find any different way to feel about it! The parents will never get closure, so close to Christmas and holidays. Many gifts already bought and carefully thought about.  Holiday plans made, vacations planned and family times looked forward to!  What now…..none of that!!  Destroyed!!   And as I am on my way to NYC for meetings I am seeing a newsflash that the discussions about better laws has started and is already being politicized!  Sad but I guess that is what politics for some people is, rather than what is required here urgently and called for, which is the respect and honor of human life, especially if it is lost and taken so senseless!

With much sorrow, thought, empathy and love to everyone in Newtown CT.