Working in the media, you learn to separate personal feelings from the stories you write. Although I am not a reporter, I have seen my share of tragedies over the years.
This latest one though was a little too much for me to handle.
I was at work when I learned of the shooting in Newtown, Conn. I started reading the story that had come across the Associated Press wire service. I had to stop. A few minutes later someone turned the TV on in the newsroom. There was CNN discussing the horrifying events that had occurred earlier that day.
Fortunately, I had just completed my work for the day, and I left. I did not want everyone to see me crying over this. But I couldn’t help it. I have a 7-year-old daughter and trying to imagine what these parents were going through was just too much.
Later that night I was reading all the posts on Facebook. Most were offering their prayers for the victims and their families. Some were posting links on gun control. Some were posting links on prayer in school. I read everything in numbness. My mind just couldn’t get past those little children.
The next day I turned the TV on CNN and more coverage of the school shooting. Now they were discussing the politics and the why and how of this horrific event.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on ways to prevent things like this from happening. But can we actually avoid tragic events like this? Is there some magic solution to this problem in our country? The answer to that is "no."
Will stricter gun laws keep things like this from ever happening again? No.
There are some screaming for more gun control. At some level I am all for that. There should be safety and background checks for anyone wanting to purchase a gun. But those guns did not get up and go into that school and pull the trigger all on their own. A living person had to do all those things. If you take away gun rights completely, then the ones who want to cause harm will just find other ways of doing it.
Will prayer in school keep things like this from ever happening again?
No. And it’s hard for me to say this because I am a strong believer in prayer and think it belongs in school. Without God we have nothing. Without God we are nothing. Prayer will help those suffering, but it would not have prevented the incident.
We can do so many things as a nation, as cities and towns, as individuals, but it will not change the fact that there are very evil and very sick people in the world.
We can be vigilant, enforce strict security measures and learn how to watch for signs in these people who plan these evil acts.
We can pray for the families who have had to endure such a great loss in their lives and the teachers and staff who died trying to save the children. We can try to comfort those in need and offer our support in any way possible.
We can be responsible parents and do our best to teach our children right from wrong. We can show them by being responsible adults.
We can hug our children every day and tell them we love them.
Helen C. Reynolds is news editor at The Meridian Star. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or read her blog at helencreynolds.wordpress.com.