One Dad’s thoughts about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, this morning that left 28 people dead; 20 of them young children like our daughter:
No, I’m not going to talk about gun control or politics… and I most definitely am NOT going to talk about the person who committed this heinous, senseless act. Actually it is the news coverage of that last part, the murderer, that bothers me the most.
It seems for weeks after these senseless tragedies, all we see on the TV is a photo of the murderer. Watch and see if I’m wrong. The press will find the most evocative photo they can, and everywhere we look we’ll see his empty, insane eyes.
After the Arizona shooting, I wrote that the media should instead focus on the heroes… on their faces. There were several heroes at the Arizona shooting; one of them was a man, a hero named Dory Stoddard, who’s face you won’t remember, but should.
In Newton at Sandy Hook Elementary more happened today than just a shooting. Example: in one classroom, upon hearing the shots, a teacher locked her classroom door and huddled the kids in the corner. And you can bet that she shielded their little bodies with hers.
So when the media or people you know try to draw you into arguments about gun control or politics… or talk about the insane darkness that was in this one person… please turn it off, tune them out and turn away. Instead, look for the heroes. They are always there.
Heroes are all around us, all the time. Mostly we don’t see them that way, nor do they see it in themselves. But it’s times like this that bring them out when we need them most. So please, let’s shine a light on THEM this holiday season, and don’t feed the darkness.
It’s our choice what we focus on and how we think about things. Sure, I’m crying while I write this post. Who could imagine such horrors and not cry? But I’m also actively looking for the light in it. I’m looking for the heroes, the friends and the strangers helping.
[important]Sunday Update: A friend sent me this.Feel free share with your parent friends. I found it really helpful: “Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting: Tips for Parents”[/important]
[warning]Tuesday Update: I’m no expert, but I believe watching too much of the news coverage will hurt us in ways we don’t realize. Consider setting a daily limit (1hr max?). And none for kids![/warning]
Share this with your friends if you want (buttons below). And please… go hug your kids.
Thanks, Michael. I needed that. Maybe if we all thought more about heroes, and they were in the center of attention more often, we’d be a better society as a whole.
Agreed, Tara. Thanks for dropping by. I was just thinking of you the other day. You are one of my only guest posters ever. Hope all is going well at Maternitique? Good to “see” you!
Very well said. I heard another teacher locked her kids in the classroom bathroom.
Hi, Denise. Yes, on the way home in the car I heard that some gym teachers did something similar. While it may have technically been the job of first responders, you just know the police that rushed in and got so many of those kids out weren’t giving their own safety a second thought.
I was thinking this earlier — how the media always focuses on who did the crime, not the heroes. Thank you for putting it into words so eloquently.
Eloquent isn’t something I’m called often. 😉 Thank you. Thank you also for you light entertaining post today. I left a comment. Needed that.
You are so right to lead us into the direction of thinking. We need to focus on those children in harm’s way and the teachers that were proactive in tending to them. I don’t want to give the killer a moment’s thought. Not until we have grieved for the others we lost today. Thank you for your words.
Thank you, Anna.Your comment inspired me to create this graphic just now:
Very well said. It’s a good reminder about who cares for our kids, all day every day. I hope all of the stories of teachers doing heroic things in the face of evil will get more media coverage.
This tragedy is so hard to make sense of. So thankful to have my own kindergartener safe and sound. I must have checked in on him 10 times while he was sleeping last night. Couldn’t help but think about those parents who no longer have their child to check on. No words.
Writing Pad Dad
Hi Justin. Yes, we should try our best to focus on the light. Perhaps it will remind all of fortunate enough to be able to hug our kids, to spend more quality time and non-distracted focus.
Yes, Michael, you are right. Our focus should be on the heroes, but usually rests on the evil. As humans we always want to know ‘Why!’ We ask, and investigate until we are relatively satisfied with the answer. Thankfully we don’t know why evil does what it does, but we definitely know why heroes do what they do…even if very few of us actually do it!
Thank you for the reminder, and here’s to remembering the beautiful little victims, and the amazing heroes who tried to save them.
Thank you, Mary Kathryn. Yes, it’s human nature to ask, “why”. I just don’t want the media to pander to our baser drives, or politicians to divide us at a time we need to stay close.
Sure we need to ask why, and take action to reduce these all too common horrors; but let’s not lose sight of those dear wee children and their heroic teachers (alive and dead).
From my wife’s blog, here are a few ways you can help the victim’s families in Newtown.
This is why I don’t watch the news anymore (not having cable or satellite helps) I get highlights on the computer, and I will research what is being said rather than have it spoon fed to me. Many Americans are really mad about this “glorification” of these evil people. STOP IT!! We don’t like it, listen to us, read the comments pages and wake up!
Also many don’t want to celebrate Christmas this year because of what happened; I will be celebrating the birth of someone special, who is supposed to bring us hope. Celebrate that folks, its not the presents or the trees or parties, its one little baby named Jesus. So celebrate for him and those angels now with him and enjoy your families.
Well said, Timmi. I never watch the local news, for the reasons you say. I did notice that at least one cable news anchor apologized before he said the name of the shooter, and promised he’d not say it again. And he didn’t. So at least some are getting the message. As for not celebrating Christmas, I’d not heard that, but then I’m limiting my News watching. I agree, not celebrating Christmas makes no sense to me.