Do you remember when you used to wake up in the morning as a child? It was a school day, probably cold, a lot like today -- only days before Christmas when you knew that Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa would be going and buying the gifts that we wrote and asked Santa for. We knew our parents got those gifts, we only suspected that they sat at the negotiation table with Santa to make it happen.
In being woken up, there were those days where we might have muttered the words: "I don't wanna go to school today, Mom."
It was cool to think that if we stayed home, then maybe Mom and Dad would stay home and we could go where they would go, see what they would see and do what they would do. They were our heroes and the ones that we relied on to keep us safe.
Sometimes we might've wanted to stay home because we didn't want to admit that we didn't finish last night's homework, or we didn't study for today's social studies test.
We might have even been afraid of going to school because of that appointment to get a wedgie from Nelson Muntz.
Never like yesterday, were we able to say that we were afraid of going to school for fear of being shot and killed.
To say that we live in terrifying times is a grotesque understatement.
This year has shown us some of the extreme cases of ugliness that dwell among us. Friday morning in Newtown, Conn., 27 lives were taken in a senseless act of violence -- 20 of which were children mostly ranging between the ages of 5 to 10 years old.
Only days before Christmas, these children won't get to see the gifts their parents lovingly got for them. Their parents will have their Christmas without their children. These were children who still had their innocence intact; they had not been exposed to the horrors of the world. The children whose lives were spared might not have died but their childhoods have been rocked forever. They will grow up sooner as a result of their loss of innocence.
The shooter was identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
Earlier this week, a mall shooting in Happy Valley, Oregon took place in which three people were shot, two of which were killed by 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts.
We need not revisit the Colorado movie theater massacre of July.
To reflect on the events of Friday and those that have happened recently, we'll notice a pattern, one that unfortunately is not of help with respect to the increase in these types of massacres.
Social media will be buzzing with people who are making true statement and others that will be thankless. Some will make the observation that "it's a good thing the shooter is already dead, they wouldn't survive in prison." Other observations will bring the race card into the equation -- "If he's black, he's a menace to society; if he's foreign, he's a terrorist; if he's white then he is merely psychologically unstable." The latter statement unfortunately rings true in our ever growing racially hypersensitive society. However, that is another story.
Now that the shooter in the elementary school massacre has been identified, the press and the authorities will tirelessly look for questions on the how and the why. We know the how, the why can be important in helping friends and family members of these individuals identify stop signs to prevent these things from happening.
Last month, Blaec Lammers was charged in attempting a plot to shoot people at the opening of the new Twilight film in Missouri. His mother saw what he was doing and spoke up.
We could go back and forth on how best to prevent these things from happening. There will be a multitude of different perspectives and they will all undoubtedly be right.
Yes, parents, family and friends should have been more involved in the lives of these individuals. They were loners who were socially awkward individuals whose cries for help manifested themselves in acts of violence.
The acts of violence could have been prevented with stricter gun safety laws. Those in the United States are considerably more lax than they are in most countries. The United States ranks #1 for civilian gun ownership. There are approximately 88.8 firearms for every 100 people in the U.S.
With these statistics, how is overkill on the background of the murderer, his interests, movies he liked to watch, thoughts he spewed on paper and t-shirts he had in his closet going to help us in truly making it harder for others to commit these types of crimes?
President Obama was visibly emotional during his address to the nation in regards to this heartbreaking event. Although he was emotional, he was resolute. Obama has the vigor within him to knock down political barriers to bring action to the people with respect to gun safety.
Just like those who lost their children that morning, he is a parent first -- and my thoughts and prayers are with each and every single one of those parents, children and faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.