this one is different.

this one is different.

i am about to turn thirty-three years old. which means i’ve been alive for far too many disasters over the last couple of decades. there was the oklahoma city bombing when i was in high school.

then columbine not long after.


the gulf war.

virginia tech.


in between all of those there have been news stories that have caused me to shake my head with sadness at the loss of innocence.

but this one is different.

what happened last friday at sandy hook elementary school in that sleepy little town in connecticut has left me with this dull ache about our humanity. the images and the tales of despair over the loss of little children’s lives and the heroes who used their own bodies to save the precious futures of their young students are heartbreaking. i could never imagine the setting, i cannot place myself in anyone’s shoes. i will never be able to grasp the horror of a six year old who went to school that morning with bright eyed enthusiasm, never to exit that classroom alive. i just cannot imagine anything worse.

but this one is different.

what makes it worse is the quick use of media platforms to push individual agendas. the nightmare was just beginning to unfold when predictably, the debates started to pop up. the issue of gun ownership and the second amendment once again became a hot button issue. understandably so, as the lives of so many have been cut short by gun violence over the years. of course there is always the other side of the spectrum regarding that discussion.

but does it matter?

even as the police were still attempting to identify the victims and face the harsh reality that was to come, social media platforms such as facebook immediately became a staging area for self proclaimed experts. suddenly there was a wealth of experts on why this tragedy occurred.

it was the guns.

it was his mother’s fault.

the killer had daddy issues.

the gunman was crazy.

his mental illness was to blame.

it’s america’s fault for taking God out of the schools (sorry people, we do not have enough power to take God out of anything).

in these events, we usually need someone to blame. it makes us feel better. we need to feel like we understand somehow. but what this does is it takes us away from the real story.

the victims.

these twenty-six people had their lives ripped from them violently in a place we all used to think of as a safe haven. in a relatively affluent section of our country with an exceptional school system, they all should be here right now. these kids should be finishing their christmas lists and checking them twice to make sure they had not left anything out. they should be practicing their lines for the christmas programs at their school. the teachers and the school staff that were gunned down should be preparing for a relaxing winter break. they should still be here. that is the story.

we will never be able to understand what went through the mind of that sad gunman. it just will never happen. we can make this a political issue if we please. we can blame religion or the lack of religion. we can point fingers at the parents of a twenty year old killer. we can cry for reforms to just about any law we want. it still does not change what the real story is.

this one is different because for the first time, we can actually feel the loss. we all have been elementary students. we all have nieces and nephews and children and grandchildren and sisters and brothers who have walked the halls of an elementary school. we all know what innocence felt like. we remember our own loss of innocence. but ours was not like this. this one is different because this loss of innocence is so much more painful. so much more tragic. we can feel the sorrow. we grieve with the families of the victims because we know it could have been us. it could have been one of our own.

this one is different.

2 thoughts on “this one is different.”

  1. Love your post. Hate the “It’s because we took God out” debate. 1) God doesn’t kill children to prove points or avenge. 2) your point that we can’t take God out of anything, –who do we think we are? is right on point 3) Mike Huckabee should take heed. I’m tired of him trying to sound like a Pastor and gravely commenting on the disasters that will strike becase we’ve forgotten about God. 1) Mike—God will judge each of us by our conscious deeds one day. But right now, he is sobbing because his babies suffered, his children died, his world was wrecked by evil. He mourns and grieves with each questioning parent. and 2) Perhaps Mike should be quiet long enough to brush some tears away before he makes it a political issue. 3)….well, i’ll leave my rant there:)

    thanks for posting.

    1. thanks for the comment. the main idea behind this post was because i felt like our society is quick to blame someone or something when life falls off the rails. apparently that is natural. there may be reasons that could be defined but even if we did find them, would it bring back the lives of these kids? maybe there is a setting for these debates, but the main thing is, let us mourn and grieve the loss before we start pointing fingers and forgetting what, why and who we are fighting for in the first place.

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