There have been 17 school shootings since the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The nation was devastated and many pledges were made to our children that this would never happen again. Those were the same words we heard as a nation on April 20, 1999, as a 17- and 18-year-old slaughtered six classmates in the Columbine High School massacre in Columbine, Colo. And, if we are keeping count, there have been 90 school shootings since Columbine.
This past week brought two more shootings, with teachers included in the victim count of the shooters who were 12 and 14. It seems the shooters are getting younger and the victims older. The media and public have analyzed and blamed everything from bullying, to mental illness to parents for this now routine part of childhood and life.
It is amazing to me how we have removed cords from window blinds (no public opinion or debate in Congress) and made car seats mandatory but we refuse to ban weapons to save the lives of our children. For me this is not a political nor is it an individual or private right we can afford to exercise.
I’m sure many will be furious that this is even a blog topic, but, I think women and women of faith in particular have to look at this differently. From kindergarten through high school graduation, our children are literally dodging school shootings. This is an epidemic and its time to do more than pray.
I guess my struggle is how do we explain to our children that we do nothing more than watch the story play over and over on the nightly news? What conclusions and behaviors will our children practice from our inability to fix this mess?
I don’t know how much more we can justify or explain away but tens of thousands of lives are changed forever when these shootings occur and from looking at the statistics there are more to come in 2013.
Valora K Starr is director for discipleship.