So I’m sure you read about the school shooting in Connecticut this afternoon, and your first thought was, “I wonder what Allison has to say about all of it.”
Naturally, I do have some thoughts.
Let me start by saying that childhood can be terrifying. I’m a naturally anxious person, and I didn’t just grow into that anxiety. As a young kid, I was living in the suburbs of Atlanta during the Wayne Williams Child Murders. I remember lying very still in bed at night, so that if he crept into my home, he wouldn’t see me and would keep on going.
Which, let’s be honest, was unnecessary. But I was quite young, and all I knew is that there was a murderer out there killing kids, and that one of the local news stations had given kids safety whistles to blow in case of kidnapping. If you read, you’ll notice that he wasn’t especially interested in young suburban white girls. Who knew?
I also had a fair amount of anxiety at sleepovers. I would be fine until lights out, and then I’d be terrified that something bad would happen to my parents in my absence, and so they’d have to come and get me. This went on for some years, until I was roughly 9 or so.
Now, that said, I rarely felt anxious at school. I never questioned my safety, and it never occurred to me for a minute that my teachers didn’t have it all under control. I kind of got a thrill out of the fire and tornado drills, even though I now realize that had we experienced an actual tornado, the only thing keeping me from certain bodily harm was a spelling book.
|Good luck not getting impaled with a metal desk, kid.|
Our elementary school was made of metal and glass and brick, and was older than old.
But I didn’t know. I believed that within the walls of that school, I was safe. I didn’t really even experience bullying – well, not until Middle School, and that all took place on the bus. Nobody is safe on the bus. Ever.
I also fretted over the annual Presidential Fitness Challenge - but I now realize I was ahead of my time - and the "chubby" that I was back in 1984 would fall squarely to the left of the bell curve these days.
I’ve already made my point about guns in an earlier post. They terrify me, I don’t want one. I understand why someone might. But does this not make the point that maybe we can’t easily judge who’s a mentally deranged asshole and who just wants to bag a six point buck this weekend?
All murders are senseless and tragic.
But for a guy to go into a school and mow down a bunch of unarmed kids, and the teachers whose job it is to protect them? And during the holidays?
Well, that’s not practicing Peace on Earth. It’s not Goodwill to Men.
It’s sick, and it’s wrong, and it’s heartbreaking.
And none of that is exactly news.
So, can we please work together as a country to figure out ways to stop it?
And can we start by not tearing each other apart on Facebook?
Amen. Pass the biscuits.