And for what - everyone keeps asking? Why did this young man kill his mother, take her guns & then take to a local elementary school & open fire? Shooting his victims several times each? That's not just murder - that's viscous intent. Viscous, malicious & every other word one could use to describe the unspeakable. Then to escape the consequences of his malicious attack, he turned the gun on himself. Leaving no chance for justice or closure for his victims' families. Everyone has started to point fingers - in search of an explanation:
"He was autistic. That must have caused him to lose it..." It's not likely. Violence isn't a side effect of his particular condition.
"He was withdrawn & strange as a teen. He didn't talk much... Those are the ones you have to worry about..." No - they're not. I'm quiet & withdrawn - always have been. But I have trouble killing a bug. I could never open fire on children. Or adults. Or even animals.
As a professional in the field of behavioral health I want to pull these grieving families aside & tell them to stop looking for the killer's motive. It won't help, it won't bring back their babies, wives or other loved ones lost in this tragedy. Furthermore - there's simply no excuse for it. There's no mental disorder, no past childhood experience, no abuse or neglect that should give a person reason enough to commit so heinous a crime. I want to tell them that I'm deeply sorry - because no one should have to deal with such a horrifying situation. I feel myself absorbing their grief - a side effect of my highly sensitive personality. Tragedies such as these cripple me - however far removed from the situation I may be.
I never want to see another professional football player jumping around after a Superbowl win screaming "WE SHOCKED THE WORLD, BABY!" No. You didn't. You're a professional football player playing on a major league team. Your goal is to win the Superbowl. You train for it relentlessly - day in & day out. Save that phrase for things like this. Things that don't - and hopefully won't - happen every year & be trained for & set as a goal far in advance. Superbowl wins don't shock me. Opening fire on classrooms of 6 year olds shocks me & the entire world.
My niece is 6 years old. I thank my lucky stars, or God, or the Universe - whatever entity controls us all - that she doesn't live in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm grateful that my sister has the ability to keep her home & homeschool her. I'm terrified of sending my future children to school at the risk of this happening again. I'm grateful to my brother-in-law - who is ambitious & hard-working, making it financially possible for my sister to be able to do that. I hope I am as lucky when I have my children.
I'm grateful for the simple fact that today my niece is still alive & well. Because there are aunts today who cannot say the same of their 6 & 7 year old nieces & nephews in Newtown, Connecticut.