I haven't written yet about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday because the words are just...they are so hard to find. I feel angry and heartsick and worried for our future as a nation and can't imagine the depth of grief those many families are experiencing. I wrap presents and sing songs with the thought of those beautiful children that will never sing again. I worry about my own precious son and I am thankful he is too young to understand, to ask questions. I keep the t.v. off and I don't ask my (news producer) husband for details. I hide away from the coverage because I am afraid of what I'm going to hear.
The whys and hows of this incident (like all before them) are complicated and I don't want to see it simplified to meet any one particular group or individuals preexisting narrative. Too often after a tragedy people retreat to their strongest viewpoints to feel control in a moment of helplessness. They yell because somebody has to say something, do something, make sense of this. The problem is you can't listen when you're shouting. I'm all for getting angry, I'm angry as hell. But let's fuel that anger into productivity, not at one another. Yes, this is the time to talk about gun control, as well as the access to and stigma around mental health care, our ever-present culture of violence, a lack of social services, and images and attitudes that equate masculinity and manhood with aggression and violence.
It's all connected.
We're all connected.
Let's have this conversation with mutual respect and love. We are all afraid and trying as best we can to think about the future for our babies, partners, loved ones.
We all know the time for change is now.