I can't even title this post, because a few simple words cannot describe my thoughts and emotions that went into this.
Let me preface this by saying I am for stricter gun laws, I am all for school safety measures, and I am for people believing in religion; however, even with stricter gun laws, people will obtain guns illegally. The shooter in this tragedy just happened to have easy access. The Virginia Tech shooter did not have easy access, but due to lax gun control laws and the fact he had undergone psychiatric evaluations, he was still able to obtain his weapons legally. No matter what, people will always get what they want, all we can do is try to control the ease in which people obtain weapons.
Also, many schools, including Sandy Hook, have safety measures in place, safety measures that don't involve weapons. School shootings are an anomaly and really don't occur that often, which is why when they do, it's a terrible tragedy. We don't even flinch at murders and rape anymore because it happens so frequently. We are not affected by certain crimes anymore because they happen so often. The same with plane crashes; they are very rare considering how many flights occur around the world every single day, but when a plane crashes and lives are lost, it's a terrible tragedy. This particular school DID have acceptable safety measures in place, but metal detectors, armed guards/teachers, etc. are not the answer either. Children should not feel as though they have done something wrong when they enter the school, nor should they feel like they're in prison. School is an environment to learn, socialize, and be shaped into a good person.
Lastly, I've been seeing a lot of posts about God in schools and if public schools allowed prayer, this tragedy wouldn't have happened. This is not true. A shooting occurred in WI at a Sikh temple, a place of worship. God was there, wasn't he? Not to mention a lot of mass carnage crimes around the world occur IN THE NAME OF: (insert religious belief here). There have been countless incidents of mass carnage since humans existed, and it's always unexplainable. Churches, schools, gov't buildings, planes, etc. There have been shootings, stonings, bombings, genocides, etc. None if it makes sense. If you believe in the God your religion has specified, then you inherently believe he's everywhere and he is greater than human law; therefore, you could argue that he was in school that day, even though public schools don't allow public prayer.
Also, not EVERYONE is Christian. In fact, at least one of the kids that was killed was Jewish, as evidenced by the pictures of his family at his funeral yesterday. Judaism and Christianity are not the same religion. They believe in different things. What people are really saying, Christian people, is that public schools should allow THEIR God into schools. What if there are 699 Christian students in that school and only one Jewish student? Is it fair for that Jewish kid to have to sit through Christian prayer? Is it fair for Christian students to participate in Hannukah celebrations? No, because they don't believe in the same things. Isn't that what PRIVATE schools are for? It is impossible to allow every religion into public schools. It's not right, and it's not fair to others who believe in something else. And I've also seen posts about how this country was founded on religion and God. Last time I checked, within the constitution, this country was founded on a belief that it was possible to keep church and state separate, which is why so many immigrants came over, to escape religious persecution and control by their church.
With all this said, everyone has a right to believe what they want. I don't think having prayer in public schools is the answer. I don't think it's wrong for children or adults to pray silently no matter if they're in a school, a church, a bathroom, in bed, etc. But there's a reason that every religion has a church and a private school for those who want to have prayer in school. If you want to see prayer in your child's school, I suggest you enroll your child in a private school. For others who don't believe in what you do, don't push it on them. Public schools are public for a reason; they have all sorts of backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, etc. for a reason. To accommodate the masses.
What happened in CT was abhorrent. It was a tragedy that affected every child and every adult in America. It doesn't matter if it was Newtown, or your town, your family, your children. We are a collective whole so it happened to all of us. Just as 9/11 happened to all of us. Columbine happened to all of us. The families of those victims are affected in a way we will never understand, but as a collective whole, we share the same human emotion. This shooting was a crime that no rational mind will ever understand, and no matter how strict the gun laws are, how safe schools are, or whether or not kids pray in school, bad things will always happen because there is evil in this world. We will always overcome evil, but that doesn't mean that evil will not strike first. But when it does, we have to stand together, unite for the sake of humanity.
Now is not the time to argue about why this happened because no one knows. No one knows why this young man opened fire on innocent children. No one understands why terrorists hijack planes. No one understands how kids can kill their peers. No one understands how someone can take another person's life. It will never make sense to us because we are rational and these are irrational acts. The core issue with people who savagely take lives is in mental health. A sane, rational person cannot comprehend the thought process behind murder. Nor would they ever take a life unless theirs or a loved one's life was being threatened. Only a person who is irrational, severely mentally ill/disturbed, or just plain evil can take an innocent life. It will never make sense to us, it will only break our hearts trying to understand why.
The most we can do is have faith in each other, in your religion if that's what gets you through, and simply be a good person each day. Perform an act of kindness once a day because how you live your life can affect your loved ones, a stranger, and your community. You never know if a simple gesture like a smile, holding the door open for someone, assisting an elderly person, being nice to a shy kid in school, or just being kind to a stranger will affect the outcome of that person's day. Life is lived day by day, and it's our actions every day that affect us and the people around us. Be thankful for what you have, for who you are blessed to have in your life, and stop looking for answers you will never find. Remember the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, as well as anyone else who has tragically lost their lives at the hands of evil. In order for good to exist, evil must exist alongside it. The answer is not more violence or weapons. The answer is not prayer in school. The answer is not treating schools like prison. The answer is within us, within humanity.