Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 1:44:25 PM
My Thoughts on Newtown: The Loss of Innocence
The Sandy Hook elementary school shooting shook a nation to its core. As a country mourned the loss of innocent children, the disturbing news left me numb, unsure how to feel. I was angry at Adam Lanza, the shooter in the incident, and how he could take the lives of children without remorse, mournful for the parents and the fellow classmates of those who were killed, and a confused as to how this horrific event happened. Even though I had no personal connection to any child in Newtown, I experienced emotions that come from sudden, tragic loss of someone close. How someone could take the lives of children continues to baffle me. The country continues to debate on how we can prevent another shooting, with arguments mainly based on beliefs of gun control. However, there is an underlying factor that must be discussed before any decisions can be made on how to prevent another massacre: the human life must be taught to be valued throughout our society. Until this happens, the country is still vulnerable for yet another devastating event like the Newtown shooting.
This generation has been exposed to violence much earlier than any other before us. It has become the social norm to become excited for video games that allow you to shoot a computer character or anticipate a movie that is about the violent natures of a well-developed character. Our society has failed to have conversations about violence until it is too late. The value of the human life has not been discussed enough to make a lasting impact on the young minds that we interact with daily. I firmly believe in beginning the conversation at home. If a child grows into adulthood with a firm understanding of the reality of violence and has an appreciation for the fragility of humanity along with the guidance of a parent or a role-model figure, than it is likely that the child will grow into a non-violent person. Conversations can begin movements of awareness and understanding the value of the human life; being aware and understanding of each other is the key way to have our country move on and improve our society in order to avoid another deadly shooting.
Sometimes I fear that the human life has become an idea, not a reality, and that society thinks we can “respawn” if anything ever happened to us. Unfortunately, the innocent lives of the children in the Sandy Hook shooting will not be able to live the lives they could have had. Their life stories will be those of the few short years that they had on this Earth and not off of the legacy that they might have had. Teaching others to value one another’s lives should be made a priority, not just for the sake of the lives lost that fateful day, but to create a lasting impact on our society.