Sunday, December 16, 2012

Is There a Way to Prevent Random Acts of Violence?, President Obama Visits Newtown, Conn., Speaks at Vigil

President Barack Obama speaks at a vigil held at Newtown High School for families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

You just don't think it can happen in an elementary school, but it seems to be happening in more places now.

I'm saddened by the recent news: children were victims of a mass school shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The gunman, Adam Lanza, walked into the school on Friday (Dec. 14) and killed 27 people, including 20 children and his own mother, then he shot and killed himself. His motive is still unclear and remains a mystery. Now a saddened community and the rest of the world is trying to make sense of what happened and why.

The news will suck this story dry until it starts to make sense, until every kid, neighbor, teacher and even Lanza's family is interviewed.

All of the victims were killed up close by multiple rifle shots; six adults, 20 boys and girls - all were just 6 and 7 years old. It was hard seeing the faces of the children spread out over pages in the newspapers, I can't even fathom what it is like to lose a child. 

President Obama addressed the country on Friday night and then once again when he visited Newtown, Conn., to speak to a community who is in disbelief over what just happened.

Obama said that in the coming weeks, he would use "whatever power this office holds" to engage with law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents and educators in an effort to prevent more tragedies like Newtown.

"Can say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I've been reflecting on this the last few days," Obama said, as some in the audience wept.

"If we're honest without ourselves, the answer is no. And we will have to change."

Unfortunately I have to say, there isn't a way to stop random acts of violence. How do we go about stopping this from happening again? From stopping a lunatic from targeting people? How can one protect their child at all times when you never know what can happen to them when you're not around. 

There is no way to pinpoint when something like this will happen. Random acts of violence happen all the time and it's a shame that people are just - what they say - at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Like the 29-year-old Virginia teacher who was just visiting Newark, N.J., and was fatally shot while standing outside of a Chinese restaurant. Or the Pathmark workers who were shot and killed by their employee at a Pathmark in Oldbridge, N.J. And there was the recent Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. Plus, other similar school shootings like at Columbine and the Virginia Tech massacre. And, the list goes on and on... so when will this ever stop? Or will it ever?

Like, how do schools go about reassuring students that their school is safe? We shouldn't have to HOPE that we make it home when we leave the house or HOPE that we're not the ones "in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

Yes, we can have stricter gun control or limit who is able to purchase guns or even put metal detectors in every school, but then you still never know what can happen.
It bothers me that my home is my only cushion and I'm entering an unsafe zone known as anywhere that is outside of my home - whether it be going to the movies, the mall or work - I feel as if nowhere is safe. All it takes is for one person to be set off and then innocent people - like the Newtown children - pay for it.

And then, the people who do these mass shootings - Virgina Tech, Columbine and in Newtown, Conn. - all kill innocent people and then when they decide to finish randomly shooting, they kill themselves! They cowardly commit suicide at the end. Why bring others down with you? These kids and all the other innocent victims, had nothing to do with it. These random acts of violence will forever boggle my mind. 

I believe it all starts at home. Parents need to do a better job monitoring their kids. Case in point with the shooter, Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy Lanza: The New York Post has "TRAINED TO KILL" plastered on their front page today as the headline of this tragedy.
To make matters worse, the Post and other news sources report that Adam was disturbed and his mother shared her gun collection hobby with him. The mother was gun-obsessed and she taught the murderer how to shoot!

According to the Post, Nancy collected guns and her son would accompany his mother to gun ranges!! AND, at least two of her guns were used in this massacre. He used a 9mm Glock and a military version of a rifle in the mass shooting.

I'm not a parent, so I don't know what it is like yet to raise a child, but why would a parent teach their child how to shoot? Why did Adam Lanza have access to his mothers gun collection in the first place? And, why is a person like Nancy Lanza allowed to have all of these licensed guns in her home - especially around her child? 

This world is disturbing sometimes. I pray for the families of the victims and I praise the hero's, the teachers - like 27-year-old Victoria Soto - who were killed all while saving and hiding their students.

Obama closed his remarks in Newtown, Conn. by slowly reading the first names of each of the 26 victims.

"God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory," he said.

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