How long, O Lord?
More than 2 dozen people shot and killed at close range. Most were children-- small people, 5 to 10 years old, murdered while they sat in their classrooms. A community has been forever wounded, and the pain radiates around the world.
It's the worst time, but not the first time, of course. The first school shooting I remember was in Winnetka, IL in 1988. I was a new mother, and I remember clutching our infant daughter and rocking, in tears as I watched the coverage.
But it goes back way further than that. I had no idea, until I found this list of U.S. school shootings, that this phenomenon goes back throughout our history.
And it's not just schools. Remember the mall in Oregon last week? The movie theatre in Colorado a few months ago?
And although these horrible things mostly involve guns, and mostly happen here in the U.S., it's not only guns, and it's not only here. The news reports for today-- the same day as the Connecticut shooting-- also include someone who stabbed 22 children at a school in China.
Lord, have mercy. I pray, and I ask...
How long before we decide that weapons-- guns or any other-- do not provide a solution to our ills and fears? How long before we understand that striking out in response to rage is not the answer? How long before we realize that violence, by whatever means, is not redemptive?