My daughter is brave, smart, and, I’ve been, told advanced. But could her little body manage a bullet fired by a gunman who bursts into her classroom with revenge on his mind, fueled by psychotic anger blinding him from all rationality? Parents in San Bernardino are asking themselves a similar question, as their city suffered yet another tragic shooting. This time at an elementary school, no less.
A special-education classroom at North Park Elementary on Monday received a surprise visit from a familiar man who regularly visited the school, where his wife taught. But on this day, he stormed in with a gun firing despite a room full of kids ranging from 1st graders to 4th graders. His wife died at the scene in the hail of bullets, and an 8-year-old boy who was critically wounded, died later that day at a local hospital. A 9-year-old boy is recovering.
The gunman, who shot and killed himself, I refuse to name because he doesn’t deserve the recognition.
As a parent, I have no idea how I would console elementary-aged children after they witnessed something so horrific. I mean, how do you explain murder to a child who saw the terror unfold right before their eyes? My God…what words would I use to explain to a fragile mind what they viewed? How do console those little souls? Talk about PTSD and trauma…
Kids are supposed to go to school and learn and feel safe doing so. But in this day and age, such security cannot be taken for granted. We don’t know who will “lose it” and decide to take their anger out on innocent targets via gun violence. I’m neither an anti-gun or pro-gun advocate, and this post isn’t meant to be political. And I do agree, that people will find ways to be violent with or without a gun. Unfortunately, we’re living in a world where emotions are on overdrive and perhaps we’ve devolved as a society rather than evolve. Anger is a healthy emotion when properly released, and mental health needs to take first priority. If you search for a picture of the gunman and his wife (which I won’t post here), you can see that their social media profiles don’t exhibit anything unusual because they can easily camouflage the truth. Many of us can say the same thing if we are honest. It’s too easy to hide behind perfectly tailored social media accounts.
The Bottom Line:
As a parent of an amazing 2-year-old, I pray to God and the universe that I don’t ever have to explain to my daughter why someone was murdered before her eyes. As a mother, I never want to have to visit my daughter in the hospital because she was caught in the cross-hairs of some psychotic person enraged and armed with a gun in his hand. And I can’t fathom an even worse result for her.
I am at a loss of what the solution is at this point. I want to believe that we live in a peaceful, loving world. One that is full of community, one that helps the mentally ill rather than ostracize them, and one where those with anger or domestic violence issues can quickly and without judgment, get the help they need.
My daughter is a happy and loving child; she’s bubbly and always laughing and smiling. To have someone come along and rob that from her is just incomprehensible. My heart goes out to the families that have to have a talk with their little innocent angels that had to witness the bloodshed this past Monday. The only thing I can do today is hold on to hope, that as a community we can come together in love and not in violence.