Now is a time to mourn and pray, not politicize
On Friday, our nation was shocked to learn that yet another horrific mass shooting had taken place — this time at an elementary school in an otherwise quiet Connecticut town where young children were methodically gunned down in their classrooms along with some of their teachers and school administrators.
All total, authorities count 20 children, as well as six adults, among the victims at the school. In addition, the shooter committed suicide at the scene. Prior to carrying out his unspeakable crime at the school, the 20-year-old suspect also allegedly murdered his own mother at her home.
If this event was not enough to repulse us by so much innocent bloodshed and the evil that could have possibly motivated it, we also learned that a potential act of violence was averted right here at Bartlesville High School. Acting on tips from students who overheard the murderous threats of a fellow student, school administrators and local authorities were alerted to the plot that, had it been enacted, could have led to another tragedy.
There are a great many unanswered questions and concerns to be addressed in both situations. The information will all be brought to light over the next several days and weeks as the crimes are thoroughly investigated and conclusions are drawn about the suspects and their intent.
But even before the bodies of the precious young victims are laid to rest in Connecticut, some are seeking to politicize the event for their own cause.
Anti-gun advocates are already demanding that the federal government enact stiff new gun control laws. Others point to a modern American culture that is enthralled with violence. Pick your poison — the ready availability of powerful weapons, glorified violence and rampant imagery of crimes and murder in our movies, popular music and video games, school bullying, mental illness and lack of proper diagnosis and effective treatment, bad parenting — there is plenty of blame to pass around.
The disturbing questions raised and the appropriate answers are complex. Short of a world where evil no longer exists, there is no single or simple answer that will solve the problem.
But there will be time to discuss all that.
Now is not the time for politics and demagoguery. Now is the time for us to collectively grieve and reflect, to mourn and pray, and to pull our children and grandchildren close to us and tell them how much we cherish them.
If such violence is to be stopped, it will likely happen one household, one family, at a time.
— Distributed by The Associated Press