My stomach twisted into a knot today as I drove to my granddaughter's school. I kept my voice light and pointed out the various animals along the way, like we normally do, but inside I prayed. I prayed hard. The line of cars dropping kids off was shorter than normal. Fear? Flu? Both?
When Columbine happened, both of my daughters had graduated from high school. My stepchildren still attended school but two hours away. I never had to drop them off at the doors of the school. And I admit that when Columbine happened, I never dreamed this would become a recurring tragedy. Like the rest of us, as each shooting occurred, I staggered under the horror, but today it was different. That was my heart walking in those doors.
My granddaughter is in kindergarten, which hits home even harder. She came to live with us a month ago, and each morning I drop her off in front of the school and watch her prance into the building happy to be there. I don't want her to lose that joy for school, that feeling of safety within those halls.
Somehow, we must find an answer. I don't understand why this keeps happening. It never happened when I was growing up. What's making our young men go on this rampage? Many people point to gun control. Others point to mental illness. Are these the problem, or is there something deeper happening? Guns and mental illness prevailed long before these shootings started.
It dumbfounds me, but then I attended a high school where no one locked their locker. At the beginning of the year, students removed the lock and hung it inside the locker, only to be replaced at the end of the year. Our things were safe. No one touched them.
That's not the world we live in now. Something must be done, but what?