Like every other person who resides in America or has an internet connection and a beating heart, I have been thinking a lot about the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, CT. In the days that followed the mass shooting, I watched as both sides of the gun debate duked it out in the arena of social media. Some people think we need armed teachers or guards at every school and some people think we need to ban guns or at least ban assault weapons.
I'm not going to pretend that I know the answer, but I do believe that we need to do something. Ann Curry, a television journalist, suggested that we do 26 random acts of kindness to honor each lost life at Sandy Hook. I liked this idea. We need more kindness in this world. We need to reach out and do nice things for people that we don't know. We need to feel that the world is still a good place despite what just happened. I for one don't want to live out the rest of my life in fear of the world, resulting in home schooling my kids in a gun closet or a bunker filled with water and Top Ramen noodles.
To me, that is ridiculous. We don't need to retreat, we need to reach out.
So, I started doing a few things and I did them anonymously. I wrote them down and then I got to thinking, why aren't we including Adam Lanza's mother? Was she not the first victim? Or have we already convicted her of being as monstrous as her son? After all, she knew he had mental issues. She owned several guns. She took her son to a shooting range. In public opinion, she's damned and unfortunately she can't defend herself.
But, guess what? I know plenty of people who own guns. And I bet a few of them have taken their sons or daughters to the range or on a hunting trip. Are they creating monsters? Why are we being so hard on his mother? Is it because we have to blame someone for creating a man who destroyed our faith in humanity?
I'm going to play Devil's advocate here for a moment. I came from a family of five kids raised by the same two parents. One of my siblings brandished a gun and robbed several banks. He also served twenty plus years in prison. Four of us did not do that. So, who is to blame for my brother's actions? That's up for debate.
It's all so complex, but I'm going to do something simple. I'm going to do 27 acts of kindness. And you know what? I may not stop there.
Happy Holidays! Stay safe, tell the people you love you love them, hug it out, eat, drink, and be merry!