Focus on recognizing the lives lost

The news popped up on my phone’s notification app. “Sandy Hook shooting. Reported 25+ dead.” I didn’t know what Sandy Hook was, but upon clicking the article I saw “Newton CT Tragedy.” The small town a mere twenty minutes from the haven of Greenwich and the Brunswick and GA co-campus had just experienced one of the worst school shootings of all time. Immediately the news spread at school. My mom texted me with “I hope you’re OK.” It was a tragedy.

Talking about what a catastrophe this was and the moral corruption involved would be repetitive and redundant. I’m sure the majority of America, and especially our town, very close to the incident, has been informed over and over, read about the killer, heard heroic stories of certain teachers, and so on. What I’ve noticed is the reaction of our town, and my school, specifically.

No one likes to think about it. While everyone knows it was a rare incident, and the chances of anything like it happening at Brunswick, GA, or Greenwich High School are very low, I’m sure almost every kid has thought about the vulnerability we face. In order to get to two of my classes, I spend ten minutes to walk “the path,” completely open to the outside world. Many kids have to do this even more than I do, sometimes after every period. Even just getting to different parts of the Brunswick campus essentially requires that you go outside.

In no way am I attempting to highlight the security risks at my school. We have a key-card system in place, have implemented police officers and have tightened security in general. It’s just the thought that counts, of having an assault rifle-wielding psychopath charge our school and wreak havoc.

People are still scared. Adults, specifically, have the worst fears for their children. People trying to take action in order to prevent something like this from happening are obviously justified, but in my opinion, need not worry. The Sandy Hook shooting was an absolute tragedy, and shook our town and area especially hard because of how close it was to home. But in my opinion, taking action to prevent such things isn’t any way to console what has happened.

It gives many reassurance, but to me, trying to implement any security systems at all cost is only an attempt at reassurance at any cost. I respect and admire the efforts our school has taken to protect us, but ultimately we lie vulnerable. Arguing now about gun control and mental health care is inevitable, but detracts attention from what is important about this event, and is ultimately irrelevant. They should be eventually addressed, but the focus now should still be on the tragedy. We cannot prevent every tragedy.

It seems to me that kids understand this more than adults trying to change the system. Kids on Facebook are posting non-stop, praying and wishing hope for the people of Newtown. It’s an admirable thing, even if it doesn’t stop future murderers.

While this isn’t a shocking new opinion on the event, I think that, because of the reactions I’ve observed, our actions in the future should be towards consoling and praying for the town of Newtown and the affected families. We shouldn’t be making a celebrity of the shooter, but recognizing the lives lost and helping to restore Newtown.

 

Henry Haig is a junior at Brusnwick School.

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