The Sandy Hook slaughter of children

All this week I have been dressed as Father Christmas.  I’ve been seeing a stream of mainly excited and over-excited young children.  They are all different ages, but the most responsive ones are usually around 6 years old.

The excitement on their faces and the way they talk is infectiously good.  Very good.  They have their whole lives ahead of them, and for now they are living in a protected cocoon of childhood.  It’s a very fun and innocent time.

I can’t believe any of them are evil or deserve anything but protection and nurturing.

So, it was with very heavy heart and a real sense of shock that I heard about the slaughter of 20 children and 6 adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.  The children were all around 6 years old.  They were children just like the children I’ve been Santa for since the beginning of the month.  They were laughing, playing, smiling, chattering, and just being so innocent, exactly as the children visiting me had.  They were probably hyped up ahead of Christmas, just like the ones visiting me.  And then each was shot dead.

How could the killer have reasoned that they deserved to die?  So innocent.  So young.

I can understand why President Obama shed a tear as he was speaking at his press conference.  I can understand how the parents couldn’t believe that there were only fatalities, none just injured.

As we struggle to comprehend or put some meaning to this, it crushingly sits inside our heads as another terrible example of how awful humans can be to each other.  Especially tiny children.  Innocent children.

I don’t understand the need to kill lots of innocent people which seems to be the pre-suicide pattern that so many of these mass-murderers follow.  How can this killer justify killing children in this way?  They seem to be completely unconnected with him, just randomly chosen in some twisted twisted logic in order to make some kind of statement.  A statement that makes no sense out here in reality.  Maybe it’s to gain notoriety. But whatever it is in their minds, it is so wickedly cruel in reality.

As a parent, you assume you will be outlived by your child.  You really don’t expect them to die first.  You especially don’t have any mechanism inside you to deal with them being slaughtered by another human.

It is those parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and all whose lives are changed forever that I feel so very sorry for.