In the aftermath of tragedy

I am just heartbroken over the horrific events of yesterday. Although not a parent, one of my most favorite people is 8 going on 9...I have read many Facebook posts referring to "evil" and the more I read about the gunman, the more I get "social outcast". I think when we push people to the outer edges of our communities they will eventually push back in the places they felt locked out of- schools, movie theaters, malls...just saying. My heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved.

It struck me that the people interviewed who attended high school with the gunmen were not surprised by his actions yesterday. I'm sure we could all open up our yearbooks and point out at least 3 potential future "gunmen"- those who we know for sure never had dates, never participated in social gatherings or sports teams, never sat at our lunch tables...you know, the "wierdos"....

And it seems to run true in all of the mass shootings in the US..that the gunmen were considered (and possibly considered themselves) outside of the norm socially. What can we learn from this to prevent future events?

Some of my friends have asked; if old school mates were not surprised by his actions, that begs the question- why did he not receive the help he required?....probably for the same reason he was considered an outcast?......no early intervention- from those who should care but turned the other way in more ways than one.

Another friend replied: We need to be more responsible for eliminating labels, and work harder and faster to achieve inclusion, compassion, kindness and non-violent behavior! I cry as much for the children who were killed as for those who were witnesses.

While we may not have all the answers, I am heartened by the willingness of people to address this massacre more broadly and deeply than "just" on the level of gun laws. I hope to incite meaningful debate in our homes, communities and congresses. And I never, EVER want to read another account like this again.

Best regards
Coach & Facilitator Tanya Dotson

 

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SandyHook Elementary School. Making sense of the multiple shootings. By Coach and Facilitator Tanya Dotson