Alissa Quart's first book of poetry is both personal and universal - inspired by work and research she has done as a journalist.
We are all trying to make some kind of sense out of what happened in Newtown, Conn. But it’s futile. It will never make any sense, why a young man would kill 20 little children. Friday Dec. 14, 2012, will change the lives of those connected to the dead forever and will live forever in the memories of the rest of us.
What happened in Connecticut Friday followed a shooting in a mall in Oregon last Tuesday, when a young masked man killed two shoppers and himself. And just five months ago another young man opened fire during a screening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people.
Here’s a piece published by Mother Jones that looks in detail at mass shootings in America:
If you limit mass shootings to just school shootings, the Associated Press list counts 13 of them since 1997. That includes Columbine in 1999 when two high school students killed 12 people before taking their own lives. But there are so many others that we don’t remember, that don’t resonate in the way the words “Columbine” and now “Newtown” do. Here are some of them:
I’m 57. When I was in grade school, high school or even college, I don’t remember ever thinking about someone coming into my school and killing me or my classmates. I don’t remember any teacher or administrator ever mentioning the subject. There was nothing like there is today, when school kids know what “lockdown” means.
I heard a high school student from Newtown on the radio talking about this. When the lockdown order came for all Newtown schools Friday he told WBUR’s Nancy Cohen everyone knew the drill. They closed the door and hid in the corner next to the door, so even if a gunman were to break into their classroom they could defend themselves.
Those little kids in the Sandy Hook Elementary School never even had that chance.