I was sitting at Books & Boos, chuckling over Mick Foley's Hardcore Diaries (really, his description of his and Tommy Dreamer's derrieres is priceless) when it sunk in that the radio was no longer playing music. They were talking about a school shooting. In Connecticut. My heart firmly lodged itself in my throat. We have three nephews and one niece in three different schools in Connecticut. And my sister, who I might have mentioned a thousand different times is my very best friend in the world, is a teacher. I put Mick Foley aside and jumped on the internet.
Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown is not one of the schools attended by any member of my family. Still, I cried a little bit as I read the breaking news. I cried from relief that it wasn't my nephews' or niece's school. I cried because I'd been so scared for my sister, who was okay. And I cried out of guilt for feeling that way when twenty-six lives had been lost, twenty of them children. How can anyone read that and not feel sick? What is wrong with people?
Just a few weeks ago, my sister and I were talking about a lockdown she'd had at her school. She and her students had been hiding in the darkened, locked classroom when one of the kids knocked on the side of the desk in an effort to be funny. Kim was berating herself because she'd spoken pretty sharply to the student. It hadn't been a planned drill, and she was on edge, thoughts of Columbine flashing through her mind.
"But of course," she said, "I have to remember these kids weren't even alive when that happened. They have no idea how scary Columbine was when it happened."
How foolish of us to think that that was somehow a negative thing.