I had a sad and reflective weekend. I read a lot of things about the horrible events of Newtown and tried to get a picture of it all.
I also read a lot of blog posts about it, many opinions and points of view. Of course, the question "why?" kept spinning in my head, as in everyone else's. For me it is difficult to get a clear picture. This is due to the fact that there might have been mental illness involved, the term "autism spectrum" was thoughtlessly thrown around. Our coverage here did not mention any of this so I have tried to gather more information. What I found so far, however, were only speculations about the shooter's health status. I am also not familiar with the way people with mental illness are treated or medicated in the US and I read that the budgets for these cases have been cut down drastically and that the two largest mental health care facilities in the United States are located in prisons. Gun control also seems to be another part of the problem. All of this is nothing I have good and reliable information about, therefore there is really not much I can say about it as I do not want to draw any wrong conclusions because I am lacking a lot of background information.
However, I found a blog post that I wanted to share with you. I cannot imagine how hard and horrific it must be for a mother to witness something like this and how helpless she must feel. And I hope that she will receive the help she needs.
I also want to share this blog post and this one. They are very well written and very thought-provoking.
My heart still hurts for all these lives ripped away in a senseless act of violence. I cannot stop thinking about the pain the parents of these babies are going through, or the relatives of the adults that were killed. I wish them strength to bear this.
It also got me thinking about the safety level in our schools and kindergartens. For example, the school/kindergarten that Sunny attends is free for everyone to enter. It is not locked and everyone can step inside at any time. Our schools normally are all open and unlocked. This leaves me with an unwell feeling, I must admit.
Although incidents like the Newtown shooting (fortunately!) do not happen here very often, they do happen. There was one at a school on April 26, 2002 where 17 persons - teachers, pupils, a policeman and a secretary - were killed. The other one happend at another school on March 11, 2009 where 15 persons were shot. The father of the killer (he was 17) is on trial at the moment for the second time because he is accused of not having locked away the weapons used for the shooting properly. He was allowed to keep weapons at home because he is a target shooter. In both cases the murderers killed themselves after they wreaked havoc. We are still in shock about these shootings and every time a gun rampage happens again we are reminded of all the innocent lives that were ripped away whenever this happens. We are in dismay and deep grief with you as a nation.
I hope this all makes sense, it is hard for me to express my thoughts and feelings in a foreign language today.
On a more positive note, I also wanted to share a link with you about 26 moments that restored our faith in humanity this year. It is good to see good things happening in the world and they made me smile, although I still have a heavy heart.