Newtown Shooting: Why We Are All Sandy Hook Students on This Tragic Day

2:51 p.m., the sheriff wraps up his interview. The scene is secure, he says. No more questions. "There is no danger to the public, right?!" shouts a reporter. “There is no danger to the public,” confirms the sheriff. Which is a vicious lie.

Shooting a school is the worst thing you could perpetrate on society. It’s unspeakably evil, we don’t need to mention that. We don’t need to mention whatever problems Lanza thinks he had, or what his motives were, or what video games he played. Those factors deserve no dignity as the mind reels. They might matter later. For now, we fight the chills and get angry and shout through nearby people to try to make the whole thing hear us. Because we’ve been targeted too. Motherf***er killed 18 kids and some of their teachers, but what he did to us, outside the walls of the school was nothing short of an assault in its own right.

The murder of a kindergarten class hits all of us between the eyes. We all went to school, and we all know what it’s like. When you’re young, you are an unbridled personality, without bounds to energy or imagination or emotion. With the exception of what the parents of these victims are going through right now, most people exit childhood having already experience the full range of raw emotions they’ll ever experience. You’re never sadder or happier or more excited than when you’re young, and then the world sort of scabs you up, hardens you into maturity so the range of emotions you’ve established can deepen and acquire a nice smokiness.

It’s ungodly to think of these tiny boundless humans terrified, their widening emotional spectrums pushed undelicately into the red before their lives even had a chance to change at having known such fear. The vulnerability of youth is what all society, what every organization of nature, what all biology, exists to protect. We, society, failed those kids. When we process that, it is an animalistic anger that hits us in the f*cking chest.

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Lenny DeFranco

NYC resident, from Chicago, fan of culture, politics, music, lit: the good stuff.

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