I can’t begin to comprehend the shootings, the violence that happened in Connecticut. I am slowly learning more about the morning and what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I’m seeing Facebook posts from my friends, photos forwarded of children that were killed and one of a teacher, Victoria, who saved the lives of everyone in her first grade class by hiding them in cabinets and closets after hearing the gunfire. The Facebook post said, “When the shooter came to her classroom, she told him that her students were in the gym. He then gunned her down and moved on. She saved the lives of all her students. She died a hero today. She deserves to be remembered for her bravery.”
I learned within a few hours, through Facebook, there had been a shooting. I couldn’t see details about it, at the time, and I went to MSN to learn more. I found information but also images from journalists that I personally found inappropriate. I studied Mass Communication in college, it is what my degree is in. By the time I completed my degree, I had little respect for much of reporting and, within a few years, I distanced myself from television. I don’t watch tv aside from a very occasional movie. On this day, I turned to the internet. And though I wanted to be informed, I was repulsed by images taken by people wanting to “report” using images of others at the crime scene, what appeared to be a war zone, terrorists among us.
I found images of people in their darkest hours, people wailing. Is it right to photograph these people? I believe in the sharing of information, but not at all cost. There is a line between what is personal and what is appropriate and that varies with each individual. I remember one time when my house was on fire. It was on fire and the fire was taking the roof off the second story. The neighbor across the street was videotaping my family as we were watching our house in flames. It was inappropriate and added to the stress.
I haven’t wanted to participate in the media that gets in too close in personal tragedy. I am all for this being something that is learned of by the whole world but I think we can learn to wait for some of the details, to make sure the details are right and to see that they are appropriate. I imagine this is run over and over and over, again, on tv. I remember events from when I watched cable tv and how that happens. We should be affected by it, we should learn about it and if there is anything we can learn from it then let it change our world for the better. This was a senseless, useless act of violence aimed at some of the most fragile in our world. My youngest child is a first grader. It is heartbreaking to try to comprehend what happened inside the walls of this school a few days ago.
I’ve read of one person describing balance in taking in the news of this tragedy. She shared of needing balance in her own life. She reached to spend extra time with her grandson. Maybe there was a part of me that sought balance, too, knowing this would be devastating to even hear of. I was slow to learn details about the tragedy and now that I have I ask myself how can we go on with life in any way as usual. How does this change us? The reality is this is not about how it changes us, this is about the victims and their families. How they will struggle to absorb the horrific realities of that day. If there is ANYTHING we can do as a world to help them I say let that change us. This is not just an event reported, these are real people who died from brutal violence and their families will struggle to keep their lives afloat long after this topic is not prominent in the news.
Please write and share your thoughts.