Friday, March 9, 2012

A Day of Infamy

3/6/12 - I am not sure how the planets were aligned this Tuesday, but here in Jacksonville, Florida it is was a day of infamy on many levels.

Let's begin with the micro: The Sprout kept me up most of the night, so I began the day in a state of confused exhaustion. In this compromised mental capacity I made the mistake of trying to scramble some eggs for my children to eat for breakfast. It was 7:00 am.  I gently placed three eggs on the counter and turned to the garbage can to crack the first against the kitchen counter.  I knocked it out of my hand onto the kitchen floor.  In my haste to clean it up, I bumped our butcher block which caused one of the other eggs to fall to the floor with a splat. 

I cussed.  Pulled myself together and cracked the other one into the bowl, and threw away it's shell.  The remaining egg, I cracked into the garbage can and tossed its shells into the yolk bowl.  If I was a cartoon a geyser of steam would have blown through my ears.  Then Chef walks in.  I tell him to go get the kids' shoes out of my car.  He returns with the shoes and says "Your car was broken into last night...they took the GPS."

The thief stole the GPS, the I-touch, and a book with a decade of CDs in it.  I had an 8 am appointment, and it was 7:40. I quickly printed directions off the internet to the Duval County School System building. I gathered myself and set forth in my violated vehicle.  Half-way there I realized that the last 3 direction bullets were missing from the list.  I turned to my "smart phone" which told me to get on another entirely different route.  I made it, barely.

But this is terribly minor considering what else happened that day.

The macro day of infamy: Around happy hour, I was on a neighborhood playground chatting it up with a fellow madre when she said, "Can you believe that shooting today at Episcopal?" Episcopal High School is one of the best private high schools in Jacksonville.  It is where two of my four paternal cousins went to secondary school.  Many friends locally attended there as well. Dale Regan, the high school's headmistress, a beloved educator of 30 years, was murdered by a 28 year old Spanish teacher whose employment had been terminated.  At around 1:30, he walked onto campus with a guitar case containing an assault rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition.  He found her in her office and shot her ten times, then committed suicide.

The following evening, I was standing in a buffet line at a function at our synagogue.  I overheard a young teenager tell his father "I heard the shot."  I watched the father try to navigate the delicate conversation in such a public place, and I thought to myself as I scooped pasta onto my plate,
"Please don't ever let my child speak those words to me."

How does a school recover after a tragedy like this?  How do parents assure their kids this could never happen again, now that it has happened once?  What is to stop it from happening again? 

How many innocent people have to die before we accept that there are far too many mentally ill people that own guns in this country? 

I mean really.  Is there a number that will be the breaking point?

Chef is a licensed gun owner, but if someone where to come to our babies' school and commit murder, or mass murder there is not a damn thing he would be able to do to protect our children.  He would be at work, his guns stowed under lock and key at home.

Do guns make us safer?  

Not so sure.

1 comment:

Christina said...

So sorry that this happened in your town, Nan. This same thing happened at my sister's school in Knoxville almost 2 years ago exactly. She was a 4th grade teacher at the time and a fellow 4th grade teacher was let go, went to his car, retrieved his gun, and returned to the principal's office and shot both the principal and vice principal. Luckily, they both survived but the principal is paralyzed. I didn't hear about the shooting in your town, nor did I hear about the one at my sis' school on the news. People need to be aware that this is happening and what is frightening is that it could happen in any workplace. I think about it all the time as Clay unfortunately has to let employees go often. Unfortunately we only see the shootings that happen when kids shoot. But as you point out in your post it's not only a problem when kids get the guns, it's a problem that some adults have guns too. I wish the best for the school that this happened to, as I know things are still not the same at my sister's school. My heart goes out to the students at that school and hope that they can find a way to trust their teachers and know that their school is a safe place. I will never have a gun myself...number 1 I don't trust myself to not do something stupid (like shoot my husband), number 2 would it really help if a robber comes and i have to say hold on a minute let me go get my gun out of the gunsafe, number 3 i strongly believe that you attract what you put out so if i think i need a gun, i probably will in the future therefore i choose to think i don't need one. thank you for this post, Nan! spread the good word, lady.