I hate that there appears to be a growing proportion of people that think it's ok to commit suicide and mass murder when life doesn't work out the way you want it to.
I really hate the second incident that happened in Littleton yesterday, and the way it further labels my little suburb.
I hate even more, that in the focus Littleton will undergo as the potential capital of Crazytown (and I'm not saying it isn't...I'm just saying we're not all murdering wackos), people will be tempted to completely disregard the fact that this insane and evil trend really IS spreading across our nation, and your community is no more immune than mine.
So although I hope in my heart every day that this will never happen again, I'm pretty sure it will continue. And as scary as it is, I've learned that there are things you can do to prepare, and to be able to be calm when it seems the world is ending around you.
Here's what I know.
You have very little control over what happens to your family once they leave your home. The only thing you control is how you have taught your children to protect themselves physically and spiritually.
Physically - No one wants to think about this, but any kid in elementary school is old enough that they may have to face this situation. I really think we do a disservice to our children if we don't empower them with information and the ability to make decisions. Do you really want your child to be the one who is shocked, and standing rooted to the floor, not knowing what to do? Tell your child to follow the directions of the adult who is protecting them. If there's no adult, they need to choose RUN or HIDE - and if they can't decide, the answer is RUN. ( most crazyshooters are terrible marksmen)
Spiritually - Because of where I live, I know lots of stories about people who survive school shootings. Those stories aren't mine to tell here, but I will say that there's an underlying theme:
Kids in unthinkable situations revert back to what they know their parents know.
I remember one girl who told about hiding in the school for hours, the fire alarms continuing to go off, not knowing when or even IF official help was coming. What she did know for sure was that her family was praying for her right that minute, and they would not stop until they saw her again. Knowing that her parents KNEW that God would help her was what helped her own faith and got her through that horrific day.
Ever since that day, I've had a different view of the mothers of Helaman's Army, who's sons never doubted what their mothers knew. (Alma 56:48) I hope my children would know without a doubt that my first move would be to pray and not stop until I see them again. I hope they know it. I do everything I can to live it every day.
As much as we prepare ourselves and our children, the truth is that people don't always survive the terrible choices made by others. When these things happen and I search for a sense of calm, I remember that there have always been people in the world who chose evil - many of them doing much worse that what has been happening in our community and others. --And yet somehow, the good people of the world make it through with their faith intact. King Noah, Judas, Amalickiah, and many others all chose an evil path, yet where would we be without the testimonies that came as a result of those men's actions? "all things shall work together for your good" Not just good things, but all things.
In then end, our job is to prepare as much as we can, and then trust in the Lord that things really will work out for our good. He loves us. He'll help us. It will all work out.