Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest.”
~Cardinal Roger Mahony
When the facebook posts drew the Newtown shooting to my attention and as I rushed to tune in to CNN, my heart-wrenching, subconscious gut reaction was ‘here we go again…”
We failed. In that instance when a mentally deranged young man stepped into an elementary school and killed more than two dozen people with an assault rifle; we had failed. These children were in the right place at the right time. Their parents had left them in the hands of trusted ones. The teachers have given up their lives to do the noblest of jobs at, very often, minimal recognition. Somewhere in the crazy lattice that is the system, we failed them all.
Much has been said by people way more qualified to speak on this than us already, and much more will be said. At CLUBHOUSE, our sole purpose is the welfare of children and, specifically, their educational opportunities. They deserve, at the very least, that much. What happened in Newton is not unlike the thousands of children whose childhood is lost in the East Asian sex-trafficking trade or the Sub-Saharan civil conflict that employ child soldiers: in all cases, innocent children put their lives in the hands of those who are meant to protect them and, in all cases, they were let down.
It is imperative, world, that we move on from these and other tragedies with solutions. The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem that started long before Adam Lanza walked into that elementary school; before his civilian mother was allowed to purchase several guns including the assault rifle used in this incident etc. issues may vary from region to region: In Southern Africa, intensive education campaigns have had to be implemented to stop the rape of young virgin girls by men who believe there might be a cure for AIDS in that; in the USA there is an overdue need for progress on gun control reform; all around the world, people need to start focusing on mental health in a way that has never been done in human history. We have work to do.
Primary/Elementary school brings a lot of worries with it. Crushes on classmates, wishing you were a little bit taller and, oh, when they finally introduce long division! These are the things that our ten year olds should be concerned about. Whether or not they will be back home alive at the end of the day is not and should not be on that list.
The fact that my brain immediately went to “here we go again…” when I heard the news shows that this has happened one too many times. I only pray my brain never has to go there again.
But we have work to do
R.I.P to the deceased, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and community affected.
(a short poem of encouragement from one of our founders can be found below)