Nation mourns for Newtown

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As we try, unsuccessfully, to come to grips with the evil that unfolded at an elementary school with a sign that hauntingly declares “visitors welcome,” the reality slowly pieces together, in a fashion that deflates the heart and empties the soul.

From the accounts provided by small children of bullets whizzing by to the struggles of parents of children who survived to eventually explain that their friends are gone forever to the images that show this could have happened anywhere, it now feels like it happened everywhere.

“I can’t look at my children’s faces now without seeing the faces of every one of their schoolmates, and all of their friends and everything they’re doing right now or saying or they’re talking about Christmas, I’m just thinking their friends should all be here,” a mother of two children who emerged from the school unharmed told CNN this morning.

Throughout the country, anyone with children in their lives will have similar feelings.  While we have experienced enough of these tragedies in recent years to no longer be shocked by the news of a shooting in a public place, never before have the smallest and most innocent been the victims.

My own son has now aged far past the point that I can look at him and see the faces of those children who should still be with us, but instead I witness in him the fact that those little ones will never have the chance to grow and learn and laugh and live.

Our prayers extend to and remain with the children who were taken, the children who survived, and all families in a community that never will be the same.

We will continue to do what we do, if for no reason than to help provide a diversion for those who need to take a short break from thinking about things that are inherently unthinkable.  But we hope that everyone spends the bulk of their time in the next few days reflecting on what happened in Newtown, praying for the victims and survivors, and collectively resolving to find ways to keep these things from ever happening again.

29 responses to “Nation mourns for Newtown

  1. Exactly. Praying is not going to stop people from using guns. Have you noticed that all these mass killings are being done with legally purchased guns. I read the mother had 5 legally purchased guns. Three of which were used in this tragedy. Compare what happened in China yesterday and what happened in Connecticut. One nut used a gun and killed 26 people. One used a knife and killed one out of 22.

  2. Stricter gun laws won’t help, theres a whole black market out there that stricter gun laws won’t even phase..

    We need to listen to each other, look out for each other, as a society were wrapped up in who ever the kardashian is dating now or snooki having a child, we don’t listen and pay attention to reality anymore..

    We need to open our eyes and come together, this is happening way to much and only we as a people can stop it

  3. The news reports list the perp as a 20 year old man. Yeah, he was a male. But what sort of ‘man’ murders his mother than proceeds to mow down elementary school kids? I’m not arguing mental illness or whatever, just seems like a complete disrespect for life of any age IMO. I hope for the best for all those grieving parents and potentially scarred survivors.

  4. Senseless, evil crimes will always happen. The heartbreaker yesterday will linger in these poor children’s minds forever as well as the parents and families of the little angels who were the victims.

  5. This is sad, everyones prayers should be focused on that community, and giving thanks for the safety of our loved ones because this tragedy could happen again anywhere. With that being said I don’t go to msn, or basically any news related site because these stories rip at your heart, and basically what the “news” has become. I don’t expect to hear about non football related tragedies from a Football website,

    I can understand Mr. Florio sending his best wishes to the families involved especially as a parent.

  6. It’s a tragedy that the entire nation feels, 20 young innocent young children having their lives cut way to short. It’s a shame and I couldn’t imagine being one of those parents who lost their child, or one of the parents that now had to explain to their child what they saw or heard.

    On the case of stricter gun laws, I don’t believe that will do anything but hurt us more. These irresponsible, lunatics make up a very very small portion of people who own guns, how would we protect ourselves if we aren’t allowed to arm ourselves. Guns don’t kill people, a gun can’t pull its own trigger, it takes a lunatic madman to do that. If anything people should arm themselves at all times, that’s they only way to prevent anything like this, Aurora, VT from happening.

  7. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what has broken down in our society the last 10-20 years to produce people (monsters) that are capable of such acts. When I was in school in the ’80’s and early 90’s, everybody had guns in our trucks and vehicles in the school parking lot…on school grounds. We hunted before school and we hunted after school. The guns were far more accessible then they are today, and the security was much lighter. The difference was that the mindset wasn’t there. These sorts of things simply didn’t happen. What has broken down in our society?

  8. I have owned guns for over 40 years, learning safety from the NRA. Society has devolved into a me-first, hateful, and ignorant place where the profit motive trumps all else. Hence, I dissolved my NRA membership years ago, as they are pimps for the firearms industry. My guns have trigger locks, my ammo is stored and secured separately, and I have a home security system that will give me plenty of warning and time to lock and load, if necessary. Pity the fool who comes into my home, as he will leave a corpse.

  9. It doesn’t matter if guns were completely illegal (I’m sure they’ll try) NO ONE can stop a lone gunman except someone in the school or target with a gun to protect them.

  10. This puts all things sports in context. Whether Andy Reid should be fired. Or whether the bounty scandal was adjudicated fairly, or whether Tim Tebow should start for the Jets.

    All that is quickly put into context as not important in the grand scheme of things when an event like this happens.

  11. This is a time that as people, as humans have to come together. Whether liberal, conservative or any point in between. We can all agree that this is a horrific tragedy that transcends all of the artificial constructs we create like political divides.

    When 5 years olds are gunned down in school……. Every single one of us that has children can consider ourselves fortunate today that we are not suffering what has to be unimaginably difficult for the parents who lost their children.

    I have no idea on what the answer to preventing these shootings is. They probably aren’t entirely preventable regardless of what actions are taken. But that far more can be achieved by finding common ground on pragmatic solutions than on getting lost in political debate.

    Various media outlets are showing pictures of grief stricken parents who just got the worst possible scenario. If something as horrific as this can’t bring us together as humans, as a country, to try to prevent and force us to transcend politics for the best solutions. Then I don’t know what can. And honestly if we can’t transcend politics in the face of something like this then we have to ask ourselves what is wrong with our society.

    Dead kindergarten children shot in a massacre. Regardless of my political views. I’m open to suggestion from any side of the political divide to try to prevent something like this from happening again.

    Maybe we all compromise some on our politics and find a middle ground and the path of least resistance in trying to prevent something like this again.

  12. Some of you say that a knife can’t do as much damage.


    This country was crippled by men with box cutters.

    In Rwanda, men with machetes nearly wiped out an entire ethnic group of people. That stuff still goes on over there.

    I could go on. That’s the problem with gun control advocates. You point to the weapon, and not the person using the weapon. You don’t understand evil or the intent to kill. A sociopath will always find a way. Connecticut has some of the most strict gun laws in the country. Even the most difficult gun laws cannot stop a mad man. And we saw that yesterday. It’s that simple. They’ll find a way.

  13. “This puts all things sports in context”

    I can’t believe that this even needs to be said. Anyone that doesn’t already have sports “in context”, needs to seek professional help

  14. Banning guns will not solve anything. We need to return to raising our children with morals and compassion and empathy for others. Parents have become obsessed with being their kid’s “friend” instead of being their parents.

  15. It’s the internal pains that we feel for total strangers that will hopefully make us a stronger nation and better leaders for our young. Mike, I applaud you for making mention of this. Lets hope the NFL takes a good, long look at the gun issues they have with it’s own players. Yah can’t be in a PLAY 60 commercial with children one day and the next have a handgun under your seat or concealed in your pocket. It’s time for the eyes of our nation to be opened wider in every aspect!

  16. Thank you Mike for addressing this heartbreaking, gut-wrenching topic. I don’t have the answers, but I do know we have to keep talking. We have had many tragedies lately, all of which affect the lives of many. There are things we can do as individuals and as “grown-ups” whose job it is to protect and guide not just our kids, but any kid we come in contact with. Don’t tolerate bullying or drinking/drugging and driving. Mental illness is not a comfortable thing to be around, but if you are concerned that someone may be suicidal or homicidal ask some questions, help to secure weapons with a trustworthy friend or relative, and get the authorities involved if need be. Things that are beyond our comprehension will still happen, but a little “first aid” can make a big difference.

  17. This was an unspeakable tragedy and my prayers go to the victims’ families. No one should have to endure losing a child especially this way. But remember, killing is wrong no matter whether it is with a gun, a knife, a pitch fork, or one’s bear hands. No one should even hurt an innocent child. It is not the instrument, it is the person who kills and that is who must be dealt with.

  18. Armed guards at every school? That’s your answer!! Do you realize that many countries in the world have stronger gun laws than the US? UK, Canada, Australia all free democracies. The time is now to stop putting weapons designed to kill people in the hands of normal civilians. The only people that should have these weapons are police or military. My heart weeps for these kids but arming more people is not the answer.

  19. I consider myself a strong man, but even I had a tear roll down my face upon learning what happened. As I read what was happening on my phone I myself was sitting in a packed elementary school gymnasium watching a procession of children sing christmas carols to their adoring families. Looking around thinking how easy and convenient it would be for someone to enter and take lives with no metal detectors or security of any kind. But you have to wonder if even those safeguards are enough. Evil will always find a way. All we can do is trust in our faith that our families will arrive home again safely.

  20. Automatic handguns just invite disaster. Everyone is so afraid of the NRA, they just get whatever they want. What’s next, the right to carry portable surface to air missiles? The NRA tells their paranoid members that if we take away handguns, that their hunting rifles and shotguns are next and nothing could be further from the truth. I come from a gun family and none of us use automatic weapons for hunting.
    Some guns just need to be taken off the streets.

  21. There are no words that can describe the horror of yesterday. Please pray for the victims and their families, as well as the survivors – they will never be the same. Mike , your words were poignant and appropriate. Thank you.

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