I first heard about today's horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn. this morning on the radio as I was dropping my first-grade son off at school. At the time, few details were known. I made a mental note of the story, proceeded to drive home and catch a nap before I had to get up and put in a half-day of work (the other half being some vacation time I was burning through).
Turning on the news when I got up, the true horror of what happened became apparent to me: A gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and, as far as is known at the moment, gunned down an entire class. In all, 26 people — including 20 children — were killed by the gunman before he apparently took his own life. The gunman may have killed another person — possibly his mother, who was a teacher at the school — at a secondary location. The awful details, of course, will be sorted out in due time.
In the meantime, as a parent myself of a child the same age of some of the shooting victims, I couldn't help but feel for the moms and dads who lost children today. I can't empathize with them, but I can surely sympathize. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my little boy to such an act of violence. I'm sure it would shatter my world.
All I can do at the moment is wonder about the depravity of an individual who cruelly extinguished the lives of so many of the most innocent of victims.
I don't have any answers right now. Heck, I don't even know what questions to ask. All I know is that my son is going to be the recipient of an extra-long hug today when I pick him up from school.