School of Thought: Finding the good gives us hope

What happened on Friday, Dec. 14, in Newtown is something that will forever haunt not only the nation, but the world. Obviously this tragedy is one that calls for immediate political reform. It is unfortunate that it took a crime of this magnitude for humanity to begin to transcend politics, but at least now some action will be taken that will eventually lead to change.

Yet the question is what happens now? New laws of this proportion can take years to pass, and even longer to put into effect. But we go to school every day. What is there to stop something like this from happening again? On the Monday after this horrific event this question seemed to plague the minds of John Jay High School students. Throughout the day “what ifs …” lingered tauntingly in the air. What if there was another unstable person with a gun? What if another school was attacked? What if it was in this school district? People were more sensitive to loud noises than they would usually be. Students chattered nervously about what they would do if there was an attack. Where was the safest place to hide? Would it be better to try and climb out a window? Many of us had been clinging to the admittedly naïve and childish notion that schools are havens where bad things don’t happen. This illusion has been shattered. We are not as safe as we once thought. So what does this mean for us? It seems like one question follows on the heels of another, and none have real answers. Yet one thing is clear: just because there is danger, does not mean we should live in a world of fear. We know evil exists. This tragedy has proven that yet again. But there is also an overwhelming amount of good. I see this when I turn on the news to find complete strangers holding and comforting each other. People came from all over the country. They built memorials, handed out blankets and food, and extended their hearts. It does not rectify what happened. But it seems that when there is one act of terror, a hundred acts of kindness spring up to try and blot it out. And with that knowledge, I feel a little safer.

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  • Glenn DeFaber

    Hannah with everything written in the aftermath of Newtown I find your article comforting and spot on. It puts the whole experience into prospective without pushing a political agenda. Thank you very much for your thoughtful piece.

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