It’s been three years since the horrific Sandy Hook School shooting that killed 26 innocent people – 20 of them small children no more than six or seven years of age. They should be three years older now – moving on with their precious lives – as their parents had planned.
What I find more unbelievable than the gruesome reality of this heartbreaking event is that there are law-abiding citizens in this country who admit they have a hard time believing it ever happened. My adult children, who are musicians and tour and travel the country extensively, have met a few of them this year.
My son told me he was drawn into conversation with a disbeliever at a coffee shop in Virginia the morning a TV reporter and cameraman from a Roanoke TV station were shot dead on the air. He was an Iraq-Afghanistan war veteran from Idaho who brought up shootings and then Sandy Hook, admitting that he didn’t believe it happened. It didn’t matter that my son grew up in Sandy Hook and went to Sandy Hook Elementary School. The man just shook his head in denial and walked away. What more could my son say? He succeeded in no breakthrough.
Yes, the shooting here was unbelievable, and because of that, I am almost willing to grant a “grain of salt” to disbelievers from other parts of the country, influenced by biased media or conspiracy theories. They don’t live here. Distance makes it unreal – and surreal – even to those of us who do.
The so-called “Truthers” continue to seek ways to discredit the “story.” Some have actually confronted leaders in our community for that purpose. They’ve written outlandish books about the shooting that, to their way of thinking, proves it never happened, and they work to spread their delusional views on social media. What is crazy to me is that people are actually buying into this “idiocracy” and joining in by cruelly hurting the very people who have lost the most.
Yes, what happened here is unbelievable. But it happened. Why would a community fabricate such a thing?
In my heart, I wish the “Truthers” – which is such a blatant misnomer – were right. This tragedy should never have happened. But the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 most certainly did, and has gone down in history as one of the worst mass shootings in this country’s history.
This is not fiction. It is not a made up horror story. Just ask the parents who lost their children that day, and mourn them every day.
This pain is real. And since that intensely bright, sunny winter day in the midst of our holiday season that screeched to a panic-stricken halt, shaking this community to its very foundation with grief unimaginable, more lives have been lost because of mass shootings and gun violence.
What is more unbelievable to me is why?