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United in tragedy

I noticed two gentlemen of different colors, gazes fixed on the television in the breakfast room of the hotel I was staying in Sunday morning, heads shaking in mutual disbelief at the televised reports coming out of Newtown, Connecticut, scene of the latest school shooting.

Columbine, Paducah, Virginia Tech and now Newtown, more specifically Sandy Hook Elementary School, are some of the names associated with an ever more disturbing trend of tragic, mind-numbing and heart-wrenching incidents at our nation’s schools.

The questions are many, the answers elusive, and the usual suspects have re-surfaced with explanations and motives behind the actions of the alleged perpetrator.

Tighter gun control laws, more extensive background checks and an all-out ban on automatic weapons among non-military U.S. residents are some of the suggestions coming from one side of the debate.

I don’t have any enemies that I know of, but I also don’t think those first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School had any either.

Those 12 little girls and eight little boys were as innocent as innocent can be, and they surely didn’t deserve the fate that befell them when they arrived for what they thought was a normal school day.

So did the six adults who were murdered in the senseless massacre, and that’s the best word to describe it.

I certainly don’t have the answers as to why it happened and how, and that’s the most frustrating thing for me, as it is for most of us.

We all struggle to understand the actions of others who for whatever reason decide to do these monstrous things, and our failure to comprehend such things is a big reason for the collective shaking of our heads.

I didn’t engage the two men in conversation Sunday morning, yet I could empathize with their demeanor.

We all live in the same country, the same world, and its human nature to feel helpless in times such as these, but we all have a rock to stand on, whether religious beliefs, family or both.

Give your child an extra hug, tell them again that you love them, and treasure them even more than you do now, that’s the least we can all do.

They deserve it.