I have never been to Columbine High School, but I could probably draw you a map of what it looked like one April day a few years ago.? I have seen it through the eyes of my terrified clients - who was where, what people did, the sad and horrified look on parents faces as their child didn't show up at the meeting place.
It's happened at other schools, in other states and countries, and also happened yesterday here at a rural school just off the highway.? It's a school that most people pass as they head out to camp, mountain bike, or just want a beautiful drive in the mountains.? Another school, another shooting, another child dead and others traumatized.
In Colorado, we were all traumatized by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.? Today, the radio talk show announcers blast with Columbine memories.? We ask ourselves - "how can this possibly happen?? to us?? again?"
Is it a lack of gun control?? Certainly, Colorado is a state that prides itself on not controlling anything including guns.
Is it a lack of high school security?? Maybe.? It's hard to understand how an adult, with no business being there, can just walk onto a high school campus.
But let's look at the statistics again.? There were 27 deaths in the 2005-2006 school year.? Incident after incident...? School shootings are not just happening to "us", they are happening to everyone, over and over again!
I believe that as a culture, we do not value life in the way our ancestors did.? It's desperately easy to kill someone.? Look at the situation in Iraq!? There are currently more American deaths due to the "completed" war in Iraq than were killed in the Trade Center on 9/11/01!? We make excuses ("those soldiers took their risks when they signed up") and look the other way.
We simply do not value life - human or otherwise - in the way other human beings have valued life.? How do we pull ourselves back to understanding the preciousness of each life, each breath, each person.
Today we mourn the child who went to school yesterday and didn't come home last night.? Maybe we can start there, each of us, and begin to work toward valuing each life around us.? It's worth a try.