Mourn, pray — and work for change!

/ 15 December 2012

There is much that has already been written about the shootings in Newtown, CT yesterday, and more will no doubt come in the days ahead. I am moved by the eloquence of Ethan Zuckerman this morning and I urge you to read his whole piece. Here’s just a brief excerpt:

Human behavior is unpredictable, but gun violence is not. In Chengping, Henan, China today, a deranged man slashed 22 schoolchildren with a knife. None died. School shootings in America are a product both of mad people and bad laws.

As we learn more about the young children killed in Newtown today, we will hear calls not to "politicize" their deaths. I urge you to ignore those calls. There is no better way to mourn these senseless deaths than to demand we change our laws and our culture so that the killing of innocent children truly becomes unthinkable.</blockquote>

In addition to changing our gun laws, we also need to remember that peace is not just about stopping violence, it's also about building peace. I really appreciate what the Education Commission of Minnesota sent out last night, a set of resources and an excerpt from a peacemaking kit:

Remember small acts of disrespect can lead to violence. But small acts of kindness and peacemaking have the power to stop violence and create peace. This is the time to practice acts of respect and kindness. Help each other out. Solve any conflicts or disagreements peacefully. Talk to me or other adults if you have further questions or concerns

(More resources for helping children deal with trauma are available online.)