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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A mother brings her 7-year-old home, safe, from Sandy Hook

I am turning my blog space over today to Sarah W. Caron, a former reporter for the New Haven Register (a sister paper of The Saratogian in the Journal Register Company/Digital First Media family). She is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. -- and the mother of a second-grader who survived today's massacre at the elementary school in Connecticut. I am glad your children are safe, Sarah. And I am so, so sad for all the families who were not so fortunate.

You never think that something horrific could happen to your community.
But it can.
Today, my Sandy Hook School community was shattered by a gunman who walked into the elementary school, opened fire and killed 28 souls.
My heart, my prayers, my thoughts go to the families.
When I heard about the shooting, I was sitting on my couch working with my daughter next to me.
Within seconds, I learned that it was my son’s school.
Shaking and sobbing, I frantically called family members, texted friends and reached out to my writing community for prayers. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
My son, Will, is 7 and a second grader at Sandy Hook School. When I saw him this morning in the Sandy Hook Fire Department, my heart burst. I was so grateful to be able to.
A friend had called and told me to go to the school. I went.
The scene was frantic. Parents dashing to the fire station where the kids had been moved to. Police, fire, FBI all trying to keep the scene under control. I frantically searched for Will, looking at the sea of tear-stained faces and children clinging to their moms.
He wasn’t in the first room.
My heart pounding, I headed to the other room and there I spotted him, his hands on his classmate’s shoulders to form a chain of children.
Minutes later, we were reunited.
“You came,” he said.
“Of course I did. As soon as I heard,” I told him.
As a parent, I am now faced with explaining this tragedy to my son and daughter, who attends afternoon kindergarten there. We’ve talked about people doing very bad things and making very bad choices.
We’ve talked a little about the people who lost their lives today.
There’s no shielding my kids from this, because this is our community, our school, our teachers and fellow students.
My husband and I are doing the best we can, answering questions and listening and Will remembers little details that no 7-year-old should ever have to recall.
I am thankful he listened when he was told to cover his eyes as he left the school.
Tonight, we are holding our children close, thanking God our family is home together. Our community is gathering at vigils tonight to pray for all who were lost today. We will come together.
As I hugged his teacher this morning, she whispered, “It’s OK. He’s OK.”
And I thank God for that.

‪Sarah W. Caron, a former New Haven Register reporter, is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer.‬ Her column was provided by Digital First Media.

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Blogger Unknown said...

God Bless you and your family... And all the families who lost loved ones... My heart aches for you all..

December 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what can we do locally. First, petition the City Council and the City Center Authority to STOP gun shows at the City Center.

Public buildings should not be used to host such events. Would we allow a school auditorium or the Indoor Rec. facility to be used for a similar event to raise a few dollars? Of course not. NO public building should be used to even tacitly support a gun culture.

Next the City Council should endorse Mayor Bloomberg's initiative and join his Mayors Against Guns lobby. Think Johnson has the brass to do this? Probably not but the public should demand it.

Federal legislation to ban the private possession and sale of automatic "assault" weapons must be supported and members of Congress who do not support rational gun control should be held accountable.

Retailers (Walmart, et al) who continue to market in gratuitous violence should be boycotted. Just check their ads in the Sunday papers to get a sense of the violent trash they are peddling to children and adolescents. Boycotts work because at the end its all about money.

And get over the myth that he Constitution guarantees us all the right to possess military type automatic weapons. Want to fire an assault rifle? Join the Army.

December 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right on!

I hope the City has been policing the gun shows to make sure that the sales tax is being levied on all sales.

Perhaps a petition drive to demand that these events be banned should be started. Let the City Center Authority wiggle wiggle out of that.

It would be easier for the City Council to simply instruct the Authority to stop facilitating the sale of guns.

Let the gun show folks use non-public buildings.

December 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on! Perhaps we should begin a petition drive to demand that gun shows at the City Center be banned. Of course it would be easier and faster if the City Council simply ordered the Authority to stop being a partner in the trafficking of guns.

Is the Center that desperate for revenue. And speaking of revenue, let's hope that the sales tax has been collected on the sale of weapons at the City Center.

Surely the gun show lobby can find a non=public building for its 'sales.'

December 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now that the issue has been raised how about a story on what the City Center gun shows really are. What type of weapons are sold and what safeguards are in place? Are background checks required and, if so, for what weapons? Can an "assault" weapon be purchased at the City Center (a "Public Benefit" corporation established by the City Council and State legislature).

Do the police routinely patrol the areas (parking lots, etc.) near the City Center during gun shows to discourage illegal sales.

The City (City Council and City Center Authority) should not be in the gun business even by simply allowing these events.

And what of the clergy and school board members/ Should they not be speaking discouraging the use of public facilities for the sale of guns, particularly assault weapons.

December 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM 

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