Saturday, December 15, 2012

Things Fall Apart

When I lived in Connecticut I used to work in Newtown, and recall at least one colleague with kids at Sandy Hook Elementary (though the kids I knew have almost surely aged out of the school by now).

Of course nobody expects their town, their school, their kids to become subjects of a horrifying international news event … wait. I just answered my front door to accept a delivery package. (Procrastinating Me was a little late with her holiday shopping this year.) How many parents in Newtown today will take delivery of gifts that can never be given? How many have gaily wrapped Christmas or Hanukkah presents still hidden away on a closet shelf?

Not since 9/11 have I felt this odd, sickening feeling: Not only has something horrifying happened, it happened somewhere I’m personally familiar with. I know that place—what the hell is it doing on the news? And not since 9/11 have I felt the same worry that the fear generated from this outrage will be used as an excuse for the government to take rights away from good people in the name of hindering the bad.

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