Making sense of the Conn. tragedy while working

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown CT December 14, 2012 (http://mediacenter.ydr.com)

It’s easy to get jaded doing this job.

As a former police reporter, I’ve been to too many accidents, fires, tragedies. I’ve sat in on horrible court cases, reported the awful things people do to each other. And now, I send others out to do that and help from the desk.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like we’ve seen it all.

But it will never get easier to see senseless violence against children. Officials say Friday a 20-year-old man killed his mother, then drove to her elementary school and killed 26 others (20 of which were children) before killing himself.

I was at home when it happened, and the newsroom went into a hectic buzz making sure we were updating information as it happened. Usually, when things happen I’m already at work and don’t have time to think about it until I get home.

But Friday, I was out for a run and realized I didn’t know if my cousin’s kids went to school in their town of Southbury, which is only a few miles away. Thank God, it wasn’t their school and they were OK.

As many of you were probably, I was glued to the TV and latest news available. There were the misteps, where the shooter was misidentified as his older brother. There was the always changing number of deceased. There were those of you outraged at the media was talking to children. There were arguments already starting about gun control.

But what never changed was the knowledge that some parents lost their children Friday.

It’s easy to get mad. It’s easy to blame gun control, mental health issues, the shooter.

In talking with my Dad on the way to work, I was angry. I may have seen a lot, but I will never understand violence against children. I will never understand how mental or family issues can lead someone to walk into an elementary school and open fire on innocent children.

And maybe that means I and those of you who feel the same way are lucky. That we can’t imagine what that would be like.

Mike Argento wrote a column after the tragedy saying that America has simply accepted tragic gun violence. It happens all around us and across the world. And while some people may not agree with what Argento writes, I fear it may be true.

So what do we do? We talk to our children; we make them feel safe. We try not to accept the violence around us. We hold our heads high and continue to do our jobs — even if it’s telling tragic stories. We think of those lost and hope that it never happens here.

And we pray that we never become so jaded that the loss of innocent children is just another day.

About Kate Harmon

Breaking news editor, crime junkie, head of election coverage. Chaos is my middle name. Crazy cat lady, Alabama native.
This entry was posted in Behind the scenes, Editor, Metro, News coverage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Making sense of the Conn. tragedy while working

  1. Caroll Franklin says:

    You said what so many of us are thinking. Thank You

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