Another school shooting. Another tragic scene of teenagers running away from danger – hands on their heads – fear in their hearts. Another quick response from local authorities.
I will always remember sitting in a local fast food restaurant with my wife, watching the kids from Columbine being ushered away from their school like lambs from a slaughter…to a slaughter…no one actually knew at that point. And my heart was decimated. And I wanted to rush in.
Sandy Hook. Adults standing in the line of fire to protect the innocents. Sacrificing. Mourning. Dying.
Arrapahoe. Although 1,000 miles from me, very close to home. One of my dearest friends has a daughter who was in the sights of the gunman. A counselor ushered kids to safety until emergency responders could evacuate them safely.
Who is running in when these kids are running out? I know police and SWAT teams are doing all they can. Securing perimeters. Assessing victims. Evacuating the rest. School personnel are making a clear and present statement: “Over my dead body.” And sometimes, devastatingly, they’re having to make good on that promise.
Who is running in? Adults who love kids should be running in. And maybe if we ran in sooner, we’d catch shooters before they become weapons of mass destruction. And maybe if we ran in sooner, we’d catch bullets before they spread shrapnel. Maybe if we ran in sooner, we’d absorb grief before it becomes a mushroom cloud of mourning.
I want to run in. I must. You, also. Teenagers need adults who engage them, see them, know them, love them…before they pick up the gun.