My family moved from California to Littleton, Colorado, when I was 16 and stayed there for six years. I stayed here to finish school and visited them over the summer, and all of the major holidays and breaks. Littleton is Suburban Paradise: planned communities dot the landscape and are strung together under the name of Littleton, huge homes are connected by green belts, the community celebrates all of the holidays. It was the kind of town that when a blizzard closed all of the schools, neighbors would take turns hosting the neighborhood children in their basement so parents could go to work or find some peace. When my father’s job transferred him back to California, everyone cried.
Columbine High is in the city limits of Littleton, but actually part of another school district, so I have never been to that school. But watching the news coverage and helicopter shots of my old neighborhood, and then reading about everyone squabbling over how it happened is downright painful! Most of the families I met out there had also moved from California, and I wonder how many of them are troubled by these conversations. This was not a media event. Imagine if it happened here tomorrow and as much as you tried to deal with it, it was constantly discussed by people who have no authority or reason for analyzing it. I have heard from former neighbors of mine, and I know their local gossip, but I also feel a sliver of their pain from this overexposure.
Can we stop looking at the footage, and take a break from judging them, and use that time to tend to ourselves? This situation is not about the NRA or tacky trench-coats, nor is it even about hate. What happened there, children feeling so overlooked that they made us take notice, happens every day all over the place. Let’s stop looking at Colorado and turn our attention to the children in our own lives!