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McKinstry: School shooting in Newton, Connecticut is incomprehensible

Connecticut State Police lead children from Sandy Hook

Connecticut State Police lead children from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The shooting took the lives of 27 victims. (Dec. 14, 2012) Credit: Newtown Bee / Shannon Hicks

My wife came into the room. She couldn’t speak. She choked back tears.

The best she could do was hold up her laptop: the story read 27 dead, including 18 children who were in kindergarten. They were presumably in the midst of playtime, coloring or learning how to read. Some kids were probably smiling, laughing and goofing around as 5-year-olds should.

There was a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. this morning. An entire class was unaccounted for, according to reports, and an Associated Press story quoted a witness who saw a state trooper carrying a little girl limp out of the building.

It’s reportedly the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

It’s not right, fair or comprehensible -- children being murdered by a man with guns.

Newtown is about 25 minutes from where I live, but a million miles from what I ever expected could happen in these sleepy parts. Like many of us who move to these post card New England towns, we choose them for their good schools and quaint living. We enjoy the hokey school plays, early morning soccer games and showing up as the mystery reader unannounced.

So many of us in Western Connecticut left cities like New York, Yonkers, Bridgeport and Hartford for a quiet and presumably safer living – mostly for our children. Our commutes are longer – sometimes mine is one or two hours depending on where I’m going – but it’s a small cost of living in a place where we’re supposed to feel safe.

My wife and I left New York City so our kids – now 6 and 4 and just about the age of those who were killed in cold blood today -- could have a yard to play in.

While the circumstances of today’s killings haven’t been sorted out yet, we’re sure to hear all about the shooter’s problems and our societal vulnerabilities. None are good enough to explain this.

Some of us are sad. Others are mad. Others feel powerless.

Schools in my town went into lock down today and after much back-and-forth officials eventually decided to let the children out early. My 6-year-old got off the bus and said it was a “really weird day,” not knowing what had happened to our neighbors to the north.

Thank God.

She's too little ... she's like those innocent children in Newtown.

I’m not ready to explain to her what happened. I don’t know how.

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