My heart aches writing this.  As of press-time, there are 27 confirmed dead. 18 of them were children.

As a member of the media for over 15 years, I've found myself talking about things like this more often than I'd like.  I wept openly when I heard about Columbine; I mourned Virgina Tech with the rest of the nation;  I ached when news of the Aurora, Colorado shootings occured; and today, my pain has been punctuated with more reprehensible news.

No matter what, the indecency of humanity comes to the forefront for a few days, and fingers start being pointed as wildly as the perpetrator's gun.

On my drive home, I heard a well-known politically-driven radio talk show host (who shall remain nameless) come right out and pompously say -- dripping with sarcasm --something to the effect of "...and you just KNOW the LEFT will have their political agendas all lined up, like they ALWAYS do when things like this happen....", and in the same breath, he went ahead and said "This is NOT a political issue."  I agree, it is NOT.  However, he had just stated that it was the LEFT who would bring up a political issue, thereby, MAKING it a political issue.  He was talking out of both sides of his mouth, making it even more evident what a contradiction his very being is.

This is NOT a political issue.

This is NOT a "control" issue.

This is a HUMAN issue.

We don't know all the facts yet.  But in most instances like this, the shooter is the only one with an agenda -- his/her argument with society. And when they make their choice to take their social argument out on innocent people, people they don't even know, even on CHILDREN, that's where the real lessons need to be addressed.

I don't believe we need more gun control....we need more people control.  Facts are facts -- bad people who have no business getting their hands on weapons, WILL find a way.  Legally or otherwise.

My heart hurts for the friends and families of those lost.  I ache for those who will have to see unwrapped Christmas gifts still sitting beside the tree.  I grieve for them, and the emotional turmoil the coming months will bring them.

I hurt for the parents and family of the shooter, who not only will have to deal with their own loss, but will also now forever been known as the people who raised a mass murderer.

I pray that those who lost their lives did not suffer.

But moreso, I take solace in my belief that they are now from the hell on earth we humans can create, when we feel we've got a score to settle.

When you talk to your kids about today's incidents - and I hope you will - your number one priority is to make them feel SAFE.  Answer their questions age-appropriately.  And do your best to groom a child to be the best adult they can be, and to deal with their qualms in a responsible, respectable, and non-harmful ways.

It starts on the does NOT start in politics.

Take care of each other. <3 LD