It is shocking. It is repulsive. It is tragic and a parent's worse nightmare.
It is not however, something that has never happened before. These things are occurring all over the world every day. Children exposed to graphic horror. Gaza, Syria, China, most urban cities in the USA, are all victims of the bowels of humanity.
I came to social media back in 2007 to free myself from the gloom of my daily gig. 24 years in law enforcement had begun to take its toll on my psyche. I turned to journaling on this very blog as a source of therapy. Now my worlds are colliding.
Day after day my desk is full of undocumented immigrants who have committed heinous crimes. Rapes, molestations, DUI's Domestic Violence ... you name it and I have it on my desk.
I began my career in Drug Court. In my time as a civil servant, I have run the gamut on offenses people can, and have, committed and am thankfully nearing my retirement. Unfortunately, while I know I have helped many people who have not re-offended, there are probably twice that amount of people who have. Crime offenders tend to elevate as their dissociative personalities and narcissistic tendencies mature. I will probably leave my career burned out and feeling even worse than I do now - as if I've done nothing, and even made things worse.
The general public lives in a state of everything is wonderful until something massively heinous occurs. We, on the front line, live with the thinking that everyone is guilty and capable of everything until they show us otherwise. We try, but have to work so hard at maintaining faith in mankind. Our outside shells become very hard. As we check in on your neighbors who have done the unspeakable but are trying to assimilate back into society quietly, we secretly want their crimes to go away as well so that you, the general public, never have to know.
Many in law enforcement turn to substance abuse to quiet the things we see. I turn to my blog. I can only imagine what the first responders to this last scene in Connecticut will be forever attempting to shut out.
Time after time encroachments on our peace have come and gone. I thought for just one moment after Gabby Giffords, and those with her, were gunned down that a movement would rise and there would be change, but it never came. Unfortunately, no alterations to criminal justice, gun laws, education, socializing difficult people, mental health, legislation, prisons, truancy, gangs (which I believe should be categorized as terrorists) and felonious undocumented offenders have gained the momentum for change.
I will wake up, and in a few hours go to work, and shake my head the next time someone "loses their mind" until society peeks into the world of crime, takes off the rose-colored glasses and demands that something tangible be done. In the next few weeks I will really be examining how to keep that Healthier, Happier, You alive and well.