Could lockdown drills have saved the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School? I have no idea. Indeed, I have no idea what kind of drilling those kindergartners, just four months into their school careers, may have got. Maybe the first drill was planned for January. But I doubt any drilling of 5- and 6-year-olds would have made a difference.
I know that Rebekah is not perfectly safe. I know that if a deranged gunman decided to mow down all the children in her kindergarten classroom, I couldn’t save her. And those parents and teachers in Newtown shouldn’t waste one second thinking they could have saved those kids and teachers. The world doesn’t work like that.
Here’s what we can control: as long as our children are alive, we can refuse to terrorize them with worst-case scenarios. We can decline to let a random act of violence goad us into treating Connecticut as if it were Gaza, Afghanistan, or Mali. I understand that there are parents in the world who have to teach their children about bomb shelters. But I don’t, not yet. My daughter is just five years old, and her school is as safe as we can make it without imprisoning ourselves in our own fear. My heart breaks for what happened 25 miles away; I’ve cried twice already today. But I’ve done it far from my children, who are still very young and, yes, innocent. So please: Don’t tell them a goddamned thing.