Saturday, April 13, 2013

Broken Hearts and Bended Knees....

In the one hundred and twenty days that have passed since the massacre of innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, no topic has dominated our national discourse as much as guns.   If you possess no opinion on the subject, then you might very well be the only person alive so situated.  

I mention all of the above simply because irrespective of one's position/opinion/belief regarding guns, what happened earlier this week in Toms River, New Jersey was a horror.  Six-year-old Brandon Holt was playing in the yard of one of his friends - a four-year-old boy whose family apparently lives a couple of houses down the block from the Holts - on Monday night.  It is believed that Brandon and his little pal were playing "pretend shooting", which I presume is something akin to cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians or any one of a gazillion games I played as a child using my homemade "thumb and index finger" gun as my weapon of choice.  

At some point while the two moppets were playing, the four-year-old disappeared into his home for a couple of minutes.  He emerged from it carrying a loaded .22 caliber rifle.  He pointed the rifle in the general direction of Brandon, who was seated in a go-kart forty-five feet away.  A bullet fired from the rifle struck Brandon in the head.  

Brandon Holt died Tuesday in the hospital where he had been rushed Monday night following the shooting.  Dead at the age of six.  Dead before having the chance to complete first grade.  A loss of incalculable measure. 

I reckon that there is much that can be said - and likely shall be said - on any number of issues raised by this incident, running the gamut from gun control to parental supervision.  You are free to say them if you wish.  You shall not say them here.  Neither shall I.  Time aplenty exists for those who wish to join the Greek chorus of condemnation and righteous indignation directed towards the parents of the boys involved in this incident.  Today is not that day.  Today is the day on which the Holt family shall gather in the presence of those who love them and who loved their little boy and bury him.  It is a day of incomprehensible sadness.  

In an eye blink on Monday night, everything changed for two innocents.  For one, at the age of four his childhood ended.  For the other, at the far-too-young age of six it was his life that ended.  I do not know the Holts.  If I did, I would not know what to say to them other than "I'm sorry for the loss of your young son"....

....a sentiment so woefully inadequate it scarcely merits being uttered aloud.


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