This is a little bit personal, even though I knew no one directly affected. I knew someone peripherally affected, though, and I had an insight into a person accused.
Five years ago today, I was working at Pitney Bowes in Stamford, Connecticut. I remember this day very clearly, because a coworker of mine got a call in the morning.
“No, I haven’t seen the news.”
In 3 minutes, he broke down at his desk. The crying was a shock in our usually humming open-plan office. This was a gregarious, vivacious person who had never been anything other than positive about anything. It was a bit of a shock. And then he left.
I also remember when the shooter’s supposed ID was first publicized, the wrong person was blamed, and I thought “this guy who trained his cat to sit and beg can’t be a shooter….
(These are the moments where I sympathize with people who defend horrible people – the instant of “do I adore a monster?”)
But Ryan Lanza was innocent – completely – and it took too long to find that out. I want to call that out because as much as I have faith in our media’s intentions, that wasn’t right. None of what happened here was right.
The next day, my wonderful gregarious coworker was calling people to talk about memorials and funerals.
For a week, I got to overhear snippets of arrangements.
…. It didn’t take more than a year before I started to hear about the conspiracy theorists.
I post about this because Sandy Hook hit me hard. And close. Even though I only knew one person peripherally associated.
I will never forgive Alex Jones. Or any other person who doesn’t believe the parents. Ever. Ever.