During the days following the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, it didn’t take much to bring me to tears. The photos of the first graders who were killed did it, but so did the sight of almost any child—in a mother’s arms, or walking hand in hand with a father down Michigan Avenue, or singing in a choir. It is Christmas, after all, and beneath all the noisy commercialism is a story about a child, a newborn as fragile and vulnerable as any human infant, totally dependent on his parents and on adult society for sustenance, nurture and protection.
That is one of the things that is so dreadful about what happened. Adult society failed the children.
The late John Fry used to say that social and political policy ought always to be made from the perspective of an infant child of a single, unemployed mother living in an urban slum. So now it is time to think about what happened from the perspective of the children.