When I came home today, Amberflame had a news site pulled on the PC. It featured a story about a six year old girl shot and killed in school by a classmate in Mount Morris Township, near Detroit, Michigan.

I just sat and stared at this story, hardly able to read the words. All I could do was think of my own daughters at that age, so innocent and eager to learn, coming home talking about the fun they had and what they played on the playground with this kid or that one, how they liked their teachers, and so on.

I thought about the parents of this little girl, going through their normal daily routines, occasionally glancing at the clock and smiling, thinking about all the things their daughter would tell them that night at dinner, then having their world shattered when they got that phone call...

We can never find justification for disturbed individuals that go on a rampage, killing co-workers or fellow high-school students, or walk into a church shouting obscenities while emptying clip after clip into a terrified congregation, but as adults who have undergone the pressures of adolescence, stress in the workplace, marital problems, or sometimes depression so bad we just wanted to curl up into a ball and make the world go away, we can begin to understand how these things can happen. It's harder in a case like this, where the killer is a seven year old boy.

I pray for this family. They'll never understand why this happened. I also pray for the family of the boy that pulled the trigger. I know they'll never understand why, either.

So, what does the title, "$1.32", have to do with all this? I took Silverwing and Willow out tonight to buy some new jeans. We passed the sporting goods section, and I saw a 3-pack of trigger locks hanging on a hook. Price: $3.96. That's $1.32 each, folks. That's how little it would have cost for this little girl's family to be sitting around the table tonight, talking about her day at school, instead of holding each other, choking on their tears and crying out, "Why?"

Please, if you have a handgun, keep it unloaded and put a lock on the trigger. I have daughters in school, too.


Oakdancer 2/29/00

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