Back-to-school season heralds a whirlwind of activities — homework, exams, sports, fundraisers, extracurriculars — but frighteningly, it also brings with it the specter of school shootings. We in Connecticut are still haunted by the tragedy of Sandy Hook a decade ago. Just last May, we faced another incidence associated with violence in our own backyard, when a Fairfield Prep student was killed at a house party in Shelton.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that our society is rife with violence when our children are surrounded by it inside pop culture: on television, in movies, in violent video games. Our youngest adults, who are just now legally old enough to buy a first drink, were raised on 9/11 with their mother’s milk. And even though we’re the third-smallest state, Connecticut is by no means exempt from either the heroin epidemic or the gang culture that plagues the nation. National gangs like the Latin Kings operate here, as do smaller local gangs like 20 Luv, and others, like the New York City-based Bloods, are seeping over our border.