I am a voracious reader. I read your paper cover to cover almost every day, but this I'm having trouble with.

Every time I pick up the paper and try to read about the Littleton massacre, my eyes well up and I can hardly swallow. I see headlines like "How parents can allay students' fears" and I wonder who's going to allay mine?

I drop my youngest daughter off at Garfield High School every morning and I choke back mushy "I love yous" because it would embarrass her, but I am not comforted by reading that every school has a student who is a ticking bomb. No school is exempt.
Maybe Garfield has a cushion because they already had a shooting, in 1996, when my middle daughter was a freshman. She was just down the hall when the shooting occurred and I spent months reassuring her that it was a fluke. Was it?

Can we, as parents, really take no responsibility for the amount of violence in our children's lives? Isn't it obvious? How many lives need to be lost?

I can't read about the parents who have lost their wonderful sweet loving children . . . I just can't read about it. I can't. —Maura T. Callahan, Seattle

Editorials & Opinion: Sunday, May 09, 1999, Copyright (c) 1999 The Seattle Times, All Rights Reserved.