Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Feel Free To Not Read This
Recent events have left me numb, with little more to say or feel about what goes on in this world. It's awful to the point of absurdity that in the wake of children being gunned down in their elementary school classroom, a crime so heinous that it leaves a vacuum in one's soul just to hear of it, the next thought is to start to dread the next national atrocity. Because, inevitably, we know that something even more abominable and previously unthinkable than the shootings in Newtown will occur. None of us, and none of our predecessors on this planet, have ever lived in a safe world but come on - it's enough.
I'd like to hope that stronger gun control and increased care for the mentally ill will occur as a result of this but there are so many people who want to obstruct any kind of change, due to whatever their own beliefs are, that altering the path we're on - no matter how destructive that path may be - is next to impossible. Ideally, our social media age would lead to a greater national dialogue on tragic events and allow us to quickly reach a common consensus on how best to move forward as a people but outlets like Facebook and Twitter only show how divisive we've become. Maybe I'm part of that divisiveness myself but honestly - how can you sanely respond to anyone who thinks that the solution to a school shooting is to have more guns in schools? Most clear headed people do not want to be forced to live in the Wild West. We shouldn't have to ask our teachers to become armed guards in order to feel that our children are safe. To the maniacal, almost sociopathic, defense of the 2nd Amendment, past all point of reason...what can you say to that?
The mother of the perpetrator of the shootings in Newtown was a gun enthusiast and reportedly a doomsday survivalist - someone who would've balked at any legal effort to limit her guns because, surely, she would need every gun and every last bullet to defend her home when the government showed up on her doorstep to take away her freedom but yet the only real threat to her home and her life, one that wasn't fabricated in her own mind and likely acerbated by rightwing media, was the mentally ill child that she trained in the use of deadly firearms and who shot her in the face as she slept.
I usually feel a pang of empathy for the parents of the shooters in cases like this because raising a child is not easy nor is it an exact science and children can, despite their parent's best efforts, slip into their own darkness. But I do not feel that sort of empathy in this case. I just don't. That this woman thought it would be smart to give her mentally ill son, one who reportedly couldn't feel emotional or physical pain, access to and training in automatic weapons shows such a cataclysmic lack of judgement that my only thought towards her is to regret that so many others had to pay for her mistakes.
Saying that guns don't kill people and that anyone out to do harm will find some other means if guns aren't available just doesn't cut it. It's not acceptable to just say that these things will happen regardless so therefore it's pointless to do anything to attempt to prevent them. If we can make it a little harder for innocent people to be gunned down as they go about their business in theaters, in malls, in schools, and so on then it is evil not to do so.
I've said more about this subject than I'd planned to. I really didn't want to comment on it at all, in fact. But before moving on to other business, I felt compelled to - if only for the opportunity to vent. As the father of an elementary school age child, it's simply gutting to consider what happened in Newtown. What the people of that community are going through...how do they begin to cope with it?
That's all. For those who might've read this, thanks for indulging me. We'll gather on a more upbeat note next time.