The events of the last Friday have left us with everything from lost for words through to complete anger. In addition to all the emotions, thoughts and feelings inbetween those aforementioned extremes. It is however quite typical for us as humans respond to grief in these ways. And to think that most of us who bother to read this have no real connection to Newtown, yet in other ways we are really connected.
While we cannot even begin to walk in the shoes of the families, brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, husbands, fathers, mothers, neigbhors this sparked an emotion in you as Americans and as a planet that at this point does not seem to be waning.
While i try to live my life for what its worth by the expression “I want to be someone who is quick to respond but slow to react.” I’m surprised i made it to Monday before i begin to type.
In the past few days i have found myself gravitating towards Twitter to read ‘the response of the people’. I am not naieve enough to think that Twitter is where it’s at as far as the real pulse, and balanced opinion of the people. However more likely the platform of… well anyone who has a smartphone and knows how to use it. THAT IS NOT a good cross section of public opinion. However it has demonstrated to me lots of people who have been quick to react. Please don’t get me wrong, i’m not judging them for that. This is but one way of voicing the absolute disgust for what occured.
I do have some thoughts on another matter connected with this act of selfishness. But have sat on the sidelines and waited until now for dust to settle. However happy to observe that the driven passion to drive change continues amongst Americans. There is something to be said for waiting and listening. We have two ears and one mouth and so should listen twice as much as we speak.
That said I have waited long enough.
What has surprised me the most is those out there that have (even very publically said) made comments along the lines of wishing the Principle of Sandy Hook Elementary School had a M4 in her office, so she could look this young man in the eye and I quote “Blow his head off”.
Speechless!!! thats my first response to this. Speechless. Really, how can you say that. This is wrong on so many levels. And here are my thoughts on why.
* Sure lets go ahead and arm teachers and schools, what happens next? What part of that is a great solution, even as a human being, a member of planet earth, that idea doesnt solve anything. You heard of the phrase escalation! What if the next shooter knows all schools are armed and decides that his (& its mostly he) act of volinece will be to set off a bomb. Or shows up with a tank, or a shoulder launched rocket. Do i sound silly. Back up a little and look again at your answer and argument. I wish the principle had… so she could blow his head off.
* All countries have laws, you dont have to agree to them, but if the majority do then it becomes law, its called democracy!!! For example seat belts in cars, you might not agree with wearing them. But guess what ITS THE LAW! Deal with it, legislate change, or go move somewhere where its optional. Or lets pick another one. Speed limits, you might not agree with them, but… wait for it ITS THE LAW! Deal ….
* My faith tells me to avoid an eye for an eye, what does your faith tell you to do. Enough said on that. not much else to interpret there.
All weekend as i heard these responses of arming teachers etc. from various folks (& they were few, hmmm i wonder why) I was pondering in my head for a parallel arguement. A metaphor that would allow me to consider this experience using another example or a ridicious agrument similar to this one put forward by certain individuals. It sat uneasy with me all weekend. But this morning while i was walking Cora it came to me… thank you Cora.
Here it is… The Cigarette Smoking agrument. Remember when this was a hotly contested issue. We ALL knew it was bad for us and bottom line… SMOKING WILL KILL YOU!!! However some very powerful individuals still maintained that it wasnt dangerous. They either lived in denial or would avoid the issue altogether due in part to the fall out, the horrible truth, loss of income, wealth for them and their companies. Sound familar. Now go ahead and insert assault weapon gun control debate in here over the top of the cigarette smoking arugment. Same meat different gravy, or as some say same poo, different pile. There were even moives made about this and the attempt by one man to expose the cigeratte idustry for what and who they were. In the end some very powerful individuals and companies both in the courts, Washington DC and in influencing legislators got to snuff out the truth or what we all knew but were powerless to comfront to the point of change. Again i say… sound familar. The movie is The Insider (1999) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140352/
* And one more point. This is further to the point of arming teachers etc. On August 25th this year there was a story about two NYPD cops shooting a man on the street outside the Empire State building after he had gone to his once place of employment and shot his old boss. As he entered the street the NYPD officers approached him, guns pulled and an ensuing short gun battle took place. What became an almost bigger story was the FACT that 9 innocent by-standers were hit by stray bullets from the officers. Not deliberately, but accidently as they tried to take down the man who had just shot and killed his former boss. Sad story, yes, but consider this. NYPD Officers, trained professionals in using, and discharging not only a weapon, but how to use it i’m sure in a crowded situation like that. A tense situation, a place where many innocent people were around. And while they took the offender out. 9 PEOPLE still got accidently hit by trained professionals. Excuse Mr. Congressman, you want to put weapons in the hand of a Principle, who is untrained, and in a very tense situation and expect them to “Blow his head off”