Dec 16 2012 | 15 Comments
WHAT TO SAY?
It’s very hard to sit down and say anything new or insightful about the horrendous tragedy and fall-out that took place Friday in Newton, CT.
One keeps hearing “my heart goes out to them,” the families who lost their children while they assumed they were safe in the confines of their schoolroom. But what does that really mean?
Glenn and I sat in bed last night crying at different times while “Forty Eight Hours” rolled out their version of the story. But what difference does that really make?
Twenty families are now without their five and six year olds. Children who no doubt already had presents from Santa wrapped and waiting for Christmas morning will not be alive to open them. Children who have rooms full of toys, beds with a favorite stuffed animal, drawers full of socks, and nighties and favorite t-shirts will never come home to use them again.
Sometimes my mind wanders to the specifics when I put myself into one of those parent’s shoes. And as a parent I imagine what it would be like to have to walk into those now uninhabited rooms, that are still full of traces of the person who lived there.
But my fleeting sentiment as I return to the quotidian details of my families and my life does nothing to change their nightmare.
Nothing will change the horrific future of the families who lost their babies, and the children who lived though and witnessed the carnage of their friends and teachers, and the families who lost the seven adults who were killed in cold blood. Nothing can alter the lurid details they will be forced to grapple with for the rest of their lives.
Not any presidential appearances, endless news coverage, teddy bears and candles left scattered about the globe, albeit with the best of intentions, can change their new reality.
There is only one thing in my mind that can change anything (though it’s too late in this case) and that is this countries senseless, hideous, careless, Republican backed, NRA funded policy on the right to bear firearms.
I seldom talk politics on this blog and I avoid it for many reasons. There are probably many people who would not be able to guess where my political affiliation lies. I have never voted for a Republican anything since the day I was given the right to vote. I’m not militant in most of my positions. And I ignore much of what goes on in Washington. But I have always been a staunch believer that people do not have the right to bear arms.
I don’t believe in shooting animals for sport. OK, someone will now pipe up and say but you eat chicken and carry leather handbags. I do. You’re right. I repeat I do not believe people should kill for sport. I do not think there should be target ranges scattered about like miniature golf courses. I do not believe in the glorification of guns and killing in the media. I do not think any Tom, Dick or Harry who could be an addict, suffer from mental illness or just be a hot head with too much beer in their bloodstream should be allowed to walk into any gun store and buy a gun and as many bullets as they want.
I do not understand how Lanza’s mother who clearly had a mentally disturbed child had enough arsenals in her suburban home to arm a drug lord.
And the thing that really pisses me off, really rises me up on my left wing soapbox is the fact that fucking Wal-Mart sells guns. They don’t only sell them they are their third best selling item; bananas being their first. Wal-Mart sold ten million eight hundred thousand guns last year. Ponder that for a moment.
The fact you can walk into a Wal-Mart and come out with some Mountain Dew, a mop, a giant can of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and a rifle is so horrifying to me it makes me want to do something totally irrational, though I have no idea what that might be.
What kind of country are we that we allow this to happen?
What kind of people are we that something like the NRA holds such power that the government refuses to change the reckless laws?
What will it take for people to say NO, THIS IS NOT OK. NO, some crazy, demented kid cannot walk into his den and load his car with assault rifles used in wars and storm into a classroom and kill twenty innocent children under the age of ten. Forget the age, it’s just harder to look at the faces of those tiny children. But we have Columbine, the movie theatre massacre and the endless list of these crimes that after the initial coverage seem to have zero residual effect on anyone with any power.
One feels so fucking helpless in the face of all this.
The NRA or one of those other crackpot gun defending groups used to have that lame ass slogan, “Guns don’t kill people, People do.” Well, sure, but it’s guns in the hands of people, perhaps sociopaths or other folks with severe or even minor personality disorders that kill people. When you don’t know who is holding the gun then it’s a senseless argument. And how do you know whose hands those guns will end up in?
And as in the case with the Lanza family, the mom had bought all this ammunition. And then the clearly, by all accounts, crazy kid took them. So there is no argument one can put forth except it should not be allowed. We should not be society where anyone can be armed. It has been proven time and time again.
The case can be made like with drugs, if someone wants to get something that is illegal they will do it no matter what. And of course that is true, though often only to a point.
It is one thing to have to go to the trouble and expense of finding things from illegal sources on the black-market and another to be able to pick up a couple guns while doing the weekly grocery shopping.
It’s fucked up and crazy. It’s hideous and irresponsible. There is nothing any of us can do about. Which makes the whole thing even more distressing.
There is only one thing I am doing. I will never walk into another Wal-Mart as long as I live and tomorrow morning I am selling my Wal-Mart stock. I know that is very one percent action in the face of this, but it is all I can think of doing.
I would ask anybody else who feels strongly to do the same thing. If you shop at Wal-Mart stop or if you own the stock sell it.
It’s a small step, but maybe, hopefully, in our dreams someday if enough tiny steps are made we won’t find ourselves or perhaps our grandchildren living in a society where days like Friday can occur.