Saturday, December 15, 2012

the view from a safe distance

i am really at a loss for words about the events in connecticut. i feel a little bit about it like i did about 9/11 - i didn't know anyone involved, so it didn't really affect me directly, but yet, i feel somehow personally wounded by it anyway. so senseless. so violent. so incomprehensible. and i suppose we'll never know what possessed that young man to do it. and writing it off to madness somehow negates it, so i hesitate to even think that.

but i think the most disappointing thing has been the idiocy of the gun-happy people - some of whom are sadly, close to my own family. an inflammatory conversation on facebook has me fuming. how on earth can someone who is a teacher herself defend guns and make the most absurd arguments (aren't teachers taught basic rhetoric) in the hours immediately following the events? the timing of the ridiculous arguments, while the details were still fuzzy, chilled me to the bone. interesting that the person in question never dares in person to broach such subjects, but chooses the passive aggressive forum that is facebook to do so. but that's no doubt the stuff of a different post.

the fact is that this introverted, socially-awkward kid did what he did because legally-obtained guns were at hand in his home (why on earth an elementary school teacher had need for multiple semi-automatic weapons is another mystery). if he'd had to go out and try to obtain them illegally, he wouldn't have known where to begin. this happened because he had access to guns.

i feel for all those families, devastated right before christmas. but if anything good can come of it (and it seems an awful lot like there's nothing good in it at all), we can hope that something will be done with the gun laws in the US. there are entirely too many stories like this one, whether on a campus, in a school or in a movie theatre. apparently americans are not to be trusted with guns. and this is surely not what they meant with the second amendment.


Sammi said...

i just daren't even comment on it around the internet.
if people there can't see how dangerous guns are, even after a tragedy like this one, then there is no sense in trying to argue with them.
let's just hope gun laws change.

JeannetteLS said...

I am so weary of the "Guns don't kill people, people do" argument. I am a pacifist, I admit. I do not understand how owning a gun makes someone feel oh-so safe. But that is not my argument. My argument DOES lie with the "need" for semi-automatic weapons. The fact that it has EVER been allowed is beyond me. Assault weapons were developed to kill people, period. At this point, the 2nd amendment argument is hollow and, to me, stupid. I am not asking people to give up their handguns, though in my HEART I want to.

Why cannot people put the statistics involving the USA and deaths from firearms vs statistics in other MODERN countries together? Why can't they see that 20 schoolchildren WOUNDED by one insane person with a knife, while horrific, is NOT the same as twenty children SLAUGHTERED by an assault weapon?

You touched on so many of the questions that gallop through my mind now, and at other events like this. Why must it take CHILDREN under the age of TEN being killed for people to speak up more? As if the other lives were not as valuable? The unspeakable finally happened. A terribly disturbed YOUTH under 21 took weapons his schoolteacher MOTHER collected and trained him to use, murdered his parents and other people. Every component that SHUTS DOWN argument was present.

I'm sorry. I will stop ranting. Thank you for your post.