Friday, December 14, 2012

My Heart is Sick for Connecticut

So, when the news hit this morning about a school shooting in Connecticut, the reports said that three adults had been killed, including the shooter.  As awful as this is going to sound, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Only three, and all adults, and one is the shooter--wow, that could have been SO much worse.  Isn't that awful, that we've come to a place where we consider that a "good" outcome?

When I signed on later to find that the numbers had changed dramatically?  Wrenchingly?  Devastatingly? 

Well, I cried.  Bawled.  My poor son tearing up next to me, grasping my hand, unsure what to do.

What to do?

I think of holiday gifts sitting under trees that will never be gleefully torn open, bitter reminders of a future blasted from this earth.  I think of delighted cries of excitement silenced and cookies for Santa never baked.  I think of parents who kissed their beautiful darlings this morning and never imagined some kid with guns would end them.

I think of 20 little hearts not beating.  20 sweet, perfect dreams gone. 

I'm not sure I can do this.  I keep crying. 

The Onion nailed it today when they posted this (beware of many swears).

How many times?  How many times does something like this have to happen before we stop pretending that it's a fluke, it's nothing to do with US, but rather some reflection of this nut or that "evil" person?  This is everything to do with us.  With the glorification of violence, with the constant barrage of anger and hatred and rudeness, with the ready access to murderous weapons.  It's not an isolated incident, it's not just one evil person, it's US. 

It's US! 

That kid who did this wasn't some demon crawled up from some imagined pit!  He was the child of well-educated, well-off parents who loved him, for goodness' sake!  And that guy in Aurora?  He wasn't Satan's imp, he was just a guy our society produced.  Our gun-toting, violence-embracing, shoot-em-up society where mega-lobbyists tell us that any attempt to be reasonable and intelligent in our laws about WHO GETS TO WALK AROUND WITH WEAPONS CREATED TO KILL OTHER HUMAN BEINGS is an "assault on our rights as Americans."

Spare me that.  Spare us all that.  Finally, please, just spare us.  We can have sane, reasonable, intelligent gun laws that still allow sane, reasonable, intelligent Americans to own guns.  And please, please don't throw out that "Oh, the Constitution!" crap.  We don't use 220+ year-old architectural guides to build modern bridges, we don't use 220+ year-old medical texts to guide modern surgeons, and we don't use 220+ year-old science books to guide our modern researchers.  So why on earth do we persist in pretending that the Second Amendment in any way relates meaningfully to our modern firearm issues?  In Revolutionary times, a particularly skilled shooter might be able to whip off FOUR ROUNDS PER MINUTE.


At four rounds per minute, Mr. Adam Lanza might have managed to shoot one person.  Perhaps even one child.

That's 19 children who would have come home tonight.  19 children who would have been here to open presents and bake cookies for Santa.  19 children in their parents' warm embrace instead of cold coffins.

Stop pointing at our many "evil" gunmen and crying about how that has nothing to do with the gun laws argument.  It IS the argument.  Stop throwing your hands in the air and screaming about "THEM" as if they're somehow apart from US. 

Start looking around and realizing it IS us.  Our country, our laws, our culture of violence, our embracing of rudeness, our disdain for reason, our disregard for each other that makes this possible. 

Twenty perfect angels died today (and a slew of amazing, brave adults who tried to save them are also lost).  Twenty sparkling, wide-open futures ended.  Twenty bright, curious, seeking, joyous miracles of the universe stopped. 

And if that isn't enough to inspire us to turn this crazy-assed bus around and find a saner path, I don't know what is.

Oh, and before anyone says anything stupid like "this isn't the time to discuss gun control," tell me, when would be a BETTER time?  When bridges collapse, do we cry, "Not now, now isn't the time to discuss infrastructure!"  When buildings fall down in earthquakes, do we shake our heads and shout, "No, we can't talk about construction guidelines now!"  When children drown because of a downed fence around a pond, do we all scream, "NO!  Now isn't the time to talk about getting that fence fixed!"   Every time there is yet ANOTHER horrendous tragedy like today, certain factions scream that no, no, we can't talk about that now!   Now isn't the time!

And I sort of agree.  The time was at least 13 years ago.  But we dropped that ball, so NOW is the closest thing to a "good" time we have. 

I'm going to end this with a hope.  A hope that healing and comfort and some sense of peace somehow envelope those poor parents.   That they manage to find something here to hold on to.  That their families and community wrap them in love and kindness and understanding.  That we, as a nation, as a society, as a culture, somehow manage to make a difference so that no other parents have to suffer this unimaginable hurt.


  1. I want to scream at the stupid christians that will say the children are with god now. Read one comment on another blog that the children are in the "hands of Jesus." No, they are dead. Gone.

  2. I get why folks who believe say those things--it's a way of soothing their hearts and trying to make sense of it. I don't blame them, it's comforting to them. That said, I think it weakens it all. I think that by lending some sort of supernatural "sense" to it, it dulls the impact it should have. When we say, "They're in a better place," that makes it seem like maybe, somehow, it's all okay on some grand cosmic level. But it's not--they're not in a "better place," they're GONE, and they can never be recovered. They have ENDED, and that is HUGE, it is devastating, and by imagining a peaceful, blissful forever, we lessen the breathtaking reality of what's happened. That's my feeling, anyway. I just lost it on someone who actually posted a "Dear God, why do you allow violence in schools," pile of crap. You know the one, where "God" answers, "Because I'm not allowed in schools." Normally, I'd let something that stupid slide, but today? No, today I can't sit back for that one. Here's my spin--that silly thing sends one of two messages--either that deity is too weak to protect children in schools that don't allow prayer OR that deity is too petty to protect them because prayer isn't allowed. Either way, which deity? Which prayer? And isn't it funny how everyone who wants prayer in the classroom assumes it'll be THEIR prayer?