I had so many fun and lighthearted topics to choose from this week, but I just can’t seem to get my head (or heart) around the school shootings in Connecticut that have taken place since my last blog. We’ve seen tragedies like this before, but never REALLY like this. I don’t know why it’s affecting me so much. I’ve felt an awful combination of sickness and sadness whenever I think about this. Is it because of the age of the kids, or because I am now a father? Either way, what’s always interesting to me is how the aftermath plays out.
First we mourn for the families which makes sense, and it should really stop there. Then, it’s the blame game. As if you can undo all of this as long as you are able to isolate the cause. Or at very least you can stop it from happening again. I don’t think that’s true….. it was too random. Plus I think it makes people feel horrible to think that it could have been prevented. I don’t think it helps the grieving process at all. They’ll do their best to break it down in the coming weeks, and the public will argue and debate which ‘reason’ they think was the primary motive behind it. Then the government will step in and throw some money at the winner.
What’s to blame?
– Gun Control??? (Pick me, Pick me!!!) Yes and no. Gun control is absolutely a problem in the United States, although most of their population refuses to admit it. There are many who feel their right to ‘bear arms’ is more important than the overall safety of their population. Was it responsible for this incident? I doubt it. I’m sure a properly motivated killer could find a murder weapon whether it was easy or difficult. I’d say that hopefully the aftermath leads the politicians to look at this closer though. Sometimes in politics, it takes something like this to sway public opinion, and open up some minds. This could be a huge opportunity to take steps to making America a safer place. They’ve shown little to no interest in gun control for the sake of stopping inner city violence, but 20 schoolchildren between the ages of 5-10??? I sure hope something good comes out of this.
– Lack of awareness of mental health issues??? Maybe. This is always a problem. Especially in young people. When a teenager is acting out, people are always so dismissive. Is this some undiagnosed problem? Were people around this guy being sensitive to it? Was his own family sensitive to it? I haven’t done any research to find out the story about the killer. I’m sure more details in will surface in the aftermath. I will say this…. You have to be absolutely dripping with evil to do what he did on the scale that he did it. How did that evil not manifest itself earlier in life? Who knows? It’s almost always mental health issues that people don’t know about. I don’t believe anybody in their right or wrong mind would do what he did. There have to be factors at play that we don’t know about.
– The Parents? Easy target. Divorced. The mother was one of the victims. How bad could they have possibly been at parenting that this happened? I don’t think so. Apparently she kept a lot of guns in the house though.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter who’s to blame. It’s over. It doesn’t sound like there’s anything to learn. It doesn’t sound like there was any way to prevent it. One thing for sure is that in the weeks to come it will be analyzed to death. All of the US networks can pencil this into the news programming for the next 6 months. Reporters can dig up all the dirt they can find about every person who ever knew or dealt with the killer’s family. It’s only a matter of time before this is referenced in a tasteless rap lyric. We will all hold opinions about this and judge people we’ve never met before.
We can only hope that something like tighter gun control is what comes from this. Other than that, maybe for a day or two we hugged our children just a little bit longer. Maybe we decided against berating the kid who took to long to give us our order at McDonalds. Maybe for a time we united with our enemies over the grief of senseless killings of school children. Hopefully this reminded us that life isn’t something to be taken for granted. Hopefully there’s some way to turn this violence from the past into a peaceful future. Hopefully something positive and lasting comes out of the aftermath!