In the wake of the most recent events (we’re talking hours, here) ride a few very dubious entities. Tragedy, Loss and Fear. They are having a heyday skiing on the tears of a community ripped apart by Violence.
In Newton, CT, this morning, a shooting happened at a school. The numbers are still coming in as to the staggering amount of loss, but suffice to say that the number is near 30, with the majority being children.
My heart breaks with this news. For those of us that will probably never have children (and certainly most who have), we are outraged by the fact that people could have such a cavalier attitude toward our innocents. Why did this happen?
We may never know. And this tragedy will spark many arguments: gun control, mental health, blah blah blah. This is not what we need to be talking about right now. There are more important issues at stake here.
Namely, how do we combat Fear and Loss now that Violence and Tragedy have already made their appearance and done their damage? What we SHOULD be concerned with, is how are we going to help put this community and this nation back together after this Columbine-like incident?
There are parents, families, friends and teachers that will never be the same. The will be very afraid. They will be devastated. They will be hurting. They will be VERY angry!
Let the experts figure out what happened. What we need to do, in our communities, families and schools, is to educate, love and respect. We need to insure this DOESN’T happen. Now, regardless of your argument about guns, that is not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is how we treat each other and recognizing the warning signs.
What is this world coming to that we can’t even have a simple disagreement without coming to blows? What is teaching people that it’s okay to walk into a school and open fire? Where has our compassion gone? Is it video games? Is it violence on television? Is it guns?
No. And people are going to throw a fit over what I believe the answer is. . .but I’m going to tell you anyway. I believe it’s because we have become latch-key parents and guardians. It’s because we are no longer actively involved in what our children are watching, or playing. It’s because WE ARE THE ONES WHO TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT VIOLENCE IS OKAY!!!!!
Shut off your technology. Shut off the violent TV programs and don’t buy the violent games. If your child sees something that you think is disturbing, then TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT! Get the hell outside and hug and play with your children. Invite your neighbors over for a barbecue. Go visit an elderly family member. CONNECT (not via internet or phone) with the flesh and blood people in your lives! Touch them, don’t text them!
Truly be involved in what goes on in people’s lives. Know your children’s teachers by name. Know their grades. Know how much and what kind of homework they have. Know who your kids’ friends are. Know their parents. Know what your children are watching on TV and reading (on the internet, or in print). Monitor their phones and read their text messages. It’s okay! You are their parent, not their friend.
Incidents like this ARE NOT okay. It is time for us to stand up and fight what’s wrong. It is time to get involved. It’s time for us to actually teach our children and not leave them to electronic babysitters. If you’re going to be a parent, then by God, BE ONE!!
THIS is how we will fight Violence, Tragedy, Fear and Loss.
Sorry Timber but your reasons for this tragedy and your solutions, in my opinion, are well-meaning but wrong. These parents didn’t lose their children because they didn’t play with them or monitor their use of media. They lost their kids because a mentally ill person snapped and did the unthinkable.
Yes, all of us need to improve the safety of our children and schools and people, but that’s going to have to start with some serious action on gun control. People with mental health or criminal histories need to be prevented from having access to guns, minimally!.
If it’s gotten so bad in this country that we need to protect ourselves with deadly weapons, that has to be fixed! It’s bad enough that Terrorists have changed us, and in some ways, taken some of our liberties away, we don’t need crazies shooting innocent people at random.
Love’s not going to solve this problem. We need to make it clear to our representatives in government that ANYONE who cowers to the NRA and gun lobbyists, will not get reelected.
That’s going to be one tough nut to crack, but it MUST be done, at least for handguns. There is no reason anyone in this country other than law enforcement needs a handgun in this country.
Canada functions without them and their gun violence is practically nil.
So, while I feel you mean well, I don’t see your solutions preventing this from happening again and again. It’s time for America to grow up and stop playing with these toys of destruction.
If you’ve got a handgun, your only reason is to kill someone. You want to hunt, get a rifle.
I too grieve for these parents and families of the victims and my heart goes out to them.
But nothing yesterday would have stopped this from happening.
Let me just say one more thing. My 36 year old nephew shot himself in the head a little over a month ago. He was living at home, out of work, an alcoholic that really didn’t want to do the work of recovery, no friends and no future. My sister is a wreck and this will live with her all her life. Michael was a good looking, college educated, brilliant guy. There was nothing that would have warned of this.
Last night my sister was telling me (they live in New Hampshire) that a few days after the suicide she brought all the rifles and guns in the house to a gun dealer and sold them. But she remarked that the place was FULL of people buying guns and aiming them at people in the store! It was just before the elections and everyone was afraid if Obama was reelected he would probably put in some gun control. It was an eye opener for my sister. Some states have no regulations on who can buy a gun. No criminal check or mental health evaluation. You can
just walk in buy a gun and ammo and leave!
Here in Massachusetts we have a law that if you have an unregistered gun on you, it’s automatic that you will do one year in jail. No ifs, ands, or buts. That is added to any time you get for doing a crime with it.
I am not saying that there shouldn’t be dialogue on gun control. I am also not saying that “Love is the answer.” I am saying that the gun was not the root of the issue. Mental health was the problem. Look at what happened at Casper College. He used a knife and a compound bow. Yes, we need stricter laws. That goes without saying. But that wouldn’t have stopped things in this case. The guns were registered to the mother. But, we also need to look at our society and see how much we have desensitized ourselves to violence and even, in some situations, glorified it.
If you will look closely, I am not saying that these parents lost their kids because of their own actions. I know full well that it was a crazy person that committed this act. I am saying, generally, that as a society, we are not monitoring our children as we should. I wonder how many violent games the shooter played. We have had a general disconnect as a society, and with every new bit of technology, we have gotten further and further away from actual human interaction.
I am very glad to hear your opinion on this matter as I believe that there SHOULD be a dialogue. I respect your opinion, and actually agree with some of it, but I also, respectfully, disagree with other aspects. Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion and please feel empowered to do so in the future. I welcome it!
Thanks for your response. I couldn’t help but remember that a group that DID remove themselves from technology and TV and connection with our culture were not immune from
an event like this. I’m of course talking about the Amish who had their children murdered in
one of their schools not long ago.
I do remember being amazed that their reaction was to forgive the killer and to reach out to his wife. This didn’t happen after thinking about the event months later, it was immediate! They
did what they said, they practiced what they preached.
Sadly, I don’t think things will change. With every new technology there are some good things for society, but there is also colateral which comes along with it. Sometimes it takes years to see the negatives. Cell phones are remarkable inventions, but we now realize that they carry burdens too. What kind of a culture are we creating? Computers have altered so many things in such a short time, but is there a downside? Isolation, addiction, libraries closing, the way we interact. Like Pandora’s box, once it is opened it’s pretty much impossible to close.