Didn’t write yesterday. Didn’t feel right about doing so, especially since it would have been frivolous and pithy and given that I didn’t read any news until lateish in the afternoon, totally inappropriate, given what was going on yesterday. Millions of hearts were broken.
There are some terrible things that happened every day, but that this was the fifth gun massacre in the last four years in the U.S. (and the fifth weapons incident resulting in murder or attempted murder in a school THIS YEAR) is heart-breaking. Yes, these things happen in other countries – there was one just two years ago in Montreal, there was a knife attack at a school in China this week (no children were killed), and Andreas Breivik is still being monstrous behind bars – but it is wildly disportionate how frequently it happens in the U.S.
I grew up in a family of hunters and I am not anti-gun. I do believe in gun control and that most types of guns have no place, and no use, in private homes. It sickens me how, almost immediately after the Newtown tragedy was taking over the news media, some people decided started declaring that, well, if teachers were allowed to have guns, the tragedy could have been minimised. What. The. Fuck. The solution to gun violence is more guns? What a crock of shit. There is a huge problem when people think arming teachers is a good idea.
(I have a NRA-supporting cousin who has been arguing with this wife over whether to have his handguns brought home from the firing range for, literally, years; even though he’d almost definitely be careful about storage, his kids are curious and clever, so his wife is holding her ground (or was, last time I saw them.))
I know that there is a two-fold problem here; the second half being the stigma still attached to mental illness and the lack of resources for those who are suffering. Reports say that the shooter at Sandy Hook had been ‘troubled’ for many years; James Holmes had obviously had a serious mental breakdown over the course of months, perhaps even years. These things that should be focused on concurrently while trying to talk down the MOAR GUNS contingent. Society as a whole is suffering. Making a country more paranoid with increased access to weapons will not solve this.
I can’t actually offer solutions, really, as a foreigner and a goddamn lefty bleeding heart type with no actual pull or aspirations towards politics, so for now, here’s a quote from one of the best men, Fred Rogers.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
We really could/should all be more helpful, don’t you think?