Monday, December 17, 2012

Innocence lost? Innocence recaptured?

If nothing changes, our schools will become less a school and more like maximum security facilities. 

Our precious children will feel less like a student and more like a prisoner. 

Our educators may feel less like a teacher and more like a prison guard.

I would bet that in many of our schools the air of innocence has changed today.... feeling invisible? Perhaps, but felt? Most definitely.

Yes, we must protect our greatest and most precious of assets, but must we be forced to go such extremes? Must parents worry about their children's safety in the place we used to view almost as a holy ground?

The innocence of books, and of coloring and drawing, of running and playing during recess and in gym classes, of lessons and learning is slowly being strangled by fear.

It used to be a kiss and hug, and "I love you, have fun at school today" would suffice.

What the hell has happened to us?

Is this what is yet to come?

We love our guns. Will nothing ever change?

Newton, Connecticut's first responders after leaving
the scene before having to tell the parents their
children have been killed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do we love our guns more?

Than we do our children?

These precious children will spend the rest of their lives trying to forget yesterday.

Any questions?

Not Again? Why do we let this happen again and again?

I don't want to say too much about this. After all, what can I possibly say that I have not said before?

I do not want to sensationalize nor do I want to point fingers. I just want this madness to end. Twice in one week--and a third incident this we

ek occurred in California this evening--this time, thankfully, without death or injury--we have had a crazed gunman unleashing whatever madness from which they suffered upon innocent victims.

Of course, I am talking about the senseless tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 

I am sad beyond sad. When I heard the news I sat stunned and I was mortified... and like most of you, I choked on the realization that 20 young children died so senselessly. Once again, young innocents died because of our cowardice to face the facts, that our fetish with guns is killing us.

12 beautiful little girls and 8 boys' families today are suffering in pain, anguish and despair. Seven adults' families' lives also are shattered (including the gunman's). This school's children today lost their innocence. The trauma they have suffered will surely haunt them for a long, long time.

I am sad beyond sad. As the President said yesterday, "I grieve as a parent." I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow these families are experiencing today. 

The time has long passed that we find a way to satisfy those who insist they must have their guns and those of us who sensibly ask for some kind of checks and balances to alleviate such tragedies. 

Between the years of 2000 and 2009, 298,000 Americans have died from violence surrounding our second amendment right to a own gun. Roughly, 30,000 Americans have died annually from gunshots. Some will claim, "take away guns and a murderer will still find away to kill." Perhaps so. But a gun makes killing so easy, so impersonal. Take a gun out of the equation and some of these 298,000 Americans might still have died, but NOT 298,000. 

The average murderer, if ever there was such a thing, with no access to a gun is less likely to kill. Most will not use a knife in fear of having it turned against them. Most will not have access to poison nor know how to use it if they did. Most would not use a car (yet another of those asinine arguments that cars kill people but no one advocates taking them away). Most would not attempt to physically kill... again, fearful of being killed themselves.

Social commentator Michael Moore today observed that on this, the 221st anniversary of the passage of the second amendment, we can see that our founding fathers took around 15 seconds to load a musket. Today, in those same 15 seconds one can kill dozens, if not hundreds of people!

So.... No more madness. No more blame. We must sensibly and calmly find a way to 1) address the health issues of those who have let loose their fury on children, on men and women with weapons that have no business being sold. C
learly, these people are suffering from sort of mental malady. 

2) We must and I do mean MUST sit down--both sides of the debate on gun control and do more than merely give lip service. If we do nothing, the comments "oh, this is terrible... those poor poor children..." and countless other offers of condolences will continue. 

Be clear here. Anyone who knows me knows I have no love of guns. I don't like them. I refuse to own one and I will never own one. 

That said, I do not advocate taking guns away from citizens, BUT I do insist there is absolutely no logical reason for an average citizen to own a high-powered automatic assault rifle. None.

I'm sorry, but whether anyone wants to admit, there is no reason for a gun to exist other than to kill and/or destroy... and yes, I realize a gun can also be used to protect. I understand that. I do not deny that, but sensible gun laws can be made that permit someone to own a gun without the fear of them going out and killing the masses indiscriminately.

I tire of the snarky remarks that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." 

This is incorrect. People do kill people... and they do it with guns. I am tired of the arguing. I shake my head when hearing people say we need more guns, not less. 

I am tired of those shouting down other who ask for a calm, logical dialogue. And most importantly, I am tired of us, as a nation, being forced to going through this time and time again.

Our children, our citizens, deserve better than this. Like you, I just want this madness to stop.