Innocense lost and my two cents

Posted by on Dec 22, 2012 in Inside my cerebrum | 0 comments

After having re-furbed by my blog and made a commitment to myself to write more, I am at a loss for words. It is hard to find humor in the face of tragedy on the week anniversary of the Newtown massacre. As a mother, I am faced with the reality of this situation. I suppressed any emotion or response for the last few days, but it has bubbled to the surface. Maybe it was the reality I had to send my daughter back to school, or was it the constant media coverage of the shooting, or seeing the pictures of the kids that made it a reality. Maybe it was going to my daughter class to help prepare for the schools holiday celebration, to leave the class and find a locked door. Freezing standing outside waiting for someone to open it, I saw two boys look at me with hesitation. A hesitation that did not exist one week previous. A hesitation to let me back in, even though I was just in the room. It is a mystery that needs no solving, the end result is the same, innocent people are dead. I can not even begin to imagine what those parents are going through. I feel for them. My heart goes out to them, but in my selfishness, I am glad my child is okay.

It lends to the questions of how could such a thing could happen and how can we prevent it. The answer is multi factorial and there is no single answer. The NRA announced today that armed guards need to be posted at every school. Is that really the solution, or merely a corporation trying to save face? As I sit alone at my local restaurant in a failed attempt to enjoy my dinner, I am surrounded by conversations of the attack. As a casual bystander, I hear the same theme resonant between tables. Perhaps unknowingly, they all say the same thing: It was a senseless killing, the shooter was a coward, gun control is an issue, mental health is an issue, and the media is an issue. It makes me think of an article I read which stated that even though this seems unreal and unbelievable, there is no increase in mass killing. Are they serious? Where do they get their data? Is this a construct of the media to get people to believe that all is okay on the precipice of the “end of the world,” or is this based on fact? Are there less killing compared to when? Last year, twenty years, or fifty years ago? Perhaps is was blissful ignorance, but to my knowledge this type of thing did not happen when I was a kid. Are we comparing this data to last year? Or two years ago? I remember when Columbine was new and fresh and unheard of. Are the media implying this type of atrocity occurred regularly? Or is it now a matter of the numbers killed and the innocence of lives lost is that is different? Now because of media exposure and desensitization, are we accepting this to be a part of our normal culture. I refuse to believe this.

So, what is the root cause? Is it gun control? Yes. Is it mental health? Yes. Is it lack of education? Yes. Is it poor parenting? Yes. It is all of these things and more. I feel that we can not put the blame for this on one thing alone, but instead it is all things together that make this a terrible event happen. The infrastructure of this country has fallen. How can you expect a building to stand and endure the gale force winds of life, with no structural support? We lack education and healthcare for all. Mental health services are even harder to come by. Even with the most liberal of gun laws, they mean nothing in the face of a country which can not think and reason. This has been propagated through a system of poor education. The same could be said for severe gun control and restrictions. Even with the most restrictive of gun laws, people will find access, but will they know what to do? Will they have been taught what to do and how to prepare and how to deal with weapons? Will armed guards at the door of every school lead to safety, or a culture of fear? Will this place a fear in the hearts of children that they might be next and will this fear prohibited learning by removing the safe and comforting environment of school? Will those with mental illness all be discriminated against due to the mere fact they have an illness? How do we differentiate between those with violent tendencies and those whom are harmless? Can we even begin to enforce gun control without proper healthcare? What about all those people with mental illness who are yet diagnosed either due to lack of healthcare, or a system which is so taxed by attending to simple things such as diabetes and hypertension that this does not have the time it needs to spend with those with mental health problems?

This tragedy opens more questions than it does answers. Yet, perhaps this is the case with such a tragedy. We are constantly faced with the “why?”. I just hope these families find solace and peace in the death of their children and loved ones. I hope we as a nation can heal. And above all, I hope we find the solution, no matter how trying and seemingly dividing it may be, in the end it will lead to a greater nation.

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