Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on The CT School Shootings

Thoughts on The CT School Shootings
By Aaron Goldstein on 12.14.12 @ 8:30PM

How does one begin to comment about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?

What can one say about the slaughter of 28 people, 20 of them young children?

Well, let me try if I can.

Like everyone else, I am profoundly saddened, dismayed and bewildered by what happened today. My thoughts are with the families of those who are no longer with us.

I realize that it may be too early for “analysis” especially when the victims haven’t been laid to rest. The following is only intended to try to put what happened today in some kind of perspective.

Given the age of a majority of the victims, I suspect there will be intensified calls for tighter gun control laws and I also suspect there will be greater public support for these measures. The death of young children is very hard to take. What parent doesn’t see themselves in the shoes of those in Newtown? This would include President Obama.

But when President Obama speaks of ” taking meaningful action” it is hard to conceive that he is talking about anything other than stronger gun control laws.

Let me put it this way. If I thought that tougher gun control laws was all it took to prevent this from happening, I would be on board. But easy answers not only never solve the problem they often create more problems.

No gun law can ever abolish evil. Indeed, evil can rise anywhere at anytime. As Bill Hemmer of FNC pointed out there hadn’t been a major crime committed in Newtown in two years. Let us also remember that the gunman shot and killed his own mother before proceeding to the school where his mother worked and then killed all those people.

Sadly, the killing of schoolchildren is not unprecedented in this country. Of course, most people remember Columbine. I particularly remember the 1988 school shooting in Winnetka, Illinois which resulted in the death of eight-year old boy while four of his classmates were seriously wounded. The 2006 school shooting in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania which resulted in the death of five girls also sticks out in my mind. Unfortunately, this scarcely scratches the surface of the school shootings that have taken place over the past quarter century.

Let’s consider that gun ownership has been part of this country’s history since its founding. The same cannot be said of massacres of this nature. What this tells me is that something has changed in the character of this country over the past 25 years. These changes in character and culture won’t be easy to diagnose as there are multiple symptoms. Even if we do manage to come to a general consensus as to the diagnosis and then somehow find some kind of cure, it will take many years before we can remedy our character. And even if we do that, evil is never far away.


Anonymous said...

All this talk about gun control and heightened security (armed guards, teachers etc) in our children's schools sounds just as dangerous as it was before the shooting/s. it is apparent that these incidences evolve from years of psychological neglect. Not one of these persons were alone.. They either had families or attended school where it is up to a superior to notice that something is off. People... shouldn't just ignore or brush off one's "off behavior". Basically everyone is to blame. I just hope everyone takes into account how they treat EVERY human being.. If not massacres like this will cease to diminish. The answer isn't more guns/ less guns, it's looking out for one another.. Before a person like Adam or any of the other shooters from the past get sick of it all and take it out on others.. I don't know I just think this all reverts back to bullying, or being outcasted within a society in general.. This whole thing is a tragedy and happens every damn day somewhere in the world.

Brett said...

In a more perfect world some of what you say has merit. If everyone treated everyone else better - if everyone followed the "Golden Rule" then things would be better. This isn't what happens in the real world. How much influence could outsiders have? Not much, especially to a family that was so private. The best answer is their should be no gun-free zones - they are always where such incidents happen for a reason - the shooter faces way less risk of being confronted, and it's a risk they mostly would rather not take when it's there. People who want stricter gun control are part of the problem, not the solution. To such people, we might as well all be slaves. I refuse to be anyone's slave - period!