Yesterday about an hour before I was to go into work I logged into Twitter and started reading a series of tweets that horrified me. Newton, Connecticut has become the only thing the news deems worth of reporting since a 20 year old man named Adam Lanza killed 26 people in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty of them were children ages five to ten. Everywhere I turned someone had an opinion on the shootings but the inevitable question was asked by everyone: ‘what kind of a person could do such a thing?’
The death toll of this massacre makes the Connecticut shooting the second most lethal school shooting in American history. However, a slaughter like this hits America harder considering the age range of the people killed. What are we going to do to keep things like this from happening? Everyone hears about someone getting killed but those people are in war zones, third world countries, and far off lands. Not here. Not America. Not us.
Actions like this leave the masses feeling helpless and scared. Scared of what might happen to them if they were the unlucky people to be caught in the crossfire of a deranged youth. The most terrifying thing that could happen in America. When the land of the free becomes the target for domestic terrorists mass hysteria will quickly ensue. More and more people are outraged each day and demanding gun control and others, on the more right side of the political spectrum, are suggesting we should train our teachers to eliminate threats like this with deadly force.
Both these sides carry valid points but to what end? Outlaw guns and we could turn into a state run by guerrilla warfare. People might start handing guns to ten year old children and forcing them to shoot their parents. Making guns illegal will be about as effective as prohibition was in the twenties. The government might take away your firearms but then they will start smuggling them in from Mexico and selling them to the highest bidder. There might be fewer guns but the few that are here will all be in the hands of the wrong people.
If we give guns to trained teachers how many of you will feel safe sending your kids to school? I don’t want a child’s safety to depend on a third grade teacher with a .45 laying next to the results of last weeks spelling test. How far are the American people going to go to ensure the safety of us as a group? I’ve been reading news reports about this shooting and journalists everywhere are trying to decipher why this young adult shot up an elementary school but no one looks to the simplest answer. He was just ill.
We have thousands of kids in psychiatric care because of mental illness and it’s very probable that this gunman was one who didn’t get proper care. That doesn’t justify his actions by any means it only explains them. I think the reason we are hesitant to evaluate him as chemically imbalanced is because that means we made a mistake. We allowed someone to go without treatment and it meant the lives of almost thirty people. That’s a burden no one is willing to carry. So, instead, we look for things to blame. Guns, people, situations. But not us. Never us.
Regardless of the actual cause, which we may truthfully never know, this is a time in history for us to think about our future. The future of this nation and how we can preserve it. How we can better raise our children and how we can help the group gain footing again. We are all scared and confused. When humans are faced with the brevity of life we reach for anything we can find to understand our purpose. This tragedy was a wake up call to everyone. The families, Connecticut residents, American citizens, and anyone in the world with access to an English speaking news station. If something doesn’t change then we will begin to kill each off. If we allow the monsters to win then things like this won’t stop. If we fight the evil with deadly force then we will become the very thing we set out to destroy. This paradox is the very reason humans need to be united. We have to come together and set aside our differences for the future generations. If we don’t, there might not be any future generations.
If you are a person of faith, pray. If you are a person of action, do. If you are a person of honor, then be honorable. But, if you aren’t willing to help, then get out of the way of those that are. There is no place for you.
“It is not the tragedies that kill us. It’s the messes”. – Dorothy Parker