Monday, December 17, 2012

Speechless

I'm mourning with the rest of the world over the horrible events that occurred last Friday. Obviously, my logical brain looks for things that can be done immediately. In no particular order, these are the thoughts I have had:
  • I understand the gut reaction for gun control and I feel it too. I'm just not sure that it will help. While making guns more difficult to purchase is one way around it, I would say that there are never foolproof ways to stop massacres from occurring. Education can help (requiring gun safety classes yearly) perhaps? Restricting the sale of magazines containing large numbers of bullets? Restricting the sale of more destructive bullets? Getting rid of semi-automatic weapons?
  • Would a single payer healthcare system help in cases of extreme mental health crises? Do we have "preventative" mental health? Are we able to identify what kinds of psychoses these individuals have? Are there treatments available?
  • Why are they always young men? Is there something about the male brain or the male "system" that makes them more likely to snap and cause such massive destruction?
  • Does the media play a role in this? Their over the top coverage style (interviewing 3rd graders, for chrissakes - how is that morally right?). The sensationalism. It makes my stomach turn, but I read it too. I desperately check the news for any developments. 
  • Is isolation of a child really the answer? Should home-schooling be allowed? I feel like one defense we have against people doing massively anti-social things is to tie them to a community that they care about. I know that might not be the best answer in the long run because it's really high risk, but isolation for humans can be ridiculously destructive.
  • Another gut reaction for these massacres is to add more armed people to areas. Several schools in W. PA have asked for armed police officers to be stationed at schools. This is another thing I'm really uncomfortable with. It feels like a military state, and the more distractions we add to schools, the worse off students are. 
  • In Philadelphia, gun homicides are really common. They often take innocent lives, especially when bullets are sprayed out of a car, or into a neighborhood. There is an exorbitant number of murders that occur in Philly alone. When I lived there, it exceeded one a day (greater than 365/year), and I think it still hovers around that number. Guns in cities in general are bad. Too many people, too high a population to ensure everyone's safety. And while some citizens of Philly were outraged at the violence in their neighborhoods, most often nothing was done to combat it. Instead, the police took a "stop and frisk" approach to any young black man on the street. This leads to further and further distrust of authorities, and as a consequence,  a "don't speak" attitude. Meaning, people would never tell authorities who was responsible for a murder, even if it was widely known. This also led to "vigilante justice", where neighborhoods would get together and go after criminals and perform their own justice (usually beating the shit out of someone). I hear everyone being outraged at the death of innocent children in CT, and of course, I am outraged too. However, this violence has existed for a long time in our biggest cities, but the difference is poverty and race, right? (I understand there is also an element of targeting children in this latest shooting, but often, like in CO and AZ, shooting is just random). The victims are largely white and affluent. Is this a race thing, too? Do we listen more closely when white, affluent children are killed? Does the media pay attention more? I am sure there have been 20 children killed by gun violence in Philly this year. Why are we not outraged about that? Are we allowed to be outraged over only certain acts of violence?
  • I keep trying to understand why. Why did this happen? Why children? Why a school? There must be some logic in it all, right? Alex keeps reminding me that we can't rationalize the insane. I am having a hard time with this.
  • The only rational, logical thing I can about this whole thing is to hug my friends and family tighter. To tell my husband I love him more and more every day. To give my mom an extra hug when I see her. The only thing I can do is love. Love more and more, deeper and deeper. Love unconditionally and love with acceptance. All of these things will be my focus this holiday. Not the violence. Not the horror. The love. The love and the peace and knowing that I've told my family over and over again, ad nauseum. I love you. So, if ever my family and friends are taken from me, they know.

1 comment:

  1. There is no understanding why this happened. That dude was just completely fucked up and is doomed for an eternity burning in hell which I hope exists just for him. Piece of shit.

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