I haven’t shared how I feel about the events at Sandy Hook. I am the mother of a five year old autistic child, so all of my angles here have been thoroughly covered by others. Others who have already written beautifully about it. So yes, all of that. I am usually more opinionated, especially on my personal Facebook page. I haven’t voiced my opinion on this topic yet, and I usually keep any controversial opinions off of my blog. Based on the number of unlikes I am already getting lately, I figure I have nothing to lose. You can’t please everyone.
I have been overloaded with postings from friends about gun control, mental illness, media, morality, and God. It’s exhausting. It feels pointless. And the mob mentality that follows anything that affects us all on such a grand scale is, as usual, frightening. There is a lot of good out there, too, but it’s just too damn sad to keep reading it.
And frankly, I just don’t have much to say about these things because I need some more time to think about it. Right now, this is where I am at. I think there are a lot of great ideas floating around out there. And yes, we need to do something. We need to have these conversations. But none of these things are the answer, so I find it difficult to be passionate about any kind of solution.
Do I think that stricter gun control laws are important? Okay, I do. In this case, for example, the guns used were stolen from the murderer’s mother, who owned them legally. Not all guns are created equal (even I know that). Could stricter laws have led to the killer only having access to weapons that may have killed one less child? Quite possibly, yes. And so it would all be worthwhile. It still would have happened, but the possibility of there being even one less fatality makes this discussion important. Let’s have that discussion. Rationally.
People are shot in this country every day, and we have leaders in this country who have made differences in their communities. They are talking about it, and everyone should be able to listen without screaming about their second amendment rights. Sure, it would not always make a difference. It’s a necessary discussion that requires action, but it’s not a solution to the bigger problem. Those laws couldn’t save everyone. So what else can we do?
Of course there should be better resources for the mentally ill. Didn’t we already know that? So let’s go ahead and do that. Will mass shootings end? Nope. Seems like we might inspire a few witch hunts, though. I know at least one person who fits the profile of this type of killer. He has no obvious mental illness. Do you know how many people fall into this category compared to the number of people who actually commit such horrors? So we either start treating these innocents as if they are already guilty, or we continue to assume they will never do such a thing. You can’t win. There is no way to keep everyone from slipping through the cracks. You should try, but you should also know that these things will continue to happen.
We can blame media, movies, music, and video games…. and yes, the right unstable mind may be affected by these things. Or anything else- who the hell knows what the trigger will be for this person or that person? The rest of us deal with it all just fine. Where do we start? Imagine what turning off the news could do for us. No, no…. someone else has to turn it off for us. Let’s just ban everything and set up heavy security in all public places until we are all miserable in our little padded rooms. But it will happen again. And then a few generations from now our grandchildren will start wondering why we created this crazy environment. Oh, yeah. Mass hysteria. Let’s look at these things, but let’s not pretend that we have found a solution here, either. Let’s not forget that there are consequences to our emotionally charged actions, and then let’s proceed with caution.
And somehow, morality and God got pulled into this in all the wrong ways. Morality and God aren’t missing- they shine in times like this. You are blind if you cannot see it. People who believe that this happened because God isn’t allowed in our schools or because we have declared our lack of interest in him publicly have never understood God. As if these things have never happened in a place of worship, even. People use tragedies like this as a way to get their agenda back in the media. And others follow that mentality. My Facebook is blowing up with this mentality.
Warning- this is where I do get a little passionate. I’m not stupid. I saw prayer at my public school. We had Christian groups that met in classrooms before and after school. I saw kids reading their bibles in class, and praying in the cafeteria. They just weren’t allowed to make everyone else do those things with them. Because not everyone shares the same religion. That is a fair reason to many of us. I have never believed in a God who taught that faith should not come from free will, but instead from an establishment that forces it upon us. That is not where God exists.
If your faith is important, and you believe in raising your children to serve a Christian God, then take responsibility and show them that they can do these things on their own in spite of peer pressure. Remind them that while not everyone is a Christian, we live in a great country that allows us to be open in our faith and share it with others voluntarily without punishment. Even at school. I found that having our homecoming king active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was much more influential than a teacher forcing me to say “under God” every day with the Pledge of Allegiance. Be useful to your God, and stop pretending like there’s a gun to your head every time you mention Jesus. Or that God is killing our children because our teachers don’t force them to pray between the hours of eight and three.
Is your faith so small that you actually believe that the faith your children take with them into the classroom is not enough for God to exist there?
Okay, so all I have to offer here is to say that all of this reaction is pissing me off. I have no answers, I just want to say it because it’s making me crazy. There is the “let’s band together and be supportive” stuff that is fantastic, and then there is all this bullshit about what we need to do now that will somehow eliminate all worry. And everyone is arguing based on politics, blind passion, or just plain stupidity. But mostly fear. I see a lot of insincerity masked as actual sincerity. Lots of agendas and attention-seeking from people who are not affected by this to the extent they pretend they are. And that is just a truth about human nature.
But there is also true empathy, and that is what brings us together. Can’t we spend more time in that place? We can do better, so let’s talk about it. But let’s not get so crazy that we are longer effective.
So this is where I am at right now. I might change my mind, I still need more time to think about it. There you go….be mad at me now.