Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Sandy Hook Elementary
Newtown, Connecticut
I'm heartbroken, like the rest of the nation and world, by the tragedy that occurred at a little elementary school in Connecticut last Friday. I can't stop reading the news articles, all the accounts of what happened, the funerals that are occurring, the biographical articles on the victims, articles on the first responders and other heroes. I grieve with and for the parents who are doing the unthinkable, the unimaginable - burying a very young child. My heart is heavy with sympathy. I can't imagine the depth and the scope of the sorrow and pain, but on the other, I can't help but put myself in their shoes. I have children. Yes, they go to public schools. And one of my greatest fears is that one day, somebody will show up one of the schools my kids are in, and open up with an assault rifle. The tears I've cried over this are for the lost lives, and yes, relief that my children have all come home after school every day.
I've had discussions on Facebook about gun control, seen them, seen the memes, the comments of pundits, etc...and I have to say, I'm shocked and appalled at the disconnect I've seen. The comparisons made, the arguments made.
Let me state this very clearly and succinctly.
Your right to own a gun is NOT more important than a human life.
If (potential) gun owners have to jump through more hoops to gain a gun, then so be it. Arming MORE people isn't going to be the answer any more than just focusing on tightening gun regulations is. The ban on assault rifles needs to be renewed. It expired in 2004. Requiring psychological testing, stricter licensing requirements, limits on how many guns a person can own is a responsible first step. Not unreasonable at all. We require people to have drivers licenses, and have over the years, refined our laws to make driving safer. Sure, cars are still going to be in accidents, but there are fewer deaths because seatbelts are required. You think you can go and buy as much fertilizer as you want without someone coming to knock on your door to find out why you need 11ty gazillion tons fertilizers. Thank Timothy McVeigh for that. It's disingenuous to say that we have all these laws in place, and THEY haven't stopped the carnage, so what good would putting more laws in place do? Try googling Australia and their gun laws and statistics. That'll will show you what good it will do.
Nothing is going to totally stop it, but don't we have an obligation as a civilized society to do what we can to slow the death and destruction?
I've seen a meme that said something along the lines of "if your first thought was about gun control, then..." I don't remember the rest, it made me too angry.
The same folks who post stuff like that are also posting pro-life/anti-abortion stuff, as well.
Am I the only one who sees the disconnect there?
How can you call yourself pro-life when your first thought after the Sandy Hook tragedy was, "Oh, man. Now they're going to want to regulate my guns more stringently"????????
If your right to own guns, a preoccupation with how more regulations are going to be levied on gun owners, and the belief that in a situation similar to what's happened in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT you'd become some sort of super hero with your righteous gun blazing to save the day -- are the first thoughts that come to you when you think about this tragedy, then honey, I'm here to tell you that you have your priorities WRONG.
Empathy/sympathy for the victims/families affected, horror, grief, rinse and repeat. That and if you went to a football game, as I did on Saturday, and spent a good deal of time looking for a place in the bleachers where you could shield your children should a lunatic with a gun burst onto the field, you might have your priorities in order. If you worry every day that this might be the day someone shoots up your kids' school(s), you might have your priorities in order. If you think that fixing our broken mental healthcare here in the United States must go hand-in-hand with doing something to ensure that we never endure another Sandy Hook, you might have your priorities in order. If you have hugged your kids, told them you love them every day since Friday, multiple times a day, you might have your priorities in order.
If all you can think about is how "everyone is after right to bear arms," your priorities are whacked.
Pure and simple.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtowne who are burying their loved ones during this holiday season. I hope that somehow, some way, they'll find some peace to carry on without their missing loved ones. I hope that they will find a healing that will allow their brokenhearts to not feel so heavy. I hope they know an entire nation, an entire world, grieves with them.
Just Imagine what we could do if we could get our priorities right enough to do something so we could avoid more Tears in Heaven. Imagine.

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