Friday is my day off and I was out running errands and hustling around. As I made my way to the bank I flipped on KUT. There was an interview taking place and within a few minutes it was clear that they were talking about some kind of recent crime. It had to be something terrible for KUT to break from music to full on news mode so I leaned in and tried to piece it together. The interview ended and the news person cited what was known so far; A shooter went into and elementary school in Connecticut and killed 26 people…some where children.
I cussed out loud.
I pulled into the bank parking lot in a trance with the 100 yard stare. I’m pretty sure I went into the bank and did some banking but I was out of it for sure. I went home and sat at my computer and went straight to the NPR site to get some facts. I was also in the middle of a side project so text, emails and phone calls were humming on my phone as I think the people I was working with were pretty focused on their task and had yet to hear. Eventually that stopped.
I couldn’t focus. I cried a couple times. I saw President Obama say a few words…I lost it again.
This hit me hard. This hit closer to home and deeper in my soul than the events of September 11, 2001; mostly because where I was in life then and where I am in life now.
I think it hit a lot of people really hard…these were little children with their whole life ahead of them. This was a new level of evil, fear and insanity.
They need to start processing this, coming together as a community and a family. They need to find some kind of new normal. They cannot begin to do this until the last news van pulls out of town and the last reporter has called. Danah Boyd really brought it home on this issue as she recalled the story of kids who were never able to get back to their life in Columbine because of the relentless media presence. I can’t tell you the name of a single youth killed at columbine but I can tell you who did it.
Turn off your TV. Stop tuning into the circus. The media will continue to pimp the people of Newtown to the masses as long as we keep eating it up. So stop. We know what happened now, or at least enough, so lets cry and let these people get on with their lives. And to the media people; act like humans for once…please. I don’t know the name of the broken soul that perpetrated these awful acts and I don’t want to…ever.
I wish it were as easy as passing a law, it’s much more complicated than that. These crimes are a symptom and the debate I see around gun control is simply about dealing with the surface level issue. I don’t really care where you stand on the gun issue and we should move on from that debate for now. Not enough people are talking about the underlying fear and the failings of our system, community, families and health industry. Here’s a quote from an article you must read:
“We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty.
Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a “civil” war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we’re afraid of. It’s invasion as foreign policy. Sure there’s Iraq and Afghanistan – but we’ve been invaders since we “conquered the wild west” and now we’re hooked so bad we don’t even know where to invade (bin Laden wasn’t hiding in Afghanistan, he was in Pakistan) or what to invade for (Saddam had zero weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11). We send our lower classes off to do the killing, and the rest of us who don’t have a loved one over there don’t spend a single minute of any given day thinking about the carnage. And now we send in remote pilotless planes to kill, planes that are being controlled by faceless men in a lush, air conditioned studio in suburban Las Vegas. It is madness.
We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes? Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem (again, number one in the industrialized world) and then maybe there would be fewer frustrated, frightened, angry people reaching for the gun in the drawer. Maybe we would take better care of each other.”
Friday I got to hug and kiss my children when they returned home from school. I want them to grow up to realize their dreams. I want them to live in a world where they don’t have to have fears about stupid stuff. Yes, life is hard and trials will come and there will be fear; but we still need to progress toward something better…otherwise, what’s the point?