Today Let Us Mourn

Like many, I am both saddened and angry over the events yesterday that took 27 lives, 20 of them before they even had a chance to take full flight. As a parent, there can be no greater tragedy than losing one of your children, especially in such a senseless manner as occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. My fellow bloggers have written wonderful posts on their feelings. My friend www.hughcurtler.wordpress.com in particular has laid out a greater context for the why along with his heartfelt sadness. I encourage you to read his post from today.

I am collecting my thoughts and will be offering a post building off the one I wrote over the summer “Another Day in America – a 16 Year Old Kills a 13 Year Old Friend.”  Yet, I want to save that discussion for another day. It is one we must have and one that needs the leadership of our President to make it so. The President said all the right things in a heartfelt manner, but words are cheap. We are beyond the tipping point and need to discuss what we need to do about this as a country. Hugh’s post and that of many others needs to be part of the framework of the discussion.

Today, I want to hug my family and mourn with those who had children or loved ones who had the misfortune to be in the line of sight of the killer. When I think of my own death, I don’t want it to be happenstance and just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But, as tragic as my death would be at the age of 54, to have someone’s candle burn out at such a young age is beyond tragic. I have said often that you truly don’t know how much your parents love you until you hold your own child. To take that child away, I would have a very hard time dealing with that.

So, today I will mourn with you and them. I am also angry and have noted in comments on other blogs that “this shit has to stop.” Yet, I will save that for another day. Today, let’s pray, meditate or think good thoughts for those who have lost loved ones.

22 thoughts on “Today Let Us Mourn

      • There are too many words that could be spoken. There are too many actions that can and should be taken. My heart is breaking that changes that could and should be made, even the smallest of changes, mostly likely won’t be made. My heart is breaking because I’ve really had enough…and fear we as a nation will not hold ourselves accountable or responsible for even the smallest of changes that would begin to address this larger than life (often death) issue. Please say it isn’t so…..

      • I think you have summed up my feelings well. We must do something tangible, even if it is the bare minimum of reinstituting the Brady Bill which expired. Yet, we need to do much more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, BTG

  1. You can’t protect yourself from crazy people. I remember my neighbors watching CNN and cheering as cruse missiles killed children and grandmothers in Baghdad. American made land mines and explosive devices kill innocent little children every day. I find it embarrassing to realize that our definition of tragedy is really rather strictly limited to… when something bad happens to our tribe. Perhaps this is somehow part of the price we pay for that.

  2. My life in a third-world country removes me from television violence (and movie violence) so when I DO see news coverage or a disturbing movie, i am often moved to tears. I ponder how violent our species can be and how calloused and desensitized many people have become.

    How great it would be to roll back the years and land in the Leave It To Beaver era!. I have that sort of life here, though it comes with a price that most aren’t willing to pay.

    on a lighter note: 54 doesn’t seem old enough to be classified as an old fart!

    • You are very kind on your last point. To your point about movies, this is part of what Hugh Curtler was speaking about. It is more than a guns issue. In my city, there is a locally owned video store arranged by genre with a section for new releases. The consistently, less violent movies are to be found in the more vintage sections. If you go to the new releases – you have to wade through vampire, zombie and killer movies. My guess is of the new releases, those three categories are easily 2/3 of the movies. So, you really have to look for a new release that is worth seeing. I saw this morning of the last 20 such multiple gun murders, 11 have occurred in the US. The next highest country has 2. Thanks for writing. Best regards, BTG

  3. It certainly is a day for hugging and morning. And let’s hope that the anger and vitriol that will no doubt ensue is chanelled to bring about change. As a person living in a country with strict gun control, it is only suprising that lessons from past incidents have been left unheeded in the US.

    • Judy, the two most powerful lobbyists in the US are the National Rifle Association and American Petroleum Industry. Most of the inane climate change denial stuff comes from the latter as they have a vested interest in the outcome. The former’s main purpose is to perpetuate the sale of guns and we have 300,000,000 of them here. The mother of the killer who was killed first had five guns. Our political leaders are so financed by these groups, that they have a hard time questioning the real issues here. Hopefully, this will be a tipping point as we have 80x the number of childrfen gun deaths in the US than next 22 wealthiest nations combined. Thanks for writing from a saner place. BTG

    • Australians are not a frightened people. Americans are deeply so. I live about an hour and a half from the Virginia Tech massacre. The newspapers here today are full of comments to the effect that “if” the Connecticut school officials were armed this could have been prevented. Liberty “University”, the largest evangelical college in the world permits concealed carrying of hand guns on campus.

      These people are afraid. They are afraid of blacks. They are afraid of gays. They are afraid of ANYONE who is different than they are. They see themselves as the only real Americans and, who knows, there may be something to that.

      We (our ancestors) practiced genocide throughout the Americas. We slaughtered millions in wars fought for nothing more than corporate profits and greed. “Kill them all and let God sort them out” was a phrase very popular here during the so called Iraq War.

      Can guilt be cumulative… and genetically passed along? Is that why the country with everything can’t arm itself enough and quakes in fear at the prospect of not being armed to the teeth?

      As Yeats said… “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last….”

      • Thanks for your comments. Your points are well taken. We have many things wrong, but I choose not to define America by our extremists. Liberty University is a walking contradiction in a variety of ways. Yet, we do need our saner voices to cry foul and shine a white light on idiotic behavior. We have too many people who are willing to let the extremists do too much talking. Arming people at Liberty is about the dumbest idea I could think of. Thanks for writing. BTG

      • I think you may be missing something here BTG. It makes all the sense in the world for people at “Liberty University” and other so called evangelical groups to arm themselves. That is why they are doing it. Think about it. One tends NOT to argue or disagree with an armed person and when one is promoting a world view as insanely anti-scientific and anti-intellectual as they are stopping the debate is a winning strategy for them. Perhaps, the only winning strategy. As the NRA says, “An armed society is a polite society.” The antithesis, by the way, of a free society.

        Liberty is no contradiction. They know exactly what they are doing. You may not “choose” to let extremists define America… but, to the rest of the world, they certainly do… and if we are to refuse to, or, are afraid to see ourselves as others see us… then, I’m afraid, the game is already over.

      • Thanks for your thoughts. My point about Liberty is you have to have separate the leadership from the students. Liberty is not one thing. It is a community. The leaders proclaim come to our pious university, yet the students there are known to party hard, as they are away from the parents’ leash. There is a significant amount of depression that comes to the forefront in any college, so I worry about armed kids doing something impulsive. Your points are all well taken, but I for one, will be doing whatever I can to shine a spotlight to question decision that I see are fraught with peril. I don’t disagree with your points about an armed community. Yet, we cannot go down that path. The price is the stuff that happens everyday – a sixteen year old killing a 13 year old. I very much appreciate your comments and thoughts. BTG

  4. I’ve spent the last few days wavering between anger and intense sadness. It is way past time to discuss sane gun control measures and at the same time think that things will never change in this country. The stranglehold of the pro-gun lobby, fueled by a mistrust of Big Government that seems to be pounded into our heads since infancy make it seem like an insurmountable task. Just banning semi-auto assault weapons is viewed as infringing on the second amendment, which is bullshit. People feel like carrying a weapon makes them a bad-ass. It is more likely to unnecessarily escalate an argument or accidentally injure someone. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think anything will change, even after this (latest, but far from last) horrible tragedy.

    • …”People feel like carrying a weapon makes them a bad-ass.”…

      That is the key. Culture and education have failed them, religion is failing them and the economy has failed them making them an easy marketing target for the NRA and the crazy end of the libertarians. They are powerless and afraid. But… they can still posture as a “Bad Ass”.

      • I agree about the “bad ass” comment. I ask my male (18 and 21) children what makes a man (or adult). It is not carrying a gun or weapon. It is accountability and responsibility. Doing what you say and showing up for your work or school everyday. Thanks for your thoughts, BTG

    • Amaya, thanks for your comments. I hope the President follows through on his words last night. Talk is cheap. Let’s see if meaningful dialogue and action occurs. Take care, BTG

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