Sunday, December 16, 2012

I don't understand . . . rather I don't agree

The senseless death of 20 children and 6 adults in Connecticut this month has me reeling. Reflecting on my personal experience of a parent's worst fear realized. The physical sensation and memory of that wail that comes from a primal place---before evolution brought our reasoning to manage our emotions. I sat in silence for a long time. It hurt trying to send love to parents and family and strangers in some telepathic crazed intention. Knowing there was nothing I could really do.

Then, I waited for anger. And that didn't come, either, only this intense sadness that others still value un-regulated gun ownership over the lives of children. That somehow a child's death must be tolerated for the sake of the second amendment.

Then questions came in droves, and all answered with "I don't understand."

Why is it easier to buy a gun than it is to get mental health coverage?
Why are we not supposed to talk about gun control in the wake of dead children?
Why should teachers be demonized as greedy pension seekers, rather than those who give their lives protecting them?
How can arming more people, actually de-escalate gun violence?
Why do teachers submit to rigorous criminal background checks, and gun owners do not?
Why do we require training for operating machinery, including a variety of vehicles, and don't insist on training for gun ownership?
How does lax regulation make everyone more free?

Truth is, I do understand the "other side's" answers to these questions. I've read and considered their answers, and the bottom line for me is that I don't agree with their rationalizations.

In particular, I find it troubling that some suggest we should arm school personnel. I don't want a society that expects me to educate teachers in proper gun handling techniques. Teachers and administrators should not add a police cap and holster to the materials they need in educating children. I'm coming to see the NRA as similar to big pharma. They exploit these events to suggest a need for a product. They are developing the market for more members, more gun owners, more more more death . . .

When I entered this profession, it didn't occur to me that I was entering law enforcement or that I was entering combat training. It feels hopeless, what profession is safe? What profession can we focus on serving others? I don't know.

Post Script

Just donated to the Brady Campaign, a group that works for sensible gun laws.


  1. "only this intense sadness that others still value un-regulated gun ownership over the lives of children. That somehow a child's death must be tolerated for the sake of the second amendment."

    I keep repeating this same thought over and over and over. I don't understand how it is more important for people to be able to obtain violent weapons than to protect children (and most everyone else) from tragedy. I don't understand. As I heard about the school shooting I thought "this could have been me and Seamus today at the park". It could. It could be any one of us as long as our broken society values weapons over life. It's terrible.

    I'm so sad for the families. I'm so sad for the little ones dead. I'm so sad over the senseless loss of life. My sadness comes from deep within ... from my Liam spot. The tears well up hot and pure.

  2. I wanted to let you know that I just found your blog today. I've added it to the site that I have created in memory of my beautiful 23 year old son who died 30 weeks ago.
    The site is for bereaved parents and siblings and consists of blogs, websites, videos, articles and more resources to help the saddest people (those who have lost a child).

    1. Thank you for your comment, and sending me the link to your site. I found much to read there. I'm sorry for your loss. Will add Graham to the many children we MISS every day.

  3. I wish regulating guns would make a difference. Criminal minds always find a way to get guns and then criminals are the only ones armed. Adam Lanza's mother would have passed any test for gun ownership. Mental illness is the focal issue in these shootings. There used to be a safe place for the mentally ill, but no longer. Not available, not affordable, not pc. A 24 hour lockup is the best anyone can do now. Mental hospitals are a necessity. Disturbed people often don't take their meds, and the people who live with them are often powerless. Of course, I think we all agree that if you have a disturbed child, you better not have guns in the house. This is so tragic on so many levels. My own bereaved heart is broken all over again.

  4. You ask some excellent questions, and I agree on the equation with big pharma. Guns last for years & years, they aren't particularly perishable products -- so the only way for the gun industry to keep making money (and more & more of it) is to keep putting more & more guns in the hands of more & more people -- hence the appeals to women and the notion that we we will all be "safer" if we are all armed to the teeth -- including teachers. :p It's madness.

  5. Thank you for your comments. I remain convinced that prayers and hugging our children tighter isn't enough. Hoping it won't happen again is equally ineffective. I'll continue to support the organized Brady campaign to lobby against the "we should arm everyone" NRA.