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.