Here are two voices that ring true for me in response to the shootings in Connecticut – please read what they have written with your best self, and think about it. Then decide what your part of the solution will be.
From Morgan Freeman (or I’d like to think so – maybe this is some fb person’s idea of Freeman’s “God” voice):
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
…It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother from Liza Long: http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.ca/
Damnit, I am angry over this.
But I believe that positive response, no matter how private or how small is the only way we can truly change course as a community of any size. These horrific, preventable, tragic events Should alter the way we live, the way we interact with one another – getting better at being human is the only way to go from here.
So I am going to register for an information session at the Arrowsmith School in Toronto about learning disabilities and how to understand & work with them to support the intelligent, creative, otherwise capable person in his or her path through life (as opposed to the widely accepted approach: ignore, work around, deny, or demean, berate, punish and/or imprison). I’m going to continue to read “The Woman who Changed her Brain”, by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young (see link above), and learn to think differently about my own abilities or lack thereof.
I’m going to keep reading and keep asking questions, so that I can use what I’ve learned to teach young people how to play music (which is the same as being human and adding your voice to the culture of Human).
Of course, it would be very sane and mature of us to acknowledge that automatic weapons should not be available for sale to anyone who isn’t fully capable of controlling his/her own emotional self. To decide, finally, that even 22-calibre hunting rifles, which shoot bullets at killing speed for 2 miles (Miles!!), should not be permitted in this place or in any place unless the finger on the trigger belongs to someone who gets that ALL life is sacred (and it’s a crime to waste even one spark of it).
Also – and this is big – … we would be so much more sane if we realized that Big Bank Economics do NOT govern our choices.
But I think we won’t get there until we find the balls to fully admit the fact that we are all decidedly off-balance in this distorted, pressurized North American culture.
We then need to find the forgiveness and the compassion & the courage to dig out and work with our damaged selves to make it better, for Everyone we know. Hard work of the best kind.
We’ve spent a long long time soiling our nest, eating the wrong food, abusing each other, supporting addictions, getting ahead at the expense of the other guy, eroding our selves and other selves with toxic criticism, emotional violence, psychological abuse, impossible economic pressure, and War. War War. Money money.
The kids are killing each other, and we’ve taught them how.
It’s time to turn the ship around. Change your mind.