Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown. My Rant.

I have read many comments online stating that you have to be a parent to fully understand the horror of Sandy Hook.

No, you don't.

I resent the implication that simply because I have never given birth, that means I don't understand loss and heartache.

I have also read that now is not the time to talk about gun control in the United States.

Yes, it is.

When better?  After the media coverage of this tragedy ends? When the picture of those children with their eyes shut and hands on each other's shoulders being led away from the scene of carnage fades from our memory? (Which, by the way, will take a very long time for me, personally. I cry every time I see it. I can almost hear the wail of terror from that little girl in the blue top.)

I have read many comments from both sides of the gun control issue, and one, especially, that sticks in my mind is, "if all the teachers in the school had been armed, this man would have been stopped before he killed so many."

No, he wouldn't.

The idea of a bunch of teachers rushing from the classrooms, guns ablazing, is patently ridiculous. How many innocents would have been caught in the crossfire? I am not advocating that all guns need to be wrenched from the hands of the citizens of the US, but can anyone explain to me why an ordinary law-abiding person needs a machine gun or semi-automatic?

I didn't think so.

The idea for this  post started out as a simple memorial to the victims of the shooting, but I suddenly realized that I was pissed off. I'm pissed off at the shooter, I'm pissed off at the obstructionist NRA, I'm pissed off that the families of the victims have to go through such needless pain and suffering, I'm pissed off that those children's lives were snuffed out, and I'm pissed off that the world has lost those teachers who showed such heroism and devotion to their charges. I'm pissed off that this kind of thing keeps happening in schools, movie theatres, malls, and other public arenas. (I'm also pissed off at the idiots who blame President Obama for everything, but I'll save that for a different rant.) One other thing I'm pissed off about is the statement that "guns don't kill people".

Yes, they fucking well do.


Leah J. Utas said...

Yup. Arming everyone will only cause more accidental deaths. Plus, who is to say the armed person will be able to pull the trigger to stop the armed assailant?
Whatever else this has stirred up the real underlying problem is the complete lack of mental health resources.
That said, I agree with you and am pissed off with you on this.

the Bag Lady said...

I didn't want to get into the mental health issue, although I do realize that it is definitely part of the problem. Everything is intertwined, isn't it?

Hilary said...

It's so many issues that a large, outspoken number of Americans seem so unwilling to comprehend. Every resistance to gun control tells me that some people are choosing their right to carry a weapon over the rights of a child to be protected. Over "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Every resistance to health care... I just don't get that one.

It's not like we're immune here in Canada.. we've had our share of ugliness and tragedy involving guns. But we try to minimize the risk. That doesn't guarantee success but it helps. I don't know what else to say than I already have. I'm very angry too. All those beautiful people.

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - you're so right. I had to stop before I got to the issue of the widespread resistance in the States to universal health care. WTF is wrong with them? So many of them say things like "I don't want to pay for someone else's medical treatment".... I say' "not even if that would have helped prevent this tragedy?"
And no, we're not immune to violence here, sadly. Unfortunately, wherever there are people, there will be violence, as heart-breaking as that idea may be.

messymimi said...

It's the fact that violence will never fully go away that hurts the most.

All the issues need to be discussed, and now.

the Bag Lady said...

Yes, messymimi, they do. They need to be discussed, and then positive action needs to be taken.
I sincerely hope that happens.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I agree with every word you said!
Thank you.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Joanna

MIz said...

and you had me at PATENTLY RIDICULOUS.

hell yes.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Miz.

Reb said...

Well ranted Sis! I am heartily sick of reading about mass killings, even just reading about singular killings. Gun control is just the tip of the iceberg, but, it makes a good starting place. From health care to parental discipline, there are so many issues that need to change... and not just in the USA.

Crabby McSlacker said...

I'm often appalled at how much more reactionary and less civilized the U.S. is than Canada; I'd move up there in a second if you could guys could just fix that whole "weather" thing.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

"can anyone explain to me why an ordinary law-abiding person needs a machine gun or semi-automatic?"

No. It is inexplicable because NO ONE needs one of those killing machines. To the best of my knowledge, it is already illegal to have weapons on school property -- at least everywhere I've lived in the past ten years! Students aren't even allowed to carry a simple pocket knife.

Yes, Guns kill people.

The crazy thing is, the US military does not allow weapons to just be carted around on their installations. Only the military police are authorized to carry weapons. AND the military has some pretty terrific health care (HUGE socialized medicine program, I am a happy beneficiary). Heck, the military is even gaining ground on the whole mental health issue, "thanks" to our long war in the middle east that is bringing home thousands of broken people (broken inside and outside).

And that whole 2nd Amendment line? It was all about forming a militia to protect the community. WE HAVE THAT NOW. It's called The National Guard.

My country is seriously messed up. I personally know some of those people who say crazy things about "gun rights" and paying for health care for other people. Some days I'd like to use the butt-end of their guns to knock some sense into their heads.
Yes, I am angry, too. And terribly sad and sorry and flabbergasted.

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - it's true that this isn't limited to the US, but things like this seem to happen more frequently there.

Crabby - yeah, that weather thing is getting to me lately, too. Perhaps things will change .... after the 21st....?

Karen - It's good to hear that the US military is providing more mental health care for their returning soldiers.
One of the most annoying statements is that about guns not killing people.... that is the sole purpose of a handgun or automatic weapon. I realize the meaning of the statement, but it's ridiculous. Of course a gun doesn't simply jump up and shoot people of it's own volition, but people don't own guns for the stimulating conversation they provide.

Geosomin said...

Yes. Well said.
There are so many things about the american mindset that baffle me. I recently read someone defending their personal right to own a semi-automatic weapon as a defence of their second amendment rights to be able to defend themselves against government/tyranny...and I thought WTF? We don't live in Egypt or Syria...we live here in opulent first world and we obviously can't seem to get it right. We can't reach out and try and help each other before things like this happen.
As our sense of community erodes...well...I just don't see it changing with current attitudes. How many awful things will it take to affect change??

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - I am not sure what it will take to bring about change. At least, change for the better. It feels to me as though the world is changing quickly, but not always for the better!