Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings

What we must do NOW!
Memorial to those who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The idyllic and Norman Rockwell picturesque town of Newtown, CT was shattered this past Friday by yet another school mass killing.   Where is the moral compass of this country?  How can this nation go on as usual?

Our hearts and minds are wounded by this horrific tragedy.  There are no words adequately available to express our sadness, our grief, and our disbelief to those families who have lost a child, a daughter, a sister, or a relative in these grotesque shootings this weekend.  These mass shootings are as horrific to me as the bombings on 9/11/2001.  I, Newtown, CT and our nation will never be the same again.

Why did it take the gunning down of 20 beautiful, angelic, children from God, placed in our love and care, for our country to finally start the conversations that should have been started years ago?  We must not allow these children to have died in vain.  We must change and reform our entire society.

NOW, we must begin the process of picking up these shattered pieces from this past Friday and reconstruct a society that is loving, caring, and uses civil discourse in its communication with one another on familial, societal, and political levels.  We must first learn to speak to one another in  quiet, thoughtful tones of voices.  What ever disagreements we have with one another, must be met with quiet, thoughtful responses, not yelling, screaming, and angry discourse. 

NOW, we need real leaders in this country, both on the presidential and congressional level to have the political courage to lead us in this civil discourse.  We no longer can tolerate gridlock at any political level - local, state or national.  Civil discourse has to start here and as many like to say . . . "trickle down."  We need leaders at every level of government and society to stop the violence and killing that permeates our nation. 

We have had a culture of violence and death in the country since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Since that pivotal day, anger, guns, drug wars, mass shootings, bombings and inner city uprisings have ruled the day.  Forty years of violence, guns and strife in this country indicates we have been at war with ourselves internally. 

NOW, before we are destroyed from within from this internal war, we must have the political courage to start with gun regulation and/or control.  It is no longer acceptable for citizens to be able to have automatic and semi-automatic guns as our 2nd Amendment right.  That is no longer plausible.  We must stop the sale and distribution of these  types of guns with laws at the federal level.  These types of guns are not being used for hunting anything but fellow human beings.  That the shooter in Newtown, CT was able to gain access to this type of gun to gun down the 26 people at Sandy Hook is unconscionable. 

This type of weapon is not needed for personal protection.  There are guns of lesser magnitude that can be used if we need to protect ourselves.  Arming school principals with guns is not the answer.  Too many accidents can happen if guns become part of the school culture.  That thought is just ridiculous and only continues the culture of violence and death in this country.

I have lived in Europe during my adult life and I know that in those European countries that have gun control,  for example, Germany, Britain, and Spain, that there are substantially less murders by guns in those countries than here in the U.S. where current estimates are 11 - 12,000 murders per year by guns.

NOW, we need mental illness treatment reform in this country.  It must be brought to the forefront and how we treat mental illness must be reformed.  Every American should have access to mental illness treatment as well as physical health treatment.  There needs to be psychological and psychiatric intervention available to distressed children throughout their development and if love and care is not being provided in the home, then they need to be removed and/or intervention required for the entire family. 

There was, obviously, something dreadfully wrong in the Lanza household, for Adam to have felt the only way for him to 'make a statement' was to kill his mother, 20 innocent children, 6 adults and himself.  Both of his parents, Nancy and Peter Lanza are responsible for the love and care of their sons.  Something was dreadfully wrong when it came to Adam.  And, in my opinion, something was dreadfully wrong with Nancy Lanza for introducing guns to an autistic/asperger disordered son.  Common sense tells us this is foolhardy and wrong.  I don't care how many people say Nancy Lanza was a wonderful mother; in my opinion, she was an idiot to take an autistic/asperger disordered son to gun/target ranges and teach him to shoot guns.  That is not the type of learning or hobby Adam needed in his life.  Where was Peter Lanza during all this?  Was he a part of Adam's life?  Did he condone the gun use by Adam?

NOW, we need to regulate the violent, Rambo-like, videos and movies we allow young people to view.  I believe we should all boycott them.  Don't tell me these videos and violent movies do not bring out aggression and desensitize our children to guns and murder.  Our own nation's military uses these violent videos to train our soldiers to fight and kill in wars overseas.  Why does the military use these?  Because it teaches and brings out aggression in these young, impressionable men who need to be desensitized against killing so they can do their job in war.  After a deployment overseas at war, they come home with PTSD and we wonder why they have so much trouble assimilating back into society or civilian life?  They have been brainwashed in guns, murder, and war.

NOW, we need to look within ourselves and change our own and societal attitudes toward love and care of our families and our communities, guns and their prevalence in our society, and mental illness, our attitude toward it and our access to this type of help.  We must become a society of inclusion not exclusion. 

Had Adam Lanza been included within society and the Newtown community instead of excluded and allowed to remain a loner, all those who perished on this past Friday would be alive today.