Dec 14, 2012

DO YOU THINK WE'LL EVER FIGURE IT OUT?

34 comments:

  1. This makes my heart break...

    Charlene

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  2. Nope. The NRa has made sure of that. :(

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  3. I really don't know what is happening in this country. It doesn't matter how guns are sold or not sold, they are easy to get regardless. I just don't understand what is driving these people to the violence.....something is drastically wrong. So very sad for everyone.

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  4. I, too, am overwhelmed by the violence we've been experiencing. My prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy.

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  5. I really hope so Coni. This is just terrible. And the issue is just baffling to many people here in the UK.

    Alison
    Guildford, UK

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  6. Such dreadful news to hear on awakening today in Australia.
    There are no words to convey how we feel for the loss of those affected by such a tragedy.

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  7. Praying for the familys and everyone....
    Amy from Oklahoma

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  8. As a teacher of first graders, I cannot imagine.... I am so very sad....

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  9. I agree with all of the above comments, so overwhelmingly sad and heartbreaking. I don't know if we will ever figure it out, but if we care, there is hope.

    I pray for all involved.

    Sue

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  10. Perfect photo to suit this sad, sad day, Coni. Such a senseless act.
    I think you too, are feeling very helpless? I remember your (famous) post about the tired little boy you encountered at the Target Store a couple years ago...and How you completely befriended him...turned that little guy right around...so gently...
    You've got such a Good Heart, Sweetie...

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  11. I couldn't have said it better hun.

    Hugs, Shar

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  12. My heart aches and cries for these families. I have lost a son, it is the worst heartache anyone could ever endure.
    Judy in Kansas

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  13. This is the only advanced civilized country where this happens. And, it happens on a regular and recurring basis.
    Cannot imagine how a parent deals with such a horrible tragedy.

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  14. This is tragic. As for the why....I would like to offer an hypothesis.

    Somewhere along the way, our society has become confused about the role of a parent. Most parents want their children to have a better life than they did: higher education, better paying job, nice house. This is understandable. With the middle class explosion in the fifties and sixties, all of these things were "guaranteed" already. So, how to give your children a better life? We started giving them things.

    =///Parents who could afford it bought their 16 year old a car, a computer, and, more recently, iPads and cell phones. The children go on ski vacations, spring break and after-graduation holidays. Some kids do work for all of this, but many are paid for by Mom & Dad.

    Then, somewhere along the line, parents realized that wasn't enough either. Our children still got bad grades, weren't invited to the birthday party, were on the losing T-ball team, or, worse, not selected for a team at all, were teased for being too fill-in-the-blank or just different.

    This is where the trouble really begins. Instead of helping the child deal with these experiences and the painful emotions associated with them, parents made it their goal to help their children avoid having these experiences altogether. (Everyone at the birthday party gets a present, all members of the team get a prize - even the members of the losing team, etc.)

    All emotions are a natural part of the human experience. Like a tool, they need to be learned how to handle or, in this case, felt. If you have a child that has been protected from experiencing all "negative" emotions (anger, fear, sadness, rejection), when the child has an experience where the parent is not there to intervene for him/her, the experience is overwhelming.

    Imagine the 4 year old that has a temper tantrum. His actions during the tantrum are limited by his size, his cognitive ability, etc. Now, imagine a 16 year old having a temper tantrum with increased size, physical mobility, and cognitive ability to act on his emotional state.

    It is a recipe for tragedy.

    So, long story short, here is where we have lost our way. Parents have forgotten that their role is ultimately to guide their children through life's experiences, not to control every experience that their child has. Of course, we all want to protect our children from the really bad things out there (kidnapping, child abuse, etc.), but having a toy taken by another child or falling down on the playground or the popular kid not coming to the birthday party should be dealt with a little differently.

    Children, and parents, need to understand that those uncomfortable feelings don't last forever. Emotions have a beginning, a middle and an end. If we can shepherd our children through these rough spots when they are little, we, hopefully, will raise compassionate, thoughtful caring adults.

    Feel free to send this to people you know. Hopefully it might help in some little way....if only in the future.

    As a quick PS - This, of course, does not address mental health issues which are another ball of wax altogether.

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  15. Unfortunately, this happens worldwide - if not guns, there are bombs, airplanes into buildings, random stabbings, missles into homes, sarin gas in subways - no where is immune to the mentally ill or the religious fanatic.

    It is all too easy to blame the gun, or the bomb, or the knife - but they are not the problem. After all, we were overjoyed when a gun killed Osama bin Ladin, or a drone kills major terrorists. It is seldom reported when an armed citizen kills a burglar or an assailant before they can do more harm.

    I don't think there is a simple solution.

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  16. I taught kinder and first grades for 37 years and saw many examples of PPPD (P_ss Poor Parenting Disease), but I also see what happened here as part of a larger societal problem. Greed, disrespect, anger, prejudice-- many negative emotions are just under the surface of our 'civilized' society, and shape individual feelings of self worth and responsibility to others.

    We will never be able to legislate negative behaviors out of human nature, but we can mitigate the negative effects of these behaviors on others.

    We have laws limiting speed, amounts of alcohol that can be consumed if driving, number of people who can safely be in attendance in an enclosure, who can practice medicine, who can dispense prescription drugs. We have laws requiring that cars, trucks, trains, boats be licensed and undergo safety inspections, and that the operators of these modes of transportation be licensed --multiple laws to increase public safety.

    Why, then, have we allowed the anti-gun control faction to bully us into thinking that any form of sensible control is a direct violation of our Second Amendment rights???

    I am as far from anti-gun as anyone, but I see no reason for ordinary citizens to have access to guns that fire multiple rounds rapidly. I see a need for licensing of each gun user just as each driver is licensed. When/where has anyone seen an ordinary citizen using these Weapons of People Destruction to stop such an attack as occurred in Connecticut???

    It's time to get real about the topic. As a parent and as a teacher, I tried hard to raise children to think of the consequences of their actions, and, as mentioned above by Deborah, to understand and direct their emotional responses to events.

    I did not raise them to be cannon fodder nor to be victims of random acts of violence.

    Perhaps it's more than time to take a look at how our lack of legislation in this arena is supporting the very events that keep occurring. Let's not allow the victims of these tragedies to have died in vain.




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  17. No one has seen someone using a gun to stop one of these attacks precisely because they are banned in these places! Even at the Ft. Hood massacre, the troops who could have ended it were disarmed. The Israelis were stunned - all of their active duty military are required to be armed at all times, just to stop this sort of nonsense.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to stop a mentally challenged but undiagnosed individual from obtaining a weapon of some sort.

    Lee

    These horrible tragedies are random acts or intentional terrorist violence. Disarming all the law-abiding citizens won't prevent them. Look at the statistics on gun violence in the US - it is highest in the places with the strictest gun prohibitions. The numbers are readily available on line.

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    1. Actually, Lee, there are 2 cases that I know of where a shooter was stopped because someone had a gun on campus. The first was at Pearl High School (Mississippi) in 1997, when an assistant principal was able to retrieve his .45 and subdue the shooter. The second was in 2002, at Appalachian School of Law, when 2 students heard gunfire, ran to their cars, and retrieved their weapons and confronted the shooter, ultimately disarming him.

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    2. Thanks for the info!

      Lee

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  18. My heart is broken for all involved. So sad.

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  19. I live here in Connecticut and I was in Newtown just last week - such a normal place. When the news first broke, there was such confusion, and they thought there might be a second shooter loose in the area. It was frightening for everyone. And now to find out that it was a mentally ill young man - it is beyond heartbreaking. The victims, the parents and families and neighbors, an entire town that will never be the same.

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  20. what normal average cititzen, gun enthusiast, or hunter needs assault weapons? m-16's? AK-47's? Military-type things with the power to kill so many at one time? no other weapon can do that - no knife, no nothing can wipe out that many folks at one time and to have it fall into the hands of an ill, deranged person is the bigggest risk. i am still asking myself why his mom had these three guns bought in her name especially when she had a 20 year old son with mental health issues that she was disparing over according to the fokks at the local diner where she ate often. why?

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  21. There is absolutely no reason not to have a review made of every person who wants to buy a gun in the United States and to have a reasonable waiting period, too. No one should be able to buy a gun without having to register it, and there is no reason to have these assault weapons available, either. I'm a supporter of the second amendment, and a gun owner, too. Just as freedom of speech is not without limits, neither should this freedom be without sensible restraints. I'm tired of the NRA thinking they run this country. The rest of us need to set them straight. They must know themselves that as these incidents keep happening, their time is running out.

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  22. Evelyn, are you going to come to my house and defend me when my ex-husband breaks in to finish killing me? because if women who have been victims of domestic violence have to wait to defend ourselves for what you term a "reasonable waiting period", you too will have blood on your hands. I found myself on the other side of a door with my weapon in my hand while my ex was outside attempting to break in. I called 911, but I was prepared to pull that trigger if he came through that door, to defend my life. You say you are a gun owner, yet you bandy around the term "assault weapon". exactly what is an assault weapon? You are being disingenuous. You should know that automatic weapons are already banned. You want one, you have to undergo a federal background check. Semi-automatics are one trigger pull, one bullet. You want us to only have revolvers? Nothing with a magazine? Speed loaders will reload a revolver as fast or faster than a clip. So now what, Hmm?

    No one wants to address one of the REAL issues. You have people with prior mental health issues who cannot be held or detained because of civil rights laws. Violent family member who is non-compliant with meds? Hey, they hold them for 72 hours MAX,and than they are out. You get a call from a psychiatrist asking about your flipping safety plan, the DA says nothing you can do, and you arm up. You tell your kids that if they have to they have to use whatever firearm that is available and they fight for their lives, because police response time in this country is not instantaneous.So where is the national dialogue on this, huh? Where the hell is the national dialogue on dangerous people who everyone knows in hindsight is going to kill one day, and instead you want to take away my and my kids ability to defend ourselves? And by the way, my ex had a large kitchen knife tucked away that was discovered by us after he left. It would have torn through my and my kids bodies like butter. If it had, would you have called for a ban on knives too?

    Where is the outrage about the 14 Mexican kids slaughtered by weapons at a birthday party in Juarez, weapons supplied by Eric Holder's Fast and Furious program? You think their parents are any less grieved by their deaths because they are latinos? What, you didn't hear about their deaths? No Hollywood actors and media pundits calling for investigations?

    I'm heartbroken over the deaths of those children in Newton. But I can tell you that my kids are not going to be slaughtered because people who can't or won't face the truth are willing to disarm us for the sake of their political views.


    You want to put your faith in laws and government employees, you do just that. I put my faith in my armed ability to fight for the lives of my children.

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    1. First, I think most Americans are aware of the situation with the 14 children that were killed in Juarez - and it was a tragedy and something that should have never happened. Also there is an investigation going on - and from what I have been reading there has been some fallout - and there will continue to be more. And that is how it should be. EVERYONE has covered that story including NPR. So I think that there has been outrage.

      I feel and completely understand your dilemma. I myself was involved in a domestic abuse situation, and there was never a doubt in my mind whether it was when I was in the house, or if it was after I left, if there was someone going to use a gun - it was going to be him. He'd find a way to get it from me. When I left my husband he made so many death threats and when I called the police since he had never done anything, there was nothing that they could do. You know who helped me? THE HUMANE SOCIETY. Because he had actually threatened my dog, they were able to open a file - and if anything happened to me, at least there would be some sort of documentation...and what does that say about the value of women or how domestic violence is really viewed in this country. Which is another problem - and I get it. So I get the need and the desire you have to protect yourself and your children. I really do. However, you can't be with your kids every second of every day ... I am sure many parents in Newton felt the same way you do.

      The truth is as a nation we DO need to take a serious look at gun control, as well as different ways in dealing with people who are suffering from mental illness. Or wife beaters that are just crazy violent and are never going to stop ... There is nothing wrong with opening a dialog I think one of the biggest problems we have as a nation is this knee jerk reaction that someone is going to take away something when the truth is what we truly need to have is a discussion. Whether one is liberal or conservative surely there is nothing wrong with looking at the problem and talking about it.

      Adam Lanza did this. No one else is responsible, not the NRA - not anyone else but him. But wouldn't it be nice if the biggest anti gun lobby and the NRA could sit down and say "we all think this is terrible. Let's talk ... "

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  23. Deborah Hubbard, South AfricaDecember 19, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Mental health issues should be addressed. So should background checks for all gun owners. So, probably, should the ownership of multiple guns - they attract thieves and you can only fire one at a time anyway if yoru purpose is legitimate.

    I'm not American; but it seems to me that the Second Amendment was actually a cost-saving measure for the government: if citizens were armed and able to use their guns, they could be drafted nice and cheaply into the militia. Perhaps part of the answer might be to make attendance at skills courses, gun-ownership law courses, first aid etc mandatory for everyone who owns or wants to own anything bigger than a handbag-sized pistol? In the original spirit of the constitution? Of course, that can't work without a register of gun owners ... but a car is a lethal weapon and we're all licensed drivers; if we aren't, the law can take swift action. Why shouldn't this work for other lethal weapons too? (In my country we've recently tightened up on the numbers of guns that an individual may own, and the incidence of gun crime has dropped - not enough yet, but it's a start.)

    Because there is the potential in all of us to do dreadful things. This is a long poem, written a few years ago by a girl at the school I attended; it's about the Holocaust, but it's worth reading now as we all try to make sense of the world and our own feelings.


    ZERO
    i see
    grey people in photographs
    grey like old soggy cardboard, smelling of smoke and rust
    and a silver sun in the white dawn sky;
    the tired grey people watch me, and
    i don’t know
    if they would have wanted
    me to look at them sixty-odd years later
    in a museum –
    do you want to be in a museum?
    in the reverent quiet,
    with everyone talking
    so carefully in case they hurt the photographs’ feelings
    do you want that?
    i wonder

    and then i think
    that if I had been in a grey place
    in a cold grey hungry place
    about to become a number
    i wouldn’t want to disappear
    i wouldn’t want to slide away into the empty darkness
    i’d want to be remembered
    be remembered
    and right now
    i just want to be sad about it
    i don’t want to know the numbers ‘cause numbers confuse me
    i don’t have to be jewish to be sad about it
    or gay or gypsy or slavic
    i just have to be human, because
    it’s for everyone to see and know
    see and know and remember
    see know and remember and be sad
    so that maybe
    one day the sadness will stop happening
    so that maybe
    one day no one will ever have to be sad again.
    so anyway i watched the movie about Anne Frank
    and at the end i caught myself thinking
    wistfully: oh no, poor kid – oh wouldn’t it
    be nice if she had lived
    had come back home –
    then i realised
    that i should be thinking that
    6 000 000 times over
    and that’s a lot of zeros.

    Camilla Christie Rustenburg High School for Girls, Grade 11 History

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  24. Laws do not prevent crime; rather they codify that behavior that is acceptable in society and set up parameters for punishment when such laws are broken. Connecticut already has strict gun laws, but these laws did not prevent a tragedy.

    Help for the mentally ill and their families is hard to come by, and the success of treatment is not certain. My ex-husband lost his fight with depression when a new medication sent him into freefall, and his calls to his therapist were not returned. His sadness, rage, fear...whatever drove him...was turned only inward, and he ended just his own life, and only one family was left bereft.

    There is no simple answer to this extremely complex problem. The mother in question had bought her guns legally in a state with strict laws. Should she have allowed those weapons to remain in the home with her disturbed son? I certainly would not, if I were in that position, but that is a question of individual responsibility, not law. Law can't touch the heart or cure the soul, and I think that's what is needed in these horrible, tragic cases.

    (My name is Mary, and I'm posting this as 'anonymous' simply because I don't know what a URL is!)



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  25. Hey Coni,

    There is only one thing I can say, and I hope that it helps, when bad things happen - while still seeing the tragedy - also notice the good. 911 was a horrible experience, but there were a lot of people that stood up and did good and did everything they could to help. Some ran into the building and saved people others donated good ... and it is the same thing here. There are people who are trying to do good things and I think that says more about the world we live in. We should definitely honor the memory of the teachers and the children... and remember that there are so many people doing their best to help --

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