Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Day After

Yesterday was a sucky day and not just because my kitty Mary decided moments after I put my good heavy winter quilt on the bed and changed the bed linens to puke right on it all. I spent the day like many others, glued to the media coverage of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  Such young children!

Really, something so horrifying to the imagination that you just cannot wrap your mind around it. Most of the mass shootings have occurred at high schools and the occasional college. Not that any school being the target is ever right but you just do not picture an elementary school filled with kindergarteners and first graders to be the prime target in a shooting. Moody teens, yes, drama galore without adding in weapons.

Knowing that twenty two children in China were stabbed by an assailant for no known reason yesterday leads me to wonder what's going on in our society that people crack and attack randomly. Why? Is the stress and pressure too much for some?

At least those twenty two are going to live according to the news reports I saw this morning. The same cannot be said of the twenty kids that were shot yesterday. They are laying in a morgue.

As a mother my heart goes out to the families affected and as a mother I have to ask why the assault rifle ban was allowed to lapse? No one not military has any reason to possess one.

I know what you're thinking, that I'm just another clueless liberal spouting crap about gun control. Nope, I've always been for gun control, after living in Europe for some years, where handguns are banned but you can still own a hunting rifle. Death by gun is very rare in Europe compared especially to here. I don't want to take guns away from everyone, just assault weapons and handguns.

Keep hearing people harping on the Second Amendment. I cannot imagine that the founding fathers had in mind for citizens to own such powerful weapons. The way it reads I can well see that they were thinking that everyone that wants to own a hunting rifle can,,, just not this mess. I don't think ICM missles and flame throwers were quite what they had in mind.

It could escalate like it did in this very funny movie starring the Wayans Brothers..

But to be serious again, where does it stop? What weapons are enough?

Yesterday I had another in a series of disturbing phone calls with a close relative in which she said this shooting was all the fault of the liberals for not allowing teachers to carry guns in the school. I didn't bother arguing with her and pointing out that the guns that had killed the teachers and children had come from the home of a teacher. Adding more guns to the equation is not going to solve anything, merely leave a trail of bodies, even more bodies.

As tragic and horrible as the shooting is I think it's time in this country that we open a dialogue about violence and how to keep dangerous assault weapons out of the hands of those with no real use for them. Keeping those things in your home is just a recipe for disaster.

My uncle was a big NRA supporter and used to mock most of us in the family for not having guns around. Oh, how he bragged at every family gathering how his kids had been trained to shoot, how the guns were always locked up and how they were as safe as can be at his house because any intruder would have his ass riddled with bullets.

You know what happened next? Cousin #1 took one of Daddy's high powered semi automatic guns out of the supposedly locked gun cabinet, put it to the back of Cousin #2's head and blew his head off. This happened one January afternoon in that roughly 90 minute time span between arriving back home from middle school and the parents coming home from work. The most dangerous time of the day for kids alone.

The locked gun cabinet didn't stop what happened. The lock on the gun didn't stop it either. Even with so-called safety protections we still ended up burying my middle school aged cousin after his brother killed him with a gun that was supposedly out of his reach. Where there's a will, there's a way for a kid to get around the safety features.

Cousin #1 didn't just ruin his brother's life, he ruined his own. Since the shooting when he was 12 he's struggled with alcohol, drugs and mental health issues. He's been in and out of facilities and every attempt he makes to lead a 'normal' life has failed him.  Plus his parents and other siblings have never been the same. That one action of his has taken down the lives of just about his entire family circle.

Kids and guns never mix.

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