Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stream of Consciousness on Newtown

By Dave White

I can’t process this.

So many things have happened this year:  Becoming a father, buying a house, going back to grad school.  There’s a ton for me to be happy about as 2012 comes to a close, but this Sandy Hook shooting—something that happened more than 90 minutes from my home is slowing me up.

Usually, at the end of the year, I like to take stock of how I did.  Last year: WITNESS TO DEATH was selling well, my wife was pregnant, and I had successfully taken on a new position at work.  Stock?  Life was good.  This year should be the same, I’m continuing to move forward in life.
But Sandy Hook put a halt to all that.

I’m stuck in the muck, and I have to wonder if everyone else feels the same way. Because this is something that shouldn’t be ALL ABOUT ME.  Or about me at all. But I can’t help looking at Ben and wondering if he’s going to grow up safe.  I can’t help wondering what we, as a nation, are doing.

Tragedies happen.  We’re not going stop them all.

But shouldn’t we try?

When something like this occurs, people want to move on, get past it.  But how quickly?  Do we want to move past this yet?  I can’t put on the news.  This is all that’s in my head. Rolling over it and over it and over it.

Kids being told to close their eyes before they evacuate.

Life goes on.  It always does.  But shouldn’t the pace at which it goes on slow down this time?  We need to think about this.  Process it.

I’m sorry for post this here.  I’m sorry for posting this anywhere.  I’m rambling and I know it.  But I needed to get this down on paper and put it out there.  It’s not right to take stock of the year without taking stock of everything.  And Sandy Hook affected me.

I think it affected all of us.  And I’m not sure where we stand yet.

This is how everyone is feeling, right?


Dana King said...

More than anything, I'm pissed off. After the Supreme Court ruling, I was redy to move on. As recently as last week, after the Oregon shootings, I told my wife this country had clearly accepted these events as part of the cost of doing business as America.

Now I feel somehow culpable in what happened in Newtown, if only for my indifference. I will never again be silent, or walk away from a gun control argument. I am not a gun abolitionist by any means. I grew up around guns and understand their legitimate purposes. But we have to get them under control before we alow them to control us.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I hate guns. Plain and simple. They are a main vessel by which pain, heartache, and immeasurable suffering are brought to the world. I hope--at least--war-ready guns will become illegal. If this isn't the tipping point, what is? And, if this isn't the tipping point, what does that say about us as a nation?

Anonymous said...

Events such as those that happened in Newtown or in China [22 kids stabbed on the way to school, also on Friday] cause all of us to pause and reflect. We sympathize with the children left alive, the families and a community forever haunted by this horrible action. Where do the rest of us stand?

Some sat on couches glued to CNN while others just sat, completely lost. It was as if someone had stolen the American voice. You raise valid concerns: how quickly should we move past this? Should we slow down?

You also ask rhetorically that this is how everyone is feeling. An honest truth is that I don't think we know how to feel. Politicians, Anti-Gun Advocates, et cetera will want to seek more government control to handle things like this. Ushering in a seemingly emotionless police state. Others will want an outright ban on assault weapons of any type; neglecting the idea that criminals will still have firearms and the government has been pretty helpless when it comes to protecting the citizens thereof.

We should slow down. We should act like parents. We have this notion in society that we love our kids but rarely spend time with them. Their nurishment on how to be fully functioning productive adults is fostered by Spongebob or the Sopranos. Is television to blame though? No. Not completely. Environment certainly plays a part but we can't lay blame at the feet of someone or something else while ignoring our own responsibilities.

Something I've always found interesting that causes me to think is "The Paradox of Our Time" by Dr. Bob Moorehead. You can find it here:

pattinase (abbott) said...

And then there is always a post like the one above mine which makes me despair. This is written to turn the blame on anyone but people who love guns and think they need them to overthrow the government. It pretends to spread the blame, but it really just wants to keep guns in hands like his. I bet he has posted remarks like this one all over the Internet.

Dana King said...

I agree with Patti. The whole point of gun control is not the abolition of guns; it is to make it harder for the wrong people to get them. Right now people who should never be near a gun are tripping over them. That has to stop.

Anonymous said...

I feel it necessary to clarify some of the things which were said in my comments as it appears they may have been misunderstood. First and foremost is that I have not posted “all over the internet” comments like this. I’ve been pretty reserved on this subject. This also wasn’t to point blame at everyone other than the disturbed individual who perpetrated this evil act. I don’t even own a gun myself. I also don’t agree with those who may think it appropriate to “overthrow” the government. There’s a vast difference between defending yourself against improper regimes and trying to stockpile weapons because you think your government is out get you.
I’ve also lived in a town with not 1 but 2 mass killings. I remember when I was in middle school the helicopters flying overhead to a restaurant where a man drove his pickup into a Luby’s and killed more than 20 people. Many years later a man named Nidal Hasan would open fire and murder several soldiers. Between those two events, an hour away, the government had a standoff with the Branch Davidians and David Koresh killing several, while others committed suicide. So, mass killings have been a part of my life for a while…unfortunately.
I didn’t intend for my prior post to come across as though I advocated blaming everyone except the gunman. What I was attempting to convey was the fact that we sit back and wonder “why oh why did this happen?” We do this thinking that everything [e.g. environment, entertainment, et cetera] have no place; that parents, not all but certainly a good number, choose to not be involved in the lives of their children and that they leave their children alone because they would rather be friends than parents. Do I blame the mother of Lanza – not entirely I don’t. We, as outsiders, don’t know all of the intricacies this family entertained so there’s no way to tell what was going on with much accuracy.
This isn’t just about gun control, which I understand does not mean the abolition of guns, it’s about education. It’s about the public taking a moral stand against dead-beat dads and lack of parental interest. It’s about schools reaching out to parents more so there is a communication that is sorely needed. It’s about parents taking a personal interest in their children, in the life they created. So, to close, I don’t believe in an overthrow of the government. I don’t believe in the abolishing of guns in the hands of private citizens. I don’t believe there is ever a reason for some idiot to take out his anger/rage on innocent people. I do believe in education; both of guns and the constitutional right to own them. I do believe that parents should take more control of their kids. I do believe parents should shut off the television and talk to their kids, especially about the right way to handle emotions. I do hope that this clears up my prior post. Thanks for your comments though, I did take them to heart.