Wednesday, December 19, 2012


There are no words.  And yet here I sit trying to come up with some.  The heartsickness, pain, anger, and utter disgust I have felt cannot be described, for they have never been felt before, not to this degree.  Wordsmiths surely never thought they'd have to come up with words for something such as this.

Every child I see reminds me of these twenty.  These who will never see their hopes realized, who never even got to dream their dreams, much less set out to chase them.

I find myself staring at their pictures and sobbing, apologizing that we failed them horribly.  Because that is how I feel.  I agree with the President.  We let those precious children down.  And it must not happen again.  Not without us doing everything within our power to prevent it.

Some will say you can never stop that kind of violence.  And while that is true, does that mean we simply accept it and do nothing?  And why does it keep happening so much more frequently here?

Have you seen the statistics?  America, by far, has the highest number of gun-related deaths per capita among developed nations -- 36 TIMES MORE than Australia, France, England, and Israel.

How does one reconcile that?  Surely reasonable people can agree it's not simply some bizarre coincidence.  And yet even as I type that I know that for many the answer will only be to buy more guns.  It never ends.

Somewhere along the way we have gone horribly off track.  We have cultivated such a culture of guns and violence.  And I never thought I'd be the one saying this -- heaven knows I've watched more than my share of Forensic Files, NCIS, and Law & Order -- but you can't discount the effect of the violent nature of so many movies, TV shows, and video games.

Are you gonna tell me this kid sat and came up with this plan having watched nothing but sports and I Love Lucy reruns on TV?

And now reality shows basically glorify these people who are "prepping" for some sort of doomsday by stockpiling all kinds of guns.  I hope to God the people on these shows are the very fanatical fringe of our society, but I'm not so sure anymore. 

Why on Earth does a United States civilian need a machine gun?  It's a rhetorical question.  Nothing anyone could ever say will convince me they do.  To protect against your government attacking you?  I've got news for you, if the government sets its mind to attack you, no amount of firearms you can amass is going to protect you (see Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc.).

And I know the mental health aspect of it is a part of the problem, too. The lack of funding.  My friend, Pia, has complained (rightly) about this for years.  We had a large mental health facility near here which closed its doors several years ago, and it sure wasn't for lack of patients.  What happened to those people?  I believe addressing this must be a part of the solution, as well. 

We are so obsessed with what is going on in the four corners of the world, yet we can't protect our own innocent, precious, dependent-on-us-for-everything children. 

Meanwhile, there have been 86 deadly school shootings in the United States in the past twenty years.  Did that number stagger you?  Because it sure did me.  It's gotten to the point where if only 2 or 3 people die in them, I feel like they barely register anymore on a national scale.

Do we just accept that this is the status quo now?  That this is how things are going to be and we can't do anything about it?  Is this just the price of freedom?

You can answer for yourself.  For me, the answer is no.  A million times, no.  It's not a political issue to me.  It's a moral issue.  A matter of life and death.

As long as this world lasts, there will always be evil in it.  No law or restriction or increased security or amount of mental health funding will completely put an end to it.  Maybe we won't make all the right decisions.  Maybe we'll go too far at first.  But if taking certain measures can reduce the number of these tragedies -- by half, or more, or any at all -- aren't we obligated to at least try?

All of this is coming from me --  a self-admitted poster child for apathy, not wanting to discuss politics, and not feeling like anything I could do would matter anyway.  Me, who just wrote not that long ago on this very blog about why must we bring up politics and issues so quickly after a tragedy, why can't we just mourn.

Well I was wrong.

Change must happen now, while the images of these slaughtered little ones are piercing our hearts and fresh in our minds.

"Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching and turn on I Love Lucy reruns?"


  1. I hope that pain can turn into passion for change-- I think something has to change here.

  2. Wow Bone this is one of your very very best

    It felt as if one moment the world was normal/crazy and then the next moment.....

    There is no good from this tragedy and I hate it when people try to put meaning into one. But I so hope--well honestly I want the 2nd Amendment overturned but I know that won't happen so I will settle for banning assault guns and keeping all guns away--far away from people who might misuse them. The problem is there are no indicators; no scales or profiles that can predict with any degree of success who will kill
    Only 4% of violent crimes are committed by the mentally ill. That leaves 96% who probably wouldn't be ferreted out. So yes I want better mental healths but not because it stops death (usually)

  3. This is a brilliant post. That is all.

  4. Poor parenting
    poor mental health care
    over exposure to violence real and fake so that we are numb to it
    and access to weapons designed to hunt humans (modified military weapons are not required for hunting game and seriously take the sport out of might as well just farm them and buy them at the supermarket.)

    sorry for the soapbox

  5. Although I think we should ban assault rifles and large clip magazines like we did back before 2004, I don't think that will solve the problem of school shootings. Something of our nature is affecting this and I'm not sure how to fix that. I wish it were a simple fix.

  6. Yes, yes, and yes. Yes to Pia, too.

    It's all so beyond nuts that I don't quite know how to pedal backwards just to get a return glimpse of Nuts.

    I do know that I needed more ways to frame this conversation, and this article helped:

  7. You expressed it so well...I don't have any other words to add because it's so hard to find the words in this situation. Sending you good thoughts, Bone.

  8. Good writing, Bone. Thanks. It is such a tragedy, but to have happened 86 times and people still demand more and more guns. Crazy! Although I own a few guns, I have never owned a pistol or an assault weapon-and don't plan on on buying any.

  9. I cannot see those pictures anymore. I turn the channel. And I realize how blessed I am to be able to escape the tragedy that others cannot.

    I believe we should have the right to own a gun. But I also believe there is a huge difference in "rifle" and "machine gun". No one needs one of those.

  10. There are/were no words or thoughts that could actually express anything, so I never addressed it, but this was prefect dear Bone.

    It's difficult to understand mental illness, but it is fairly clear that everyone does not need the right to own weapons that can kill 20 people in a second.