A very sad time for all of us

One subject, one news story above all others demands our attention now; the children and teachers who died in Connecticut.  It is more important than any other subject or event today, but for me it defies words.  There can be no explanations, no wisdom and no insight for me in the details of the shooter’s life, nor in the ensuing political debate over guns and mental health.    President Obama said it best when he cried – that is all there is to say or do – we must simply cry.  We must cry for the children and others who died, we must cry for all children who are not safe even at school and we must cry for ourselves and our loss of our innocence.  The killing in Connecticut was not a tipping point.  However, it was just a reminder that no place in our country, not a school, a shopping mall or a movie theater is secure or safe.

I know there is a difference between the bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East and Africa and the shootings in this country this year – but I cannot articulate the difference.  All I know is that is a very, very sad time for all of us regardless of where we live or what we believe.  As Ryan said when he heard the news, I just wanted to rush to school to hug Lily and cry with joy that she – and all of the children in the country, indeed in the world – is safe.   But I am helpless in protecting any of those children tomorrow.


5 Responses to “A very sad time for all of us”

  1. 1 rexdstock1 December 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

    The NRA (seriously) needs to be recognized as a terrorist organization. I’ve said it before: they care nothing about what they claim is their charter–gun safety–but, rather, how many bullets and guns Glock, Smith & Wesson, etc they can get into the marketplace.

    Ever seen a .223? I shot one once with a clip that held 40 rounds. It was incredible the damage I did to several targets in one short clip. And, though my vision ain’t what it used to be, I was once considered an expert marksman (truly–my grandfather, the CCC General and college professor from Kansas)…

    The only common denominator in all these cases is: a gun.

    I was thinking about a cartoon that showed people all bandaged up–one guy is dead in a coffin, being propped up so he can “see”–sitting behind a one-way glass at a police line up, and the cop saying, “Okay, take your time… Do you recognize the attacker?”. On the other side of the glass are a bunch of guns, holding numbers, all “perps” in a perpetual dance of organized crime and violence.


  2. 2 lynne rosner December 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    As an aside, Newtown is the same town that provided the first legal ruling for conviction of murder without a body in the state of Connecticut (see Helle Craft circa 1986) that also provided the Coen Brothers with the ambition to write, direct and produce the epic thriller “Fargo”.
    I know a few women who have dissolved marriages with protracted divorce decrees. Not one of them carried permits for assault weapons to afford them safety in their home but one of the husbands did hold concealed weapon permits which lent much more “drama and criticism” over the time of settlement on the part of the family. As if we needed to add that to the mix of emotion.
    So,, I was very angry to hear this news, too angry to cry. The only time I cried so far was to hear Emily’s father’s eulogy for his child when he spoke well of her ambition to try so many things in her life, but not her food. I have a soft spot in my mind for finicky eaters when they are little. But when they grow into adulthood they need to get off my plate then. I have to go cook my turnips now and eat them alone,, yum.

  3. 3 Ken Adams December 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Everyone has a little bit to add to the picture, the divorce, the mother’s gun passion, the propensity of violence in the media, the copy-cat effect, the commonality of age, gender and history of video gaming, the “mental” issues, “did you know he was turned down when he tried to buy a gun?” We are all filtering the tragedy through our biases and seeing solutions in our existing belief system. Yes, the all had assault weapons, but yes they are all young men too, they were troubled, they played violent video games – but the most common denominator for me is the thought process – the killers all seem to think killing lots of people is somehow revenge for injustice and a justification of their lives. I can think of no solution that solves that problem.

  4. 4 bill hanigan December 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Maybe there is an opportunity for Obama to bypass the politics and deal directly with the NRA to seek a solution to controlling the type of weapon that is used in these shootings. In Australia the Port Arthur massacre prompted John Howard, PM to legislate very strong gun laws and a buyback of 750,000 guns. It wasn’t popular and he had a fight with his coalition partner to push the process through. The results have been a significant drop in gun homicides and suicides. But Australia never had the gun culture nor the “right to bear arms” that you have in the US. All you can realistically do is to try to limit the access to “military” type weapons and that is where a dialogue with the NRA might just succeed. I cannot believe that the NRA is devoid of empathy here.

  5. 5 Ken Adams December 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Asperger syndrome – from Wikipedia

    Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.[1][2]

    The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.[3] The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981[4] and went through a period of popularization,[5][6] becoming standardized as a diagnosis in the early 1990s. Many questions remain about aspects of the disorder.[7] There is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA);[8] partly because of this, its prevalence is not firmly established,[1] and it has been proposed that the diagnosis of Asperger’s be eliminated, to be replaced by a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder on a severity scale.[9]

    The exact cause is unknown. Although research suggests the likelihood of a genetic basis,[1] there is no known genetic etiology[10][11] and brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology.[1] There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data.[1] Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness.[12] Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist.[7] Some researchers and people with Asperger’s have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.[13][14]

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