Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time To Face Our Demons

Family members grieve upon getting detailss about last week's
massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut
This week we lived the horror, once again, of gun violence vented toward innocents in one of the most unlikely places. Folks, it's time for a change. 

Our country has suffered once again, at the hands of another gun-wielding madman who vented his frustrations, empowered by mental or emotional illness, by visiting horrible atrocities on scores of innocents by slaughtering 20 kindergarten children and eight (8) adults – which included the shooter's mother – before ending his own life. 

The massacre of more than two dozen innocent took place in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown Connecticut, a well-to-do sleepy suburb, and for all intents and purposes, a 'safe' east coast burg in New England. 

Adam Lanza is the deeply disturbed and troubled young man who is guilty of killing a host of young people and teachers who were the epitome of innocence. The horror is not just the fact that Lanza killed these people, but that he did so with such irreverence and disregard for life. 

High Calibre Aggression
A .223 Bushmaster Assault Rifle:
The same weapon used in the Sandy Hook Massacre

Lanza used a .223 Bushmaster high-powered assault rifle, a weapon capable of firing six-rounds per second. The body count tells a huge part of the story. This is a military grade weapon used in combat when nations or factions are at war. I am all for the right to bear arms. I believe a defended populace is a safe one. But we also face bitter reality.

High-powered assault rifles don't belong in the hands of the common citizen. Period. This gun is NOT used for defense, hunting or sport. The popular conservative position is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Perhaps, but extra credit for missing the point. 

Certainly, if Lanza wanted to kill with a knife or a home made bomb or a small handgun, he would have done harm. But the rate and the ferocity at which these CHILDREN were killed is staggering. 

And it's NOT an isolated incident.

TIme For Change

President Obama once again consoles a grieving nation
We all know this isn't a lone incident. The massacres at Columbine high school, the theater shooting at Aurora Colorado, the shopping mall in Portland Oregon and the slaughtering of students at Virginia Tech along with a host of others tells us we need to change our culture. We can't just beat up the guns. Its the whole picture; bullying in schools, mental healthcare practices, identifying the warning signs of psychosis, civil defense protocols, gun legislation, social awareness and easy access to high-powered weapons just to get off the launching pad.

In our black and white, right or wrong, no-compromise society we look at absolutes. There aren't any. Until we wake up to THAT fact our loved ones, co-workers, our children and ourselves–are all in deadly danger. Other democratic and free societies have shown us the way; England, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, even China have a sliver of death toll we suffer domestically.  

More than 12,000 Americans (some say a much higher number!) died in 2012 at the wrong end of a gun. There is evil and mental illness rampant enough in our world – we don't need to feed it with access to weapons meant for war. 

How many babies have to die before we take responsibility for this issue and help us wake from this nightmare? 

What We Know

Adam Lanza wasn't hunting wild deer last week. But please, let the families of the slain teachers and kindergarten kids know that their loved ones died horribly because "people kill people," not guns. That's just crap. 

Even the NRA admit it's time things changed. 

Remembering lives taken for NO GOOD REASON
The answers aren't easy but they are simple. But only if we want to act like adults and answer some brutally honest questions. A gun didn't kill these children and their teachers. In truth, Adam Lanza didn't kill them. It was Adam Lanza, a mentally unstable man with a .223 Bushmaster–with with enough rage to have killed ten times as many innocent people empowered by a culture of violence and DNA-routed ignorance and resistance to change. 

Twenty babies and seven innocent women–as well as Lanza himself–lie dead in the ground because we have no system of checks and balances for the mentally ill, dealing with psychological turmoil, a culture that applauds violence. 

They all lived in a nation loves guns more than life itself–and paid the ultimate price. 

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