Education

Despair, Frustration, Fear, Anger, Grief–Sandy Hook School

We have spent much of the day pondering the horror of Sandy Hook Elementary School In Connecticut where twenty children and eight adults were shot to death today.

The one thing that comes into sharp perspective immediately is the insignificance of most things in our lives when confronted with the knowledge that at least 28 sets of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and friends will have a huge void in their hearts. For some of them the nonsense of the Mayan calendar myth and the end of the world will seem factual. Obamacare, legislative committee assignments, and city council resolutions are of no consequence.

Already GOOGLE MAPS has a debate raging over gun control. Crazy, angry youth brought up on violent video games bring untold sadness to a nation. The GUARDIAN thinks the on-line and computer “shooting games”
like CALL OF DUTY can be a contributing factor for certain behavior.
Pyscho docs on the cable networks are jabbering about “tipping the scale and triggers,” causing the deadly behavior.

A TV news talking N.Y. copper opined that a good security staff at the school could have, “sent the shooter to meet his maker and the kids to milk and cookies.”

There will no doubt be rounds of “evaluating security procedures” in schools and counseling sessions for those afraid to attend classes. The far right will advocate guns for teachers and principals. The far left will seek to ban firearms. There is no answer.

Until we can understand why people dressed in black open fire at Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Aurora movie theater, the Portland mall, or Sandy Hook school the innocents will continue to die. If only we could program these troubled souls to shoot themselves first…

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 14, 2012, 5:08 pm

    All of what you say is correct and you are correct in what you predict will be said.

    The problem is that there isn’t much that can actually be done.

  2. What a sad day for our nation!

  3. It makes everything else seem petty. I cannot believe we continue to argue, fight, and blame when so much is lost for no reason.

  4. EVIL

    Militaries use video simulation to teach/train troops for killing because it works so well. I know lots of parents who hate guns but buy these nasty games for the kids. And look at all the most popular TV shows and movies. Our culture seems to have a fascination with criminality, cruelty, and killing.

    Theory: How many of the wackos involved in these events had a long history of being a wacko? How many are from a very messed up childhood / product of our super independent divorce culture and generally crappy parents? How many have a mental diagnosis lending itself to violent behavior? The MO seems to be fairly similar in these events.

    In the next few days several people will come forward and talk about how they are not surprised and wish they had acted. Some will say this because they like to be on TV. Some will mean it however, and wish they would have done something.

    There are lots of people with significant problems leading normal, harmless, lawful lives. I think the extra element involved in these cases is evil. Somehow somewhere along the path of their more difficult life they turned to Evil. Wacko + Evil = Danger.

    Anti-gun: I think this will be turned into an anti-gun thing. The worst one of these ever was by a school board member with explosives. If there is a will there is a way. So I hope they focus on an early detection method which does not involve scapegoating and politics.

  5. Grant in Nampa
    Dec 15, 2012, 10:35 am

    I was brought up in the 50’s. I cannot remember ever hearing of this type event. We all had guns where I was raised so I don’t believe that guns are at the root of this growing problem. So what has changed in society between the 50’s and today that effects these terrible tragedies?
    1. Loss of religion and its guiding principals
    2. Liberal inclined school systems
    3. Divisions of the population created by political aims
    4. Devaluation of life created by Hollywood and video
    Games
    5. Movement away from the traditional family unit of
    mother, father, and children

  6. You say,
    “There is no answer.”

    Sorry but there IS one: stop sucking up to the NRA and ban public sales of military-type assault weapons and repeating guns.

    If those are inaccessible, ordinary people will have a much easier time defending themselves with the guns they already have.

    I agree that proper school security in these times has to be paid for.

    EDITOR NOTE–Gotta disagree on this one. Guns last forever with little or no maintenance. Guns from the Pilgrims are still around today and they can fire. You can stop the sale of ALL new guns of any type and the world will still have enough guns to kill everyone on the continent several times over. Check out CALL OF DUTY on the internet. We will be writing more on that later.

  7. I think a key element missing in the discussion is that these children and teachers were defenseless and once security had been breeched the only way to survive was to run. The police can’t be everywhere and even tho they train in quick response a lot of damage can be done in a very short time. Adequate firepower in the hands of teachers or other employees with special training might be a partial answer but nothing will stop all of it. Once the fox has gotten into the chicken coop the farmer with a shotgun is to far away.

  8. I’d just add that some of the recent serial murderers did not own guns of their own–they got them either from dealers, or as in the CT instance, from the killer’s mother who apparently did not lock up her weapons.
    At least assault weapons and repeating guns should have tighter registration and checks on buyers. In some states they don’t have either.

  9. Unfortunately, gun control is going to be the topic of discussion.
    Our government likes to focus on the method and material rather than the core issue, the human soul. Whether it is gun control or the war on drugs or the war on terror we refuse to focus on why. Why do people become drug addicts, why do people committ acts of terrorismn, why do people kill randomly?
    Once a person has decided to kill, for whatever reason, they will choose and use the most effective tool(weapon) available to them, be it an assault rifle, pistol, knives or bombs, they will acquire it, build it and use it. We need to focus on the person. Why are we as parents, families, schools and communities raising people that feel these acts are necessary and acceptable. The government cannot solve it, they can help, but ultimately it is up to each of us to open our eyes and help the ones that need help.

  10. I personally do not believe gun control is the answer.

    However, gun owners, need to accept resonsibility for that ownership. If one of their guns is stolen and used in a crime, they need to be held to certain amount of liability for not securing those firearms.

    The pistols used yesterday were properly owned by the shooters mother. From what I read, he had a history of mental problems. She should not have had them or they should have been secured so he could not access them, ever.

    In Portland, the shooter stole the assault rifle from a friend. The rifle should have been secured, in a safe, with a trigger lock or in some other fashion.

    Gun control will not solve the issue and will tear this country apart and cost billions and billions of dollars, ultimately accomplishing nothing.

  11. I completely agree with Grant. It is our society that has eroded away on us. Guns like these have and will be around forever. If you take a semi automatic gun away he will just use a handgun. It is interesting how common it is to see someone killed on tv, movies, and video games. I have nieces, nephews, and even my own children that don’t think twice about seeing these things on tv. We have been so desensitized. We have also not placed enough value on family. If you look at most of these kids that do these things, there is a break down in the family somewhere. It is unpopular to have values these days. That is the breakdown, not guns.

  12. Video games as the culprit? Seriously? Every time I see this,I see it from a person that doesn’t understand them.

    Every time I see people come out for gun control, I see it from a person that doesn’t understand them.

    Video games are not evil. Guns are a tool, and far, FAR less deadly than cars… or tobacco, over all.

    But, because we don’t understand them, lets attack games and guns. Always a winning combo. Try playing games. Try going out and shooting. In either case, you may end up with a fun hobby. IF you do play Call of Duty, play with friends and turn off the chat. There ARE a lot of stupid people out there… but if games + absolute stupidity = shootings… then we would have multiples a day.

    Another thing we used to have, was institutions that housed those that were not mentally able to function properly in society. Society was protected from these monsters, before they could snap. Lets watch those that are mentally unstable. (Which, I would suspect are a very, very minute number).

  13. Last week we went to see “Skyfall” the new James Bond film. I am a gun owner, hunter, veteran and not squeamish, but I was totally turned off by the gratuitous gun violence in this film.

    If Obama wants to truly take meaningful action he should take to the bully pulpit and condemn the culture of violence in Hollywood and video games.

  14. To rifter, it is not so much video games, but the acceptance and expectation of violence to entertain, the more violent and gruesome the better. We have become desensitized.

  15. Karen Ragland
    Dec 16, 2012, 2:06 pm

    i read the comments on this article and damn those pesky guns that just get up an make some of us shoot other folks.
    I was raised around guns and when I became an adult never thought about harming others. I would rather use the written law to make my point. Leave the guns alone and focus on our society as a whole. From the medical, school, amd family aspects. As government seeks to furthur manage the above mentioned the more shootings from frustration and other causes we will have. I believe there will be just knee jerk reactions so God help us.

  16. Thank you to the first responders and school administrators who risked their lives to protect others in this terrible tragedy.

    KTA-violent crime survivor at age 9

  17. Rifter we do have multiples a day

  18. Bob Neugebauer
    Dec 17, 2012, 10:28 am

    Dave:
    You are right on with your comments this morning.Every time a mass killing of this type takes place the political cockroaches come out of the woodwork calling for gun control. Please let me know why there is not an outcry for violent media control. Could it be that the same people that put out this violent media are the ones contributing to the campaigns of those politicians. Four decades ago the Surgeon General issued warnings after looking at hundreds of studies that have shown a link between violent media exposure and aggression. The correlation between interactive violent video games and aggression have been proven in studies to be even more substantial. We have become so disengaged from what used to be the “Family Unit”. This used to be our strength here in America. We as parents and grandparents have lost sight of the fact that this is where the real problems are solved. Spending time with your children at the dinner table or helping them with homework and understanding what their problems are is the only way we can return to some normalcy. If we don’t spend time with our children how if heavens name are we going to know if they have problems and help to fix them. We are all way to busy these days worried about how to make a living or what I Pod we are going to buy next. We need to get back to basics. Our problem is not a gun problem it is a people problem.

  19. Found some statistics/news which indicate 1929 was our most violent year.

  20. I see the scapegoating of lawful gun owners has begun.

  21. Gun in the cockpit and randomly throughout the passenger compartment seems to be a good deterent.

    Schools are obviously soft targets. If teachers who wanted to had appropriate police training to carry a close-range weapon, the wackos would shift to other soft targets. This would be a possible near-term fix.

    Uncovering the wacko without destroying the very fabric of our country is the longer-term challenge.

  22. Gun control is not the answer. Plain and simple. Restricting firearms would no more have prevented this horror then it would have at Fort Hood. Think about it… When was the last time you saw something like this happen on a hardened target. These wackjobs will always prey on the week and defenseless. We as people cannot fix crazy and we’re unwilling to exile Evil.

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