Tuesday, December 18, 2012
This is the time of year to celebrate family, to give of ourselves to those less fortunate, and to focus on the good in all of us. Yet in Connecticut Friday, a young man shocked the nation with a brazen act of violence. Kindergartners died, teachers and administrators died, a mother died, and heroes were born. Anger and confusion raged. We cried together, we grieved, we were angered, frustrated, terrified… Questions emerged. And we started a conversation about guns. What need do we have for automatic weapons other than in warfare? None. What benefit is there to keeping them legal for the average American to buy them? Very little. Why do we need any guns other than handguns and hunting rifles? We really don’t. Sure, there will be arguments for what the police need, other recreational weapons, but essentially, handguns and hunting rifles are the only weapons that serve a purpose. The problem is, criminals will always find a way to own tools of violence. But the saying is true…guns don’t kill people; people kill people. And in this case with Newtown, Connecticut, the crux of the problem has little to do with guns. It has everything to do with mental health. That’s the discussion we need to be having right now. Regardless of what the young man I purposely do not name here had available to him, he could’ve gotten weapons anywhere. Perhaps he wouldn’t have, but the truth is, he was a ticking bomb. An article by Liza Long addresses what issues should be being discussed right now. If you want a glimpse into the true issue, if you’re ready to start talking about the problem that really plagues this nation, Read “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” It will give you a pause, but it will also open the door to understanding the shift in today’s youth. Having just read Jodi Picoult’s House Rules, I have begun to understand that though a mother’s love cannot be dissuaded, sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes there is no warning. Sometimes there are no cures. Sometimes the answers are just as hard as the questions.