Five decent, caring, dedicated and hard working adults were wiped out in Sandy Hook Elementary School by someone brandishing two 9mm pistols (a Glock and Sig Sauer) and a Bushmaster .223 AR-15 rifle. Tragically, 20 little boys and girls were also killed, either kindergartners or first graders. The school was populated by 5-10 year olds. This is highly personal. My father-in-law was raised in Newtown, where the village of Sandy Hook is located. The current Newtown population is about 26,000. My wife is a teacher. We have 5 children, 3 grandchildren.
Soon, we’ll see the unfeeling face of the million dollar-a-year NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre making excuses for the latest 26 bloody notches on the endless NRA quantity of guns. The overriding post-slaughter image in my mind is of the late NRA President/actor Charleston Heston’s statement, “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”
That statement was treated as one of the great iconic utterings in the history of our gunocracy by residents of NRA nation. Well, the only thing being “pried” from cold, dead hands at this moment is a child’s crayon or drawing of a Christmas tree.
The 20-year-old name that will command the world’s media attention for the next few days is Adam Lanza. A brother said the latest mass murderer Lanza had a history of mental illness, something that might not have affected his ability to purchase firearms. Ironically, his mother Nancy apparently purchased the guns. Adam died by his own hand. His mother taught at the school and was also one of the victims. Adam shot her at a Newtown home before she could even leave for her kindergarten class. He then drove to the school and killed the 20 children and the 5 additional adults. There might be yet another victim in New Jersey.
Sadly, there are those of you who wouldn’t give up any of your basement full of guns and feel nothing when a female representative is shot in the head effectively destroying a promising career. Columbine didn’t bother you in the least. Virginia Tech? Shit happens. The movie theater massacre – so what? The AR-15 spraying of innocent mall shoppers; so??? The 25-30,000 gun fatalities from all causes a year? There have been 81 school shootings since Columbine. There were 100 mass shootings this year. So what? Please don’t let them take my guns!!! WAAAAAH! The reaction to these obscenities is always the same; “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This is a statement that only the most naive and ignorant of goobers could buy into. Then there’s always the “protecting our 2nd amendment rights” argument.
Yeah. The right to kill innocent men, women and now very young children en masse. Nobody is threatening your 2nd Amendment rights. The only rights the NRA is interested in are colored green. Millions upon millions of bucks collected in dues and other sources by the NRA; Millions upon millions more from the sales of guns. Those are the rights that the apologists for our gun obsession want to protect. At the same time our compliant and highly politicized courts don’t even want a single state refusing to march to the gun drummer. A Federal Court of Appeals just overturned an Illinois law that banned concealed carry. Illinois was the last state that dared to entertain such a law in the face of the NRA. No federal law addresses concealed carry.
Elected officials must be feeling mighty proud to have earned their ‘A’s from the NRA questionnaire sent to every candidate at every level; local, state and national, currying the favor of an organization that encourages the purchase of millions of guns. Name Senator’s Charles Schumer and Frank Lautenberg, Representative Carolyn McCarthy (whose husband was killed in a mass subway shooting) and New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg and you’ve pretty much covered those with the courage to talk out loud on the subject.
Apologists making excuses for the latest mass murders will call the event an anomaly; just an inevitable deviation from the norm. How can it be a deviation from the norm, when the norm is the daily occurrence of great numbers of people, young and old, both genders and all races being killed by guns?
Those who will make excuses for the latest mass murder will call the event an anomaly; just an inevitable deviation from the norm. How can it be a deviation from the norm, when the norm is the everyday occurrence of great numbers of people, young and old of all races by guns? “But there are other methods of killing people.” Sure, but the percentages of living through these ‘other methods’ are certainly much higher than if the victim had been shot. I’ll give you 2 examples from China, eerily similar to the Sandy Hook Elementary killings. Not too many hours ago, a Chinese man attacked 22 children and an elderly adult with a knife in front of a primary school. All survived. Another incident in China in May of 2010 occurred in a kindergarten class in Jiangus Province. Xu Yuyuan, knifed 29 children and 3 adults. They all lived. A subsequent death sentence was carried out the same month of the attack.
It’s also noteworthy that only one person who was shot at Sandy Hook, survived.
Is this horror even remotely enough to convince the NRA-types to pull back on their obsession with guns? Not on your life (or even death). The NRA is too deeply entrenched politically and propaganda-wise. They and their followers can fund any campaign to take out a gun control candidate. The carpet of U.S. gunshot victims of all ages is as American as apple pie and is a permanent fixture on the civic landscape.
Here’s the drill. Days 1-2; a torrent of tears and media and political hand wringing; Days 3-4, sadly compelling scenes of packed churches. Days 5-6; political promises to “do something.” Day 7 to the date of the next massacre; nothing done anywhere.
I will give the Superintendent of my South Carolina School District credit for Robocalls to all district parents assuring them that the district has programs in place to protect their children from incidents such as the one that occurred in Sandy Hook. While I praise the effort, it’s beyond disgusting that there should even be a need for such a call in a civilized country.
When my oldest son was 6, his friend Tony, also 6, drowned. To this day, remembering little Tony in his white suit in a tiny white casket fills my eyes with tears. There will be 20 little Tony’s in Newtown white caskets scant days before Christmas, 2012.