Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Hearts Are Broken

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The news today has been tragic.   A troubled young man walked into an elementary school in a small Connecticut town, apparently heavily armed and wearing body armor, and killed, and killed, and killed.  Twenty youngsters between the ages of five and ten years old were savagely murdered, along with six adults.  The gunman apparently killed one person in a private home, and he himself lost his life in the school massacre.  Twenty-eight total dead, and most were children.

It is so sad, and it is so outrageous.  Here is a bit of what our President had to say as he fought back tears:

"So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost.  Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain."
This was the seventh mass shooting in the United States this year.  Will the madness ever end?

The gun rights' groups will be respectfully silent for a few days, but soon they will be on the rant about the sanctity of guns and the Second Amendment.  They will argue for the need of more people being armed so that they can rise up and take down crazy shooters.  And the shooters are crazy - and the salivating gun advocates are also crazy.  And our politicians will cower down and do nothing to control gun sales or usage - and any who do have the courage to question why hunters and sportsmen need automatic weapons with huge ammo clips will summarily be labeled un-American and face the wrath and the political opposition (and the cash) of the National Rifle Association.

We have groups stockpiling guns for private militias.   We have groups buying guns in large numbers for resale to the Mexican drug cartels.  We have people with known mental issues walking into gun shows and gun stores and buying weapons with relative ease.   We have people buying guns for felons.    We have people buying guns who are clueless as to how to use them.

Our President says it is time to take some responsible action on guns - regardless of politics.  And he is so right.   It is time to renew the ban on assault weapons.  It is time to close the gun show loophole.  It is time to limit the size of ammunition clips.  It is time to limit the number of guns that individuals may buy and own.

And yes, I know that mass murderers are basically outliers with psychological issues - and the gun lobby will harp that all of the gun laws in the world won't deter someone who is determined to kill innocent people - but at some point we have to begin fighting back, and limiting access to weapons designed for mass casualties certainly could not hurt.

There is much that can be done in the way of responsible actions which would make our country a safer and saner place to live.

It is time to begin the discussion.


Don said...

Could we not at least get rid of automatic weapons in the hands of citizens?

Is there really any need for civilians to fire multiple shots per second from magazines that hold 50 rounds?

molly. said...

This was so terrifying. I don't understand it.. I don't understand how someone could do this to children.. and these children were shot MULTIPLE times.. innocent, nieve children. Obviously we need to be doing more to ensure people with mental illness get the help they need. Personally I hate guns. Guns are such an EASY way to do something that nobody should have the power to do- to take someone's LIFE. When I was in the 9th grade I got a phone call from a friend who let me know that Angie Prater had been shot, shot in the face. She was the same age as us. She was just a kid. The guy who shot her was also just a kid. From that moment on I've always felt that nobody should have access to something that can take a life with the pull of a trigger. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to take a life with a gun. We need to do more. My heart goes out to the community that was so, so hurt yesterday. I think we are all hoping that those kids will forget about this but I think realistically we know that they never will. May they get all of the help they need in the future to move on with their lives. As a parent my heart hurts so much for the families. I'm going to think of something to do for them.. lighting candles just doesn't feel like enough.

molly. said...

Angie Prater was a fellow student & friend (forgot to mention that).