Saturday, December 15, 2012

Incomprehensible Newtown Massacre: A Few Thoughts.

Like everybody else in America, I can't get my head around the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, in which 27 people died, including 20 young children.
A mother comforts her daughter after
the Newton, Ct. school shooting. Photo by
Melanie Stengel, New Haven Register

The news channels have been on for 24 hours now, trying to explain the unexplainable. It's too much for me to get to the heart of the matter. It's too big. Too baffling. My thoughts have gone around the edges of this, touching upon just a few of the millions of issues, concerns, thoughts, prayers this all leads to.

We don't know what led Adam Lanza, what could lead any human to kill innocent young children.

Most people who are seriously mentally ill people,  holding vicious grudges or harbor white hot anger don't spray bullets into crowds, especiallly when the crowd consists mostly of kindergarteners.

I was listening to an NPR report last night on the profile of mass killers. The problem is, millions of people have the same mental traits as these monsters, yet these millions of people never hurt anyone.  So how do we weed out , in advance,   the people that would cause such heartache. You can't.

Of course we hurt for the families of the people who lost their children, their joy. Nothing we say and do can help, really. I know it's our responsibility to make some good come of this, but obviously no amount of good will fix this. The world, unfortunately is much worse for this.

 What would have become of the children had they been allowed to grow up, thrive, live?  Many of them would have contributed wonderful things to the world. We've all lost that.

I also worry about the police and other emergency responders who raced to that school.  Yeah, cops are tough, paramedics are seasoned, but not tough enough or seasoned enough to live with the horror of those poor children, gunned down. Let's hope they find the peace they need.

As an aside, I want to especially congratulate the cops and responders who led the children out of the school, and had them cover their eyes as they did so, so the children wouldn't have to see the carnage they were seeing. These responders surely spared these kids a lot of mental trauma.

One of the best things I saw rattling around social media yesterday was a link to the Mr. Rogers Company, which offered help and how to talk about something like this to kids. 

The best part of the link is this quote from Mr. Rogers:
Mr. Rogers passed away ten
years ago, but left
behind comforting words
for situations like this.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in the world."

As in every American disaster, there's been a huge outpouring of help for the people in Newtown. I know. Because I looked for the helpers on the news and saw lots of them.

But now I have to go negative. There are a minority of people who insist on not helping. To make things worse. To further their agenda. Yes, I know there's a renewed debate on gun control. There's that. Some of the gun control debate is healthy. Some not.

However, I really want to touch on people who are even more vile with their agenda. People like Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee are going around saying the reason this happened is prayer was taken out of the schools and God doesn't go where he's not wanted so he didn't protect the kids in that school when the shooting started.

What sad lives these people live if they think a God would be so spiteful that he's allow a bunch of innocent kids to be killed. What these people are really after is a theocracy, and they're on a religious war to bring us that weird, right wing form of Christian theocracy.  And they'll stoop to something like this to advance their agenda.

Next up: The gays did it. Some of the same people who say God was kicked out of schools will repeat the nonsense we hear in every disaster: That God is killing our children, our innocent people in shooting sprees, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods because many of us are accepting of our gay families, friends and neighbors.

We're loving thy neighbor. But I guess that part of the Bible isn't important to the likes of the religious wing nuts. And I'm sure they're offending the vast majority of Christians who are good, loving and giving.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not aware God has been kicked out of schools. Organized, coerced Christian prayer has, because there's a variety of religions in this nation, in our schools, and we have to respect that. Even if we don't like somebody else's religion.

People are free to pray silently, however they want, to whatever diety they want, in our schools. The following sentence is going to sound inappropriately flip,  but it's heartfelt: I bet there was a lot of praying in that school during the shooting spree.

Now,  there's a lot of praying going on across the nation and world.   I bet, I hope, a lot of those prayers will be  answered.

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