Saturday, December 22, 2012

Here There Be Monsters

I (and many others) have been accused of "politicizing" the recent murders of 26 people in Newtown, CT.  I have been berated for not showing sufficient deference to the victims and their families by not talking about the "gun issue."  I am told that I should set this aside in favor of simply feeling badly for them, of offering thoughts and prayers and sympathies to them, that "now is not the time" to discuss the reasons for this bloodbath.  What kind of person am I that I could put my own feelings above those of the people most directly affected?  Have I no shame? 

First of all, I do feel badly.  I feel incredibly badly.  As a woman, a mother, a grandmother, hell, as a human being, my heart absoutley breaks for each and every one of those gunned down, for their parents, their grandparents, their husbands and wives, their families, friends and neighbors.  I simply cannot conceive of the level of pain and suffering that comes with such a thing.  How will they ever mourn?  Will they ever stop mourning?  But how can my offers of sympathy, my empty prayers, ever offer any consolation?  What good will they do?  The bile rises as I think of those 26 coffins, 20 of them far too small, being rolled down the aisles of places of worship and placed in cold December graves.  I look at the bright faces of those children, the obvious love and dedication to them on the faces of their teachers, those who died trying to protect them, and the tears well up in my eyes.  What good are my tears?  Will they comfort the survivors?  Will they bring back the dead?

Secondly, this issue was politicized long before the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary.  It has been politicized for decades by people like Wayne LaPierre, and the organization he heads.  Under their influence, millions of people have been convinced that their absolute right to own any sort of weapon, with no regulation whatsoever, outweighs the right of children and their teachers to be safe in schools, of people to go see a movie and come out alive, of Christmas shoppers to buy gifts for their loved ones without being gunned down where they stand.  When I see that Merchant of Death give a speech, even before the latest bodies have been buried, encouraging, no, demanding, that the only solution to such mayhem is more mayhem, in the form of yet more weapons in the hands of yet more people, under the guise of "security," the bile that had been rising reaches its destination, and I retch.   When he stands in front of the nation and dares to put the blame on movies, or music, or video games, instead of where it belongs, on him and people like him, who peddle fear to the masses, offering the comfort only of weapons of mass destruction against it, I scream in my head, and sometimes aloud. It makes me physically ill that monsters like this are taken seriously and given a place in our discourse.  The only place for men like this is in  a locked ward where they can't do any more damage.

 I think to myself how different peoples' reactions might be if, instead of being shown the smiling faces of the victims, before their young lives were snuffed out, they were shown the results of decades of fear-mongering and lobbying for the gun industry.  What would gutless politicians and babbling talking heads say if they had to see the bullet-ridden bodies, the blood-stained party dresses, the brains of their precious children splattered on walls and floors?  These are the things we ask people like those police and rescue crews to look at.  They had to see that.  Why are we spared?  How different would our discourse be if people were forced to face the bloody, violent ends of their pontifications about "rights?"

You're damned right I'm going to talk about this, and I will do it in the strongest terms I can muster.  Because this never should have happened.  It could have been prevented.  And I don't want it to happen again.


  1. Sadly, in addition to the 26 Sandy Hook coffins, there's a 27th --- Nancy Lanza's. Here's a woman who foolishly thought that teaching her mentally unstable son to use guns would be good for him. Instead, it cost her her life, as well as 26 others (excluding his). If she didn't have those guns, this wouldn't have happened.

  2. A killer will kill. With a knife a vehicle a match a gun a bomb. The guns could have not killed. It was the person that killed. Anybody could make a bomb. The internet will tell U how. It will also tell U how to make your own gun. Internet kill games teach kids how to kill with no remorse. They just go to the next one & the next.

    1. Then explain why this doesn't happen in other countries on the regular basis that it happens in ours.

      It's time to face the fact that there is a contingent in this country that is paranoid, and is being catered to. And that some people are getting very rich in the process.

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    3. So tell me, if a "killer" or "insane human" goes off and walks into a mall where your family is shopping do you want them wielding a bushmaster with a hundred round drum or a knife?

      It is really, really easy to be resigned at the damage as long as you cannot imagine that it will be your grandson who picks up the carelessly stored loaded glock and kills his baby sister with it.

      It is only worth a shake of a head and a sigh when the "killer" who succeeds in his plan to off the ex who had the audacity to leave him because he can get a gun since your state doesn't think a history of beating the crap out of his wife and an outstanding restraining order should keep him from gun ownership isn't your ex brother-in-law.

      But even if pointing out that you are not immune to these killers doesn't get through let me ask how much are you willing to pay to put guards in every school and tons of security, including metal detectors, at every game from little league to the high school swim meet and college basketball? How about stripping everything out of your pockets and getting searched to go to the movies? And lord know lets not even think about what a ticket will cost after the first few incidents where the barely trained guard shots someone by mistake.

      The killer will be a killer, gun control can do nothing and the only thing that can protect you are more guns meme hasn't just been proved wrong by almost every major nation in the world, it is disproved by simple logic - a weapon that you can use tens of feet away from victims, that can shoot projectiles intended to shatter like schrapnel upon impact with flesh doing massive damage to a body at a rate of 180 shots per minute is going to produce more victims and more dead then a guy with a bat, or a knife. Sure some might be able to produce a bomb or find a way to introduce a poison into the 60 cup coffeemaker but we regulate the things that can do that so access isn't standard stock at Wal-Mart. Could be why we don't hear about things like that every couple of months. The meme is wrong. And so is another big one.

      Guns do kill people. Fact is that with only a few exceptions that is exactly what they are designed to do, quickly and efficiently.

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  4. Bullshit. Pure and utter bullshit. Vehicles and knives may kill, but they do not kill as many as fast as a fucking assault weapon, and they are not designed for the sole purpose of killing. Bombs will kill many, but are much more difficult to come by; buying the components will get you a visit from authorities, more often than not, and require time and a plan. You can't just grab one and go blow something up. Video games are no more responsible for violence in our society than Ozzy Osbourne was for teenage suicide, or Elvis for impure thoughts. Countries like Canada and Japan share our culture and our fascination with these things. Why do they not experience the same level of violence? To point blame here is just a desperate attempt to avoid facing the real issue: Too many guns, and too much fear.

    We may never completely eliminate incidents like this, but we don't need to make it so fucking easy. There are too many weapons, of too many kinds, too freely available, and that shit needs to stop.