Newtown, Connecticut

This morning, everything was normal. I woke when the kids did, I yawned, I got their breakfast, I gave them a bath, I turned on my computer, I checked Facebook. It was there I had my first inkling that not all was right with the world. Several posts made mention of a tragedy, but I had to go looking at news sites to find the specifics.

I wish I hadn’t.

Normally, distant events have little impact on me. I can acknowledge a tragedy without feeling any sadness; I am more likely to feel frustration at people’s acts than despair at the outcome.

If the president can cry, so can I.

If the president can cry, so can I.

But this time… I am not ashamed to admit I was in tears, and am again while I write this. Those children, so young, shot down in a place that should be safe and secure and normal, and for what? So very young. So many of them. So many families deprived. Whole lives, towns, the world, devastated.

I am astonished how even out of the devastation, stories of heroism emerge. Teachers saved their classes, hid them in closets or bathrooms. One teacher told her entire class she loved them; she told the media afterwards that she had no idea if she was allowed to say that, but she wanted it to be the last thing those children heard, if they were to die that day. People have shown incredible bravery in the face of sheer terror.

But there is the other side of the coin. This incident (what a horribly clinical word, incident) has once again raised the issue of gun control in the US, and gun lobbies are spinning the old ‘Guns don’t kill people, people do.’ And then there are the Christians who appear to blame the whole thing on Atheists, and the separation of church and state. If they could see me now, weeping, they might reconsider.shooting1Personally, I think we need to move beyond petty blame-games, beyond name-calling, beyond procrastination. This horrific slaughter should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back; if this doesn’t result in stricter gun control laws and better mental health services in the US and indeed the world, nothing ever will. Lets all go to hell in a handbasket, says the Atheist. I despair.

4 thoughts on “Newtown, Connecticut

  1. Kez says:

    Like you, this tragedy affected me much more than most. I wish people would stop making this about religion or other petty misgivings. Don’t even get me started on those who think the best defence against shootings and gun violence is guns. I cannot roll my eyes back into my head far enough. Can they hear themselves?!?!
    I hope something is done about gun control & mental health services in the US. COME ON!!!!

  2. pontificators says:

    I was so sad when I heard this. I’m still sad.
    I never liked John Howard (Australia’s Prime Minister), but after the Port Arthur shootings … he got rid of the guns. He spent big money to do it, but he got rid of them. A 2 month waiting period to own a gun, you need a legitimate reason to own a gun, complete back-ground checks, visual inspection of the gun safe where the gun will be housed, and no automatic weapons.
    I feel sad for victims, I feel sad for their families, I feel sad for a country who will sit back without taking action … again … but mostly … I’m just sad.

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