I’m going to try to articulate how I am feeling about today’s tragedy in Connecticut. I’m sure I won’t be able to, despite the fact that I have been crying on and off all day. I’m equally sure that I will piss off some people with my thoughts, but it is my blog and my opinion. Today, I don’t really care too much about pissing people off.
Let me just say that first and foremost my heart goes out to all involved in today’s senseless tragedy. I cannot even begin to understand or empathize with how those affected are feeling. I’m 3,000 miles away from my family tonight and my heart is breaking not being able to hold them in my arms. Knowing that the kisses or hugs I gave when I saw them last could possibly be the last ones I ever got or gave would devastate me.
I’m sad and I’m angry. I’m angry that people died for no reason. I’m angry that this 20-year-old, practically a child himself, was so sick that he felt the need to go on a rampage and murder 28 innocent people, 20 of whom were elementary school children. I am a mother to four elementary school children—the same ages as some of the ones who were killed today. It sickens me knowing that it could have easily been my children, and it breaks my heart knowing that they were someone’s children.
I recognize that at the end of the day, the shooter was a sick, sick person. Obviously, he was very mentally ill to have committed such a heinous act. Even psychopaths are ill. But ill in and of itself does not have this kind of outcome for 28 people and their families. The fact of the matter is that if the ill person didn’t have the means to commit the act, it wouldn’t have happened, couldn’t have happened.
This isn’t just a gun control issue. Recognition and support for treatment of those with mental illness would go a long way in preventing these types of tragedies. But, if guns and ammunition weren’t so readily available—both legally and illegally—it would also go along way toward preventing this type of tragedy. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Truth. But guns sure as hell make it easier to kill people.
Would 28 people have died today if the gunman had been wielding a knife or cleaver? Not likely (hurt, but not dead). If he’d been carrying a torch? Probably not. Driving a car? Maybe, but it’s unlikely. A compound bow? Nope.
The fact is that mental illness or not, the type of weapon used was a contributing factor to the volume of people who were murdered. He could have gone crazy and murdered people in any number of ways, but very few means—if any—could have been as devastating by the numbers as with the guns.
I’m not suggesting that we should eliminate the 2nd amendment. I’m all for the right to bear arms. But just look at gun laws by state. The laws are all over the place and obviously poorly enforced. (Sure, it’s Wikipedia. It may have some inaccuracies, but it’s a good overview of how unregulated guns are in our country compared to other countries. They are easy to acquire and our social acceptance is, well, embarrassing ) All I’m suggesting is that a little gun law reform wouldn’t hurt anybody. And it might actually save a few lives.