Six-year-old Emilie Parker will be laid to rest tomorrow in Ogden, Utah, just over a week after her vibrant young life was taken all too soon in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Hers is just one of way too many funerals that remind us of what happened last week.
Many of Emilie’s relatives are from the Ogden area, and she spent a part of her life growing up there. Emilie has become one of the memorable faces of the Sandy Hook slayings. Her father’s statement after the shootings has become one of the memorable moments of that tragedy.
The desire to show compassion for others affected by the tragedy is being followed up by predictability. We’re seeing many of the same responses out of the Sandy Hook tragedy that we’ve seen in any tragedy that comes close to it in scope.
It’s so predictable that the cartoon strip “This Modern World” has even given us a template to use for the next mass shooting, and every single one after that.
There’s nothing silly about this. This is the way it is, totally predictable. A period of time was given after the Newtown shootings before the debate began anew. People concerned about the manner in which first grade students and educators were gunned down and asking the question of why military style weapons are even so readily available to use in cases like these are accused of “politicizing.” Then it turns into the argument of the various forms of weapons that could be used — after Sandy Hook, the old “baseball bat” argument was the first one I saw being used, asking whether we should ban baseball bats — and from there it turned into jabs at what should be considered “assault weapons,” jabs used by many gun advocates.
Muscle cars kill more people with their horsepower and speed, so should we ban all muscle cars?
Rocks could be considered “assault weapons,” so should we ban rocks?
Meat tenderizers could be used as “assault weapons,” so should we ban meat tenderizers?
I’m seeing it all. So predictable, it’s like clockwork.
Now comes the response today from the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre that every school in the nation should have armed volunteers patrolling every school, every nook and cranny, every playground. For that matter, let’s make sure we have armed volunteers at every business, every post office, every shopping center, every movie theater, every restaurant, every church, every sports arena, every day care center … let’s just have guns everywhere people might be.
We get into arguments about what constitutes an “assault weapon” while forgetting the fact that a first-grader at Sandy Hook was shot at least 11 times.
Eleven damn times. Is it asking the shooter too much to at least reload? Is that taking away the shooter’s right to more lethal kills?
Is that a cold-hearted question? Maybe. But how much compassion is there when a first-grader’s body has been riddled by up to 11 bullets, and we end up getting into pissing contests about what constitutes a damn “assault weapon” more than we show concern for the victims and their loved ones?
Let’s not just look at the issue of guns, let’s look at the entire picture. Let’s look at the issue of mental health care, and how much more difficult it is to get decent health care than it is to buy a weapon that can be used to gun down innocent lives by someone badly in need of that mental health care. Let’s take a look at how desensitized we’ve become to the growing violence around us, and why we’ve become so desensitized.
Let’s take an honest look at what drives the fear and paranoia that’s beginning to overwhelm a growing number of people, enough to feel the need to stock up on weaponry more with each mass shooting, each “Black Friday.”
And, yes, for God’s sake, let’s put the issue of guns on the table and — whether Wayne LaPierre wants to talk about them or not (he refused to take questions in his statement today, and if he refuses to take questions in his appearance on “Meet The Press” this Sunday it’ll make for fascinating viewing) — make them an important part of the discussion.
Let’s break out of that predictability, the kind of predictability that can be found in videos like the one below from “ThePatriotNurse” that’s a gun advocate’s wet dream.
Watch out, there’s a tyrant right behind you! And that tyrant could be disguised as a first-grader! It’s all a conspiracy, I tell you!
So damn predictable.
Here’s one thing we can do to break out of that predictability: Remember the victims, at all times, and show compassion for them before reaching for the nearest soapbox in “full defensive mode.” Maybe then we can get serious about finding some real solutions so people like Emilie Parker can live a truly full life, instead of having that life snuffed out much too soon.
- ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘American Psycho’, and ‘Natural Born Killers’ blamed for Sandy Hook massacre by NRA (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- It almost happened at my school. (shawnwilson.wordpress.com)
- Moment of Silence One Week After Sandy Hook Massacre (letsfindthem.wordpress.com)
- Websites go dark for Sandy Hook moment of silence (fox6now.com)
- Local Sandy Hook memorials include planting of weeping willow, vigils (wwltv.com)
- Mass killings such as Newtown’s defy an easy political fix (midwestdemocracy.com)
- Community memorial for Emilie Parker (fox13now.com)