Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

About Sandy Hook

on December 16, 2012

Yes, these are only my opinions. I’m no great expert on any of this. But, as a parent and as a person who spends a lot of time being concerned with children, I think I have a right to my opinions.

About Gun Control

This may not be the right time to talk about gun control. The gun lobbies are correct that people who carry out horrors such as the one in Connecticut are going to find a way to get their mission accomplished. The school at Sandy Hook apparently had locked doors and a no-entry policy. Had it not been for a shooter’s gun jamming, more lives would have been lost. The main reason to talk about this now is that such a tragedy draws attention to the issue.

First, they’re also correct that people kill people. But guns make it easier to kill people. If a killer can stand back and not even have to look the victim in the eye, it’s easier to dehumanize the victim. If a killer has to find a knife or baseball bat and get close enough to use the weapon, the victim can duck or get away or try to talk down the violence.

Second, automatic and semi-automatic weapons have no place in this world other than to kill people. No one – not a hunter, not a person protecting a family – needs these weapons in a home. The gun used to kill one of the Sandy Hook victims was bought by that victim FOR PROTECTION.

Third, arming everyone is not the answer. If the teachers had had access to weapons, so would the children. The teachers would have had to stop shepherding the children, unlock the weapons from storage, load the weapons, and aim. How would they have had time for all that? And an untrained person with a weapon is also dangerous. Would teachers then need to pass a weapons certification as part of their training?

About Mental Health

The shooter in Connecticut was apparently a disturbed person. But he was also apparently under a doctor’s care. No one was likely to predict his actions. Like gun control, the tragedy mostly draws attention to our inadequacies in treating mental illness. We need to make easier to get help and stop stigmatizing those who do seek help. Admitting you need to talk to a counselor is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

What Can Individuals Do?

Individuals can do a lot.

  • Hugs all around. Hold your loved ones a little tighter. Plan times to spend together, talking or just being there.
  • Random acts of kindness. Seems like a cliché, but they really do make you feel better. And they really do have a ripple effect. You really do change the world with each one. Really. Even a simple smile can change those around you.
  • Volunteer. Or give blood. Nothing says commitment like life’s blood.
  • Attend a vigil. It may not seem as good as talking to the survivors, but the news media are reporting about the vigils and the survivors will hear about it.
  • Write out your feelings. That’s what I’m doing. Even if no one reads it, it’s therapeutic.
  • Send money to organizations providing counseling or first response.
  • If you’re a knitter, many places are providing prayer shawls and hand knitted toys to the survivors.
  • Listen to the feelings of those around you. We’re all suffering with this.
  • Learn the names of the victims and hold them in your heart.
  • Don’t wallow. Get away from the news coverage. Take a walk. Bake some muffins.

One response to “About Sandy Hook

  1. ediehemingway says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Sue. I think legislation to control the sale of automatic weapons AND ammunition/bullets is a must!

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