Thoughts On Newtown, Conneticut Shooting
People my age have unfortunately grown up most of our lives with mass shootings in school since we were ourselves in school. I remember Columbine well. I was a high school student at the time. That was very unsettling. However, after this last shooting in Newtown, Conneticut, I have never felt so much pain associated with a shooting.I have a child near the age of these 20 kids that were gun down. It's hard as a parent not to imagine your child as one of those kids in that terrifying classroom. It hurts to even imagine what it would be like. Then we see the faces of the victims and the knife twists even more. And let's not forget the 6 adults who went to work just like any other day, and were murdered. Along with this pain comes and overwhelming feeling of helplessness. What can we do? You've got people calling for more gun control, and people saying that won't solve anything, and leave our guns alone. You've even got some people saying that teachers should be carrying guns in school. That teachers should be carrying guns in school!?
I don't think further gun laws are going to fix this, and that's not because I'm afraid of gun laws. Honestly, I don't care if I own an assault rife. I'm fine without one. A ban on assault rifles wouldn't bother me. I don't think it will help in future situations though. The system for purchasing a weapon worked in this case. Lanza went to buy a gun, and he was turned down because of the law. But his doomsday prepper mom and a full arsenal at home.
I think where we should focus our attention is mental health issues. I read a blog titled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mom." It was eye opening. A lot of times we look to the parents, and assume they must have done something wrong with these gunman. We look to video game violence and say, "that's where they are getting these violent actions from." We also say that kids are de-sensitized by violent movies and games, etc.
Yes, all of these could be a factor, but the main factor is the same: these murderers are mentally ill. As Long's blog points out, there isn't much help out there for these parents with these children. We need to figure out what to do with these troubled youth. We find it so shocking that someone could shoot a child 3 to 11 times, because we are sane. To a sick monster, he doesn't feel any remorse... doesn't even flinch. It will take a lot of discussions and some tough work to make even a small amount of progress. But we should at least start talking about mental illness.
I guess the one thing we can do starting right now is report every threat. If you have any reason to believe someone is losing it and going to act violently, report it.