I've decided I need to blog about the various shootings that have occurred throughout the nation. And even though maybe three people in total read this blog, and even though this won't gather that much attention, regardless, I have to say something and voice what I've been thinking over the past few hours.
First off, and probably the most important thing to say is that I am absolutely shocked and horrified and sickened by what has happened in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary. This was a senseless and hideous act of evil, the likes of which I had never heard of before. I had always known that this world we live in, that this country, was getting worse in the desensitization of people, in the allowance of violence and pornographic materials in movies and music and media, and in the apathy of other people's sufferings, but I did not think we were to this point yet.
To those family members, those mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends of those innocent, lovely children and of those faculty members who have been ripped from their loved ones in such a gruesome manner, I cannot tell each and every one of you how incredibly distraught and grieved that this has happened. To be separated from your loved ones in such a violent manner is something to which I know nothing about. I can only imagine the anger and pain that you are going through.
To the surviving children whose innocence has been stripped away from them, perhaps forever, I only pray that comfort, healing and happiness will eventually find its way to them.
This event has affected me much more than I thought it would. It's only been recently that I haven't been on the brink of tears at the thought of it.
Secondly, what I feel the need to say is that I find it ironic that this happened the morning after I talked about teaching children about acts of evil, and educating them somewhat concerning the horrors of the world. Even though I am not a parent, I have been an aunt since I was about 10 or 11 years old. My nieces and nephews are as much my own children as my own flesh and blood would be. I think about them all the time, pray about them, and would willingly & gladly lay my own life down for them without a moment's hesitation. Having said this, I'm sure it is difficult to talk to children about horrible things like sexual abuse, death and injustice. But I feel that we would be living in a very dangerous place if we do not talk at least somewhat concerning the bad things in the world, the things that could happen. J. K Rowling said it perfectly in an interview, regarding the Harry Potter series being too dark and scary for children:
"I have a real issue with anyone trying to protect children from their own imagination, and I think that a lot of this goes on. And if we cannot acknowledge and embrace the fact that we all have a certain degree of darkness within us, some more than other perhaps, and bring it into the light and examine it and talk about it, this part of the human condition, then I think that we will be living in a very dangerous climate. And I think that's much more damaging for children."
Now I'm not saying that I would bring my four year old to the Holocaust museum and tell them in graphic detail what happened in the concentration camps, however there comes a certain age for children that for their own emotional and even physical protection, they need to know that there are bad people out there who do bad things because they can.
Shielding children from the world is an impossible thing. And they are being exposed to evil at a younger and younger age. There was a time when they could play on the street and in the front yard without any thought that something bad would happen to them. But now, even in their own home, children are being kidnapped and abused.
Too many people are being desensitized to horrible things that have happened. The gruesome effects of war, of poverty, of dishonesty, of betrayal, of abuse and violence seem to be just another aspect of every day life. We need to be more sensitive to the things that are contrary to morality and ethics. Images and depictions of violence and pornography need to repulse us more than they do.
Lastly, concerning the inevitable debate concerning gun control. I am no redneck, and I am not a fully blown Republican "don't touch my guns" kind of person. My father, grandfather and great grandfather served in the Armed Forces, so I was exposed to guns and what they did at an early age. I still remember my father taking me and my sister to an abandoned forest in North Carolina and teaching me how to shoot off Dollar Store shot glasses off of a "No Shooting" sign.
I don't really have much of an opinion one way or another concerning gun controls, but I will say this: We cannot fight guns with less guns. If a terrorist is motivated to cause physical harm to another person for whatever the vendetta or reason, they will find a way, law or no law. Or they'll resort to other weapons that are easier to access. If it comes to it, a pencil can be used as a weapon. If you need an example of this, I'd probably give marijuana as one. Now with talk of it being legalized (I'm not sure if it has been legalized or not, I don't really care about it), I find it so ironic that it has been illegal for so long, yet it does stop any of my acquaintances or friends from acquiring it. If someone really wanted access to it, they could find it.
Now I'm not sure what the answer to this debacle is. Frankly, I couldn't really be able to tell you either way, but I do know that the places that need protection the most, are the ones that do not know how to use a firearm. I have started debating and thinking critically about getting a concealed weapons license and taking self-defense classes because it is coming to a point where not even the quietest, quaintest places in the United States are safe from evil. Maybe we should have at least one police officer in every elementary, middle, high school and college in the United States? Maybe every teacher should have a small glock in order to defend themselves against a shooter set on destroying them and their students? Maybe there should be a self-defense class that every student has to take in order to graduate? I don't know. But either way, something has got to change, and change soon.
This has been a pretty long rant, so sorry if I lost anyone along the way. But I hope my message has at least been clear. There is a reason why I don't allow myself to watch horror movies or scary movies with children in them. I find it highly disturbing whenever I see children's lives in danger, or a child afraid of something. They really are the future of our society. Our children will be leaders, and catalysts for change one day. We need to make sure that they're prepared for whatever the future has to hold for them.
To my nieces and nephews, I love you Hailey, Nathan, Connor, Cole, Hannah & Jacob. Don't be afraid of anything. You are stronger and more powerful than you could ever imagine.