Like President Obama and everyone else, I am heartbroken for the families of the murdered children, teachers, and others in Newtown, Connecticut last week and for our society in which this happens with such frequency.
By now the news has been so saturated with this story—for good reason of course—that there is little to add. Yet I feel a need to join the chorus.
What can be done? Gun control as well as more and better ways to serve those deranged enough to commit violence—before they go out in combat gear with assault weapons and attack wee children and others—would help. How do we make that happen, given, for instance, the pro-every-kind-of killing-machine gun lobby?
One could say the gun control lobby needs more finances to become as powerful as the NRA, which is a bit like saying we should arm our teachers with assault weapons to fight intruders.
But why isn’t anyone talking about campaign finance reform or how to solve the gerrymandering problem that has so clogged the halls of Congress?
At the root of the gun problem are campaign finance laws that allow the likes of Sheldon Adelson to pour millions into campaigns to try to defeat those who would support gun control and better health care for all. The funny thing is that a vast majority of those supported by Adelson and the NRA lost in the recent election. Many describe the NRA as a paper tiger.
Adelson’s failure in the 2012 election makes clear that indeed the tea party and the Trumps and the Adelsons as well as the NRA are not as powerful as they would have you believe.
Then there is the argument that criminals will get guns no matter what. But consider an analogy that says maybe we should not have speed limits because people will speed no matter what.
As for having the National Guard or security officers guarding schools, does anyone believe that would have deterred Lanza, the Newtown killer? Maybe if each school had two guards, after the first one is shot dead by the would-be intruder, maybe and only maybe the other guard could then shoot the attacker.
On NPR today someone called in to suggest more secure doors for schools.
What about security at movie theaters? And elsewhere?
For starters, it makes sense to see what is helping in other countries and in places like New York, where on one recent day there were no murders in the entire city. This was such big news that it made The New York Times. That brings up the city mouse/country mouse issue which must be considered; not every part of the country will benefit from the same approach.
Reports suggest that a majority of Americans now support stricter weapons laws. Everyone seems to have been touched by this slaughter of those kindergartners and the adults at their school. Even on Sunday’s grand three-hour finale of the TV show Survivor, host Jeff Probst called for a moment of silence.
And many have remarked how powerful it was when President Obama read the names of the little children who died. They have stuck in my head: Madeleine, Noah, Jesse, Grace, Benjamin, Charlotte, Jack, . . . .
When I was ten, I walked into a robbery in the front office of my father’s factory. The gunman was locking the secretary in the bathroom and turned and pointed the gun at me. It was Christmas and instead of shooting me, he grabbed the bonuses and darted away. I thought it was a toy gun and that he was playing a game. In my best, though thoroughly unrealistic, fantasy I wish those kids at least had thought it was a game.
I welcome your comments.
“Readers of all ages will relate to this deeply personal story, told with comical sensibility by a quirky, startlingly honest mother, daughter, ex-wife, and dog lover, who—à la Nora Ephron—will feel like a dear friend. Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” (adapted from Amazon description and culled from Amazon reviews)