Monday, December 17, 2012

SANDY HOOK SHOOTING - Where from here?

There is so much posturing going on in the media over a span of issues from the events of December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Posturing helps the helpless feel as if they are helping, I would guess.

Some feel the need to be angry, and upon finding a target for that anger, aim everything they have at it. I feel that anger is like a different kind of gun. "I will kill you with bullets of hate!!!!" or disapproval, or judgment, or condemnation! "I will shoot you with my righteous stares and words!"

The news is full of this. Crying for GUN LAWS!! Which we actually have. Just not enforced.

 I find in these current shooting situations that there is an aversion to focusing our shock and sadness at the shooter and what caused someone, who apparently moved through society as a so-called normal person, to pick up weapons and kill children and their teachers and protectors. And in this case, apparently, to shoot the children more than once. It was a child who killed children in this case. Twenty-years-old is still a child in terms of neural growth.

 There's sympathy for the victims and survivors and the family of the shooter. And the anger. The outrage. Lots of this. Just take a breath. Step back. This is the most horrific event. A twenty-year-old child picked up a number of powerful weapons and used them on his own mother and then on innocent children and adults in a setting that should be considered sacred and safe for our youngsters.

 Our society's version of compassion is to yell angrily. When bankers rob people of their savings and homes, we cry foul! Though none of them were punished or went to jail, though lots of folks yelled that they should!!! And the banking regulations were not overhauled enough to restore those people to their full and upright position. As those in power know will happen, time passes and we forget and go back to our handheld electronic devices for commentary and entertainment. And we just don't speak of it much any more in any place that might effect a profound change.

 When a tsunami hits, we don't yell at the ocean and spout ideas for how to punish it. When hurricanes or tornadoes kill and destroy property we don't blame the weather reporters or meteorologists as being the cause. It's easy for us, in these circumstances, to understand the why of these events. The best we can do in these situations is to find better ways to predict and prepare, in order to keep safe.

 In the case of these shootings, we have a better opportunity to prevent. But we are going to have to start looking at the true causes in a way that heals and not harms. We don't need the Salem witch hunts again. We don't need asylums that offer ice baths, lobotomies or being locked up in a small room. We need to work with our neuroscientists for understanding the true why and to develop strategies for preventing these events in the future.

 Innocent children and adults are being gunned down in cold blood at political gatherings, movie theaters and schools, and the angry yelling is at the cold metal objects that did the deeds. And I suspect this will also die down and nothing lasting will be done to look at the synaptic processes in the heads of the shooters that created the impetus for these incidents. We really do have very short attention spans.

 Compassion. It's not just sitting in an easy chair feeling bad for those who have suffered such things. It's not going on in anger over the occurrence of such things. It's not tweeting and retweeting to the world in all caps how this must STOP!!

 Compassion. It is a feeling of wanting to help. And it's that feeling that moves us in the right direction. To really help. Not to punish or cause more harm. To help. To take a big breath, relax and look at what the real issues are here. Because there are real issues. They are very big. And we need to be very careful how we proceed here.

 What happens in these shooters brains? How did they get to this place where they acted out so horribly? That's the first order of business. Let's start.  And then let's toss out the assault weapons. We don't need them. You don't need them to hunt deer. All you need for that, really, is a bow and arrow and some skill and practice. Though skill and practice seem to have died in our society along with true compassion and common sense.

 Just imagine if we worked on these issues globally.

 If we don't do something wise then we are indeed headed for a bigger world of hurt.


spookyrach said...

Well said.

Teri said...

You are right, of course. But along with the issues of mental health care are issues of just how distressingly easy it is to get your hands on a weapon of fast destruction. If someone who has this kind of psychic break could only get his hands on a bow and arrow, or a knife, or even a gun you have to reload after every couple of shots, imagine how many fewer people would be dead. We make it hard to get the stuff it takes to build a bomb, why not make it hard to get the stuff it takes to shoot nearly 30 people in just a few minutes?

Lori said...

I agree, well said.

Anonymous said...

I hope you watch this. It looks like a horrible hoax to a lot of us.