This topic has nothing to do about theme parks. At all. There is no witty introduction. I’m upset, and I’m unleashing it on you, our dear and loyal readers…sorry about that. If you have been living under a rock, I’ll sum things up. Today 27 people, 18 of those elementary school children, were killed when a gunman entered a school and opened fire. This is the fifth mass shooting this year. I’ll say that again…this is the fifth mass shooting this year.
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
It was a senseless act, committed by a (I’m sure we’ll find out later) disturbed individual. The first thing everyone seems to jump to is punishment…”THIS GUY SHOULD HAVE LIVED SO WE COULD KILL HIM!”
More violence, and hatred in a time that we really don’t need it. No one will ever really understand this person decided to take the lives of all those children, and teachers. No one will understand why the four other shooters took the lives or even felt they had the right to take the lives they took. The only thing we’ll understand, truly, is that they took lives.
The fingers were pointed in all the other cases: The shooters did it because of violent video games, violent movies, violent music. The shooters were mentally unbalanced. The shooters had easy access to guns.
The arguments were made in all the other cases:We need tighter gun control. If there were larger background checks they wouldn’t get the guns. If there were mental health checks they wouldn’t get the guns. We need to get rid of the guns. We need less gun control. We need to arm more people. We need to let up on the background checks. If someone had a gun, they could shoot the son of a bitch.
All the blame and all the arguments are slowly swinging their way towards this tragedy. The tragedy in which 27 people died. Tonight we are mourning, but by Monday there will be full fledged arguments. Stop. They won’t help.
In a statement Morgan Freeman criticized the media for their handling of the situation. Is he right?
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
The unfortunate thing is that this will be argued, and it will be politicized to the point that no one will care, until it happens again. Then the cycle will start all over again. Something really needs to be done, and it needs to be done without taking sides. It needs to be done together as a country, as a community and as human beings. If you’re on one side or the other, it doesn’t matter, but what does matter is that we put all of our differences aside and work together to come up with a solution to all the gun violence happening in our country today. This not a call for or against weapons, this is a call for a solution. What’s the solution? I have no idea. I’m not the person who thinks of problems like this, I’m a geek, a nerd. I’m the weird kid in class all grown up. I’m a father. I have other problems in my world that I try to solve on a daily basis, so my attention isn’t focused on such things. But from now on I will take five minutes out of my day and try to think of a solution to this problem. I’m going to write a letter to my congressman and state representatives….you know…the people who we pay to think of this stuff? I’m going to urge them to work together across partisan lines, and with people on both sides of the issue to come up with a solution. I urge you to do the same.
I’m a father, and it’s the one job that I take seriously. When I heard about the tragedy that happened today I, like many other parents, thought of my own children. When I got home, I held back tears long enough to call them into the room and hug them. I told them what I wanted them to do if something like this would happen. I told them I loved them. It’s things like this that we should do every day, and things I try to do every day…but take for granted. Remember that your kids are the best hope we have for the future, and instead of talking about anger and suffering…teach them compassion. Most of all tell them how much you love them.