Saturday, December 15, 2012


Some reflection on the fragility of life.  The elementary school shooting in Connecticut is another in a series of senseless acts of violence in this country.  I could go into the whole issue of gun control, the right to bear arms, and all the other arguments, but they aren’t going to change anything.

Let me state up front that I do believe in the right to bear arms; however, I don’t believe our founding fathers intended that right to be abused by owning semi-automatic weapons and turning them on the innocent.  The right to bear arms was created in a time of war—people needed to be able to defend their homes against invasion.  I still believe they/we have that right.

I also believe in gun control.  There is absolutely no good reason that anyone, other than military and law enforcement should have access to semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons.  There is also no good reason not to do thorough background checks.  If it takes six months to a year to be approved, so be it.  If you don’t have the patience to wait, you don’t have the patience to own a weapon. And sorry, #catscratchfever, you don’t need an AK47 for deer hunting . . . just sayin’.

Having said all that, there are those, that if determined, will find a way to obtain weapons and use them against the innocent.  In the case of yesterday’s tragedy, the weapons were registered to the gunman’s mother, who became his first victim.

Another big issue is access to mental health care.  The articles I’ve read are mixed as to whether the young man had mental disorders.  Let’s just get this clear . . . anyone who can go on a shooting spree like that, especially against young children, has a mental disorder.  Does that make him bad or evil?  Not necessarily.  By all reports, he seemed to be a “nice guy” and smart—an honor roll student when he was in high school.  So, what is the catalyst for someone to get up in the morning, shoot his mother in the face, drive to an elementary school, shoot and kill 28 people (20 of whom are children), before turning the gun on himself?  Would he have benefited from some sort of mental health care?  Did anyone recognize symptoms of mental illness?  Would it have mattered?  These are questions that we will never have answered as the only person that could answer them is dead by his own hand.

So today, my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing my child in “normal” circumstances, much less to such senseless violence.  But my heart also goes out to that young man that didn’t see another way out and committed the horrible deed.  While I’m sure we are all judging him, his final judgment is not ours to make.

Take a minute to reflect on what you have rather than what you want today--hug your kids, parents, significant others, friends, and family.  Let the people you love know that you love them.  Life is fragile.

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