Up until recently, the most-read post on this blog was my reaction to the shooting at the Dark Knight Rises screening in Aurora. I wrote that because I could empathize with the dreamers and the Batman fans in the audience. While I was proud of that post, I also never wanted to write anything like that again. Partly because I didn’t want anything like that to happen again. Partly because emotionally, it took a lot out of me. Also partly because this is a blog about teaching, school, Shakespeare, and most of all, my comedy. I want to write comedy, not constantly be updating on the latest shooting or crime. (Although any crime involving Mall Santas being arrested for trying one last big heist is hilarious, as Billy Bob Thorton has show us.)
Then, some sick waste of a human life decided to shoot up an elementary school in Connecticut. I don’t apologize if that seems harsh. This waste targeted children. This waste heavily armed himself to shoot some of the most vulnerable section of society. Don’t give me the “Well, if someone had been armed...” crap this time. This was an elementary school. If there is one place that people should feel safe, that they don’t have to worry, it’s a place that still has Dr. Seuss books in the library and everyone was wondering why their mommies and daddies were so excited that Corey and Topanga were coming back to television. This coward targeted people who were born a year before the first iPhone came out.
That last paragraph was a little more emotional than I really wanted it to be. I’m actually happy with that.
I’m affected by this because I just can’t wrap my head around it. I really can’t. Some guy wants to bust into a movie theater showing a superhero movie and be the bad guy... in some way I can wrap my head around that. I can say, “That’s why he did it.” It doesn’t make me feel better. But I can’t wrap my head around a waste of life that says, “Today I’m going to heavily arm myself and go into an elementary school and shoot up people that still carry lunchboxes with cartoon characters on them.”
What makes me madder still has been the reaction. Of course the NRA pops out as soon as this happens and says, “We can’t ban guns!” Then the other side pops up and says, “Hey’ let’s ban guns!” Then invariably someone says, “well, banning guns only really stops people who listen to the law!” Then we get the asshat (and in this case, you are an asshat if you say this) that if someone just HAD another gun, well, then all the violence would have been stopped! That’s the equivalent of the drunk guy who’s friend is hassled at the bar who, after the danger has safely passed says, “I wish he had tried that with me” but was only safe because he hid the whole time. Then twelve other people come out with bogus statistics about utopias in other countries that either ban guns, or lets everyone have them. Everyone shouting back and forth looking to blame someone other than the sick waste of a human life who picked up several guns, then went and killed children.
While your’e shouting about your precious feelings on the cold piece of metal, a medical examiner is doing an autopsy on someone that should be watching Spongebob.
While you’re shouting, there’s a mother and a father who have a Christmas present hidden in a closet somewhere that their kid will never open. They don’t care about your feelings on gun laws.
While you’re shouting, the police still haven’t picked up all the bullets used in the massacre.
I have too much to say on this. It’s all a jumble in my head right now, struggling to get out. I want to talk about the fact that these kids were at a school. Most of them were probably looking at the clock, wondering what they were going to do as soon as that bell hit, and they were off for the weekend. They should have felt safe. I want to talk about the fact that everyone who says, “well, if someone had a gun it could have been stopped” forgetting that it was an elementary school, and no, no one should have had a gun. You’re a miserable human being if those words even remotely cross your lips right now. Also, having a gun doesn’t make you an action hero. I want to talk about those now saying, “we have to ban all guns” and showing pictures of kids crying, because you’re horrible people if you do this right now. There’s just so much to this it really makes me mad.
You know, I don’t have the answer. I’m a blogger. And not a very good one at that. I post about squirrels taking over the world, comic books, movies, and why I think the world will be better when I’m teaching because I’m just crazy enough to make it work. I wish I had some kind of answer or some intelligent thing to say. But I don’t. I only have a pure visceral reaction. Because there’s no excuse for this. And you know what, shouting about it is only making it worse.
So what do we do? We let these families mourn. We hug our families just a little tighter for the next few days. We turn off the constant news coverage, and we turn on the Redskins game. (or team of lesser value.) We let some time pass.
I’ve spent a good portion of this calling out people who are starting to debate. I want you to know that this is something that we need to debate. We need to debate not only the gun laws in this country, but how someone can get so messed up that this would happen. We need to discuss why were are letting anyone have access to weapons that the US Army doesn’t distribute. These are all important things to discuss. Make no mistake. We are on our 7th mass shooting this year. I’m just saying let those families bury their children... the kids that will have “2005” on the start to their tombstones... before we start making things worse by finger pointing and assigning blame.
I really hope this is the last one of these I feel compelled to write.