Social media outlets exploded yesterday in the wake of the mass killing in the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty six dead, twenty of them children. I witnessed an outpouring of love to the families who lost yesterday as well as a renewed outpouring of love to our own children. I too was glad to see all three of my kids safe and asleep in their beds last night. Last week, there was a bomb scare at my oldest son’s high school. It was nothing more than a prank by a student, but authorities responded immediately and communication between the school and us parents at home was ongoing. It was somewhat reassuring. Last week had me frightened for my children’s safety. Yesterday did the same.
I feel for all the families who lost their children yesterday and hoped that the good thoughts, feelings and prayers (even though I’m an atheist, I recognize the importance of prayer) would continue, unabated, for days, if not weeks, to come.
Sadly, I also began to see an immediate and renewed discussion on gun control. It’s not surprising to see this, but the discussions I was reading and doing my best to stay out of were shocking.
One of my friends commented on this post from “On Liberty and Freedom’s” Facebook page:
Oklahoma is the only state that Obama did not win even one county in the last election… While everyone is focusing on Arizona ’s new law, look what Oklahoma has been doing!!!!
An update from Oklahoma :
Oklahoma law passed, 37 to 9 an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along with the ACLU, said it would be a mistake. Hey this i
s a conservative state, based on Christian values…! HB 1330
Guess what………. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Oklahoma recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they want to get a green card and become an American citizen. They all scattered. HB 1804. This was against the advice of the Federal Government, and the ACLU, they said it would be a mistake.
Guess what………. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Recently we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegal’s to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional SB 1102
Guess what……… Oklahoma did it anyway.
Several weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas , Montana and Utah as the only states to do so.
More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Carolina’s, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi and Florida. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once again. HJR 1003
The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns. Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. I’m sure that was a setback for the criminals The Liberals didn’t like it — But….
Guess what……….. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Just this month, the state has voted and passed a law that ALL drivers’ license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no other language. They have been called racist for doing this, but the fact is that ALL of the road signs are in English only. If you want to drive in Oklahoma , you must read and write English. Really simple.
By the way, the Liberals don’t like any of this either
Guess what…who cares… Oklahoma is doing it anyway.
If you like it, pass it on, if you don’t then delete it…Thanks Guess what : they people I’m sending this to , will send it on. Well, at least the ones who love and believe in freedom will.
…by saying it was much too soon after the tragic event in Connecticut to be touting these statements. I agree with my friend, but the amount of hate he had thrown at him was disgusting.
Another friend of mine, comic book writer and illustrator, Rich Woodall, posted a link to the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle, being sold on the Walmart website with this comment:
Why does anyone “NEED” to have an Assault Rifle? And why can you buy them at Wal-Mart? That’s one of the guns the Murderer in CT used… I’m not saying he bought it at walmart. What I am saying is I’m not sure what the hell hunters in the US are hunting that they “NEED” a weapon like this. I’m not anti-gun at all, I grew up w/ guns, my family owns it’s fair share of guns. I am pro-background checks, pro-mandatory gun locks, pro-screening for mental health… clearly this guy had some sort of mental health problem… I’m guessing all of these nutballs do. Putting guns in the hands of Teachers/Principals isn’t the answer either, I’ve met enough crazy teachers / principals in my life. (again, I’m not saying all teachers are nuts, but it doesn’t take “All” of them going crazy to make for a similar scene). Maybe we need more of a Police presence at our schools? Maybe we need to make sure people w/ mental issues get the help they need. Maybe we need to take Assault Rifles off the shelf… and don’t give me this bullshit that criminals will get them so we need to have them to stop them. Criminals will get them, that is true, but if we take them off the shelf, it will be a hell of a lot harder for them to get them… and maybe it will save a couple lives… even if it saves 1 life it’s helped a little.
Being the highly opinionated, yet logical, historian that I am, I responded to Rich:
Rich, I agree with your position 100%. I too grew up in a home that had firearms, but they were hunting weapons and used strictly for such.
I think the core issue here is the NRA and those people who support that organization. They tout the 2nd Amendment as a law which allows them to own any firearm they choose to own and they have a lot of pull in Washington. But, as any good constitutional lawyer worth his/her salt will tell you, it is not only about the letter of the law but also the INTENT of the law (going all the way back to James Madison).
The intent behind the 2nd amendment was to placate the general populace after they were subjected to an armed occupation of their land and homes. In most cases, the British Army did not allow the colonists to openly own or use firearms (though many did). When the Bill of Rights was written, it was during a time when firearms were black powder weapons, taking a number of minutes to load each round. It was also a time when mass killing innocent civilians was an unthinkable act. Madison and the other authors of the Constitution had no possible way of being able to predict the future of weaponry. They had no way of knowing how easy it would become for one person to kill so many in such a short time.
At this point in time, it’s too late to change anything. Weapon developers/manufacturers own powerful companies, the NRA is a powerful lobby in DC and it had become much too easy to obtain almost any weapon you want despite the law. Putting guns into the hands of teachers is not the answer. Putting arm guards in all schools is not the answer. These are like putting Band-Aids on a severed limb. It will have no effect.
I don’t have an answer and I don’t think anyone does. This has become a sad cycle of “mass killing, gun control debate, no action” – rinse and repeat.
My response to Rich says very well what I think and feel about this issue.
It will never change/be fixed/go away and I fear for the future we have created for our children.
Morgan Freeman’s response to the massacre asks that you turn off the news and remember the victims, not the killer.
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.
Here they are, the tragic victims. I don’t list their names to be cruel, but because I agree with Mr Freeman. Let’s remember the innocents and stop turning monsters into celebrities. Remember especially Victoria Soto, who hid her first graders in the cabinets and closets after hearing the gunfire. When the shooter came to her classroom, she told him that her students were in the gym. He then gunned her down and moved on. She saved the lives of all of her students. She was 27 years old and died a hero.
I obtained this list from CNN.com
- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female
One last thing before I go. My friend SAM, whom I talk about often on this blog (in so much as I think her writing is great) and is a card-carrying member of the Master Class Fab Four, also posted her thoughts on Friday’s tragedy. She asks us to remember especially the first responders, who lived the nightmare so that no one else had to.