Sunday, December 16, 2012
NEWTOWN MASSACRE -- SUGGESTIONS
NEWTOWN TRAGEDY -- REFLECTION ON GOOD AND BAD --- SUGGESTIONS FOR POLICY
Some may think it a fools mission to look for goodness in such a senseless tragedy as the shooting of 26 people in Newtown, CT, 20 of them children who never had a chance to live life. But, as the story has unfolded, goodness, even heroism, is revealed in the teachers who protected their children as best they could with some giving their lives to do so. Sad as that may be, it is emblematic of what America has been all about -- a traditional American culture that seems all but gone by the decades-old sub-cultural change that is symbolized by the mass murder of the innocent, an act that would have been unthinkable in America a few decades ago.
I'm compelled to remember the shooting of 32 innocent people at VA TECH, lined up like in a shooting gallery and gunned down. I couldn't but wonder why one or more of those, who were lined up and shot, didn't "take the shooter down" even though it might have meant death to him or her. I have thought of that many times and I am absolutely convinced that, had it happened in the culture we grew up in, one of us would have taken the shooter down. That's just the way it was......the culture. Some teachers showed that such spirit is alive. They paid a price.
It's sad, tragic, that the teachers lost their lives trying to stop the shooter, but their bravery must be used as a factor in making decisions as how to combat such senseless destruction as this shooter perpetrated. Question: would the shooter have been stopped if the teacher or the principle had been armed and trained. A friend, who is a teacher in Connecticut, advocates just that. He has support, but of course, some doubters. I support his initiative. This kind of thinking must be had in trying to decide how to combat such acts of destruction.
Reflexive political acts will not be satisfactory. We've had enough of that mindless policy making. I, personally, have no need or use for assault weapons, but the reflexive call for banning them will be woefully insufficient in dealing with the whole of the cultural problems that are reflected by this shooter and others.
We can honor all of the victims, as well as victims of other such atrocities, by doing the right thing now. Analyze the national condition decades ago when such an act was unthinkable. What's changed? Objectively assess what policies have been detrimental and have led to the sub-cultural attitudes and acts of today. Leave no issue untouched, for political or other reasons. We must, absolutely we must, assess our attitudes and policies dealing with mental illness. And, correct the deficiencies. How many more innocent people must be murdered as we ignore behavior such as that now coming to the fore about the recent shooter as well as every other one of the perpetrators in the last few decades. Obvious psychotic behavior must be observed and those observing it must have freedom to report it and insist it be dealt with before tragedy occurs. We must decide now how to provide protection for mass gatherings.....even schools! Get on with this action now. Put armed guards at schools. What is the downside? Nothing!
Decades ago, we were brought up with guns, but we didn't kill each other as is being done today. Now, and for all times, let's recognize that our culture is in decline. We must assess the causes of decline, all aspects of it, and make every effort to stop it.....reverse it. By the way, do not exclude the entertainment industry from scrutiny. In fact, be diligent in assessing their causal effects. They are profoundly detrimental.
I hear that a "National Commission" may be formed to do all of this. Hopefully all aspects of it! Somehow, I doubt it.
WHO WILL SERVE ON THIS COMMISSION?? SAME OLD INEFFECTIVE, MINDLESS OPERATIVES? SAME PEOPLE WHO PROMULGATED POLICIES THAT NOW ARE KILLING US? CAN'T BE. PLEASE APPOINT PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT TO DO, WHO WILL TAKE THE RIGHT APPROACHES TO PROBLEM ANALYSIS AND SOLVING, AND REJECT THE TIRED INEFFECTIVE POLITICAL PREJUDICES THAT HAVE BROUGHT US TO THE CURRENT STATE. IT'S MANDATORY, NOT OPTIONAL.
J. MANN, 12/16/2012