For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. (Yeats)
Over the years, I have developed a few cardinal rules, for myself, about writing. Number One is: never write when your head is spinning—that includes alcohol-induced head-spinning, sensory overload and bouts of cognitive dissonance. This rule means that I will rarely be the one to “break a big scoop” but, by the same token it, it has saved me from making a collossal ass of myself on quite a few occasions (other times, not so much).
Last Friday’s events made my head spin mightily and the public reactions of some of my “fellow Murkins” created a force-field that kept it spinning.
Like the college kid that lost his place-kicker position at the University of Alabama for this infantile tweet over the President cutting into a broadcast of the National Bloodsport to address a national tragedy:
He was joined by 50-or-so other similarly-challenged oafs who evidently get a hard-on over saying the N-word.
And there were all of the other kinds of unhelpful American Exceptionals scoring points for their own constricted agenda:
On Sunday, Pastor Sam Morris told his flock, in Tennessee, that sending kids to “government schools” is the problem.
Morris insisted that “humanism” in schools taught Lanza that he was God and “he can just go blow away anybody he wants.”
When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution. And I want to tell you what evolution teaches — here’s the bottom line — that you’re an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.
So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo! But we’re definitely not going to teach you about the word of God! Amen.
Focus on the Family’s James Dobson opined that homosexuals and abortion are to blame.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Planet Xanax) feels that there are not enough guns in America’s classrooms.
TEA Party Nation warns that sex in the media, teacher’s unions and the federal bureaucracy are to blame and recommend home-schooling as a solution.
The only outfit that is eerily silent on the issue is the National Rifle Association, the very organization that has spent millions turning the idea of gun ownership into the holy grail of Democracy. They must know what exceedingly thin and crackly ice they skate on.
I don’t know what the answer is . . . but, as a parent and grandparent I know the heart-stopping, ice-in-the-veins feeling when my own child was in mortal danger. I know that even as a 60+ year old woman who doesn’t exercise enough, I could lift a car off my grand-daughter if need be. There are some things that are so primal that our human minds will only admit those things that make perfect sense in such situations and screen out the rest of the noise.
It is time for sane parents who want to protect their children and make those children feel safe in their homes, in their schools, in their neighborhoods to drown out the voices of the yahoos, the politicians and lobbyists who tell us all of the reasons why we can’t do that. And I mean ALL children. Not just children in affluent neighborhoods but also the children who are held back, educationally, because they are afraid to go to school.
No one can persuade me that this country is the greatest country on Earth as long as there is one child who is afraid to go to school.
We need to search out the sane voices because they are certainly out there.
Charles Pierce has written a very sane case for the Free Market Profiteers’ role in this problem. And by now, probably most of you have read the viral article entitled I am Adam Lanza’s Mother, written by a mother coping with her own 13-year-old son’s mental illness and the lack of resources, outside of incarceration, for people like her to keep her son and herself safe.
I listened to an interview on NPR, in the car, yesterday, in which an urban school counselor made the case, as diplomatically as possible, that shootings are so common in her school’s neighborhood that ten-year-olds can identify a weapon’s make by its sound.
But those shootings rarely make headlines.
Truancy is a real problem in her school, she said, because children have to walk through a “war zone” to get there.
Sanity really can prevail—here’s proof from this morning’s news:
Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm that owns a stake in Bushmaster, the gun manufacturer that produced the rifle used in the massacre of students and teachers at an elementary school in Connecticut, announced early Tuesday that it intends to sell that investment.
Over the past six years, Cerberus has amassed a holding company called the Freedom Group, which has purchased some of the biggest names in American gun manufacturing, including Bushmaster. The firm’s decision to sell off the interests in firearms companies and return the capital to its investors underscores how Friday’s shooting—which took the lives of 20 children—has reinvigorated the national debate on gun control, not just for activists, but also for investors.