* Warning: This post relates to the Newtown,CT shooting. If people deem it too painful right now or if you disagree, stop reading here. As a father of three and “Papi” blogger I’m compelled to give my take on this horrible tragedy and how to prevent our children from being murdered in school. In my view it’s never too early and not enough can be done until no child is subject to this. I took down a previous post as some told me “it’s too early” and I wanted to respect those that are hurting. But I just watched a father of a child from the Newtown, CT School call for action and the audio of Coach Pat Kelsey call for change, so for those that think it’s not time for the discussion…it is.
Like most of the world, I juxtapose my children’s faces with those children from Newtown and I am overwhelmed with sadness and anger at the same time. I don’t have all the answer but I know there are a lot of smart folks in power that can make change. But until then, here’s a few points on what I think can help this situation:
- First, members of the TV media, get out of Newtown. Real healing will take a long time but it won’t start until the town is free of reporters and TV cameras. If we really care it’s the right thing.
- Firearm regulation. This is a tough issue as most of us are for hunting and the right to protect ourselves from home invaders, etc. Common sense laws can’t stop all gun violence but it can help. If regulation were OK for President Ronald Reagan, then surely others can embrace it. The Second Amendment to the constitution begins with the words “a well regulated…“. Firearms are legal and part of our culture. We hunt and we defend ourselves with pistols and rifles but it’s too easy for the wrong people to get access to these weapons. Smart regulation to help this matter is needed and necessary. If it saves just one life, it’ll be worth it. This murderer (I’ll never use his name) wouldn’t have inflicted that damage if he had a knife or a bat (the kids in China that were slashed are still alive). We’ve seen mass shootings in Columbine, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown and others. Easy access to high power firearms hasn’t helped, let’s try something else. Let’s start with a REAL ban on weapons that only belong on the battlefield, that means no gun-show loophole garbage. It’s common sense. And let’s have standard background checks and fingerprinting for owning/selling handguns and hunting rifles, so they’re legal but regulated with some common sense. This won’t solve all problems for sure but it’s a common sense start. Any change that focuses on the safety of the children (Not the influence of NRA lobbyists) is a step in the right direction. In the past year I’ve seen members of congress attempt to block access to birth control, voting and even marriage. How about automatic rifles with 18-clip magazines??? And arming teachers isn’t the answer. Teachers are there to teach.
- Let’s finally embrace mental health as part of overall health. When we see signs and ignore them it only comes back to haunt us. This killer had major issues that weren’t sufficiently addressed, until things exploded. Even if he had no firearms at all he still would have “snapped” one way or another. The weapons just allowed him to murder more efficiently. We’ve made strides for sure, such as the mental health parity laws, more community based/school-based services. But clearly it was not enough to prevent the murders at Newtown, CT.
There are common sense measures we can take and we need to start now. It’s actually too late but better late than never. More regulation may not have prevented the Newtown, CT murders but if we can prevent just one, we are obligated to try. We as a society are obligated to try, and keep trying until we get it right. We can surely own firearms to keep our homes safe and hunt without letting our children fall prey to mass murder. We can see signs of mental health and provide support before those symptoms get worse. Until that day comes we’re not getting the job done. It’s not rocket science and nobody has to take it all on alone, but if we care just a bit and do a little we can get it done. That’s my take.
I don’t usually quote Kid Rock a particular song comes to mind.
“Cuz’ I hear screamin on the left
Yellin on the right
I’m sitting in the middle tryin’ to live my life
Cuz’ I can’t stop the war
Shelter homeless, feed the poor
Can’t walk on water
I can’t save your sons and daughters
I can’t change the world and make things fair
The least that I can do is Care”
Kid Rock, Martina McBride, T.I.