... I don't even know what to say about Friday's atrocity. I have 3 children, 2 attending school and 1 attending daycare. I cannot beging to imagine what those families are feeling and I feel sick to my stomach envisioning 20 tiny caskets being interred over the next short while, along with the adults who were caught in this with the children and some of whom saw it coming and knew that very young children could be hurt before they themselves were killed. It is sickening and unbelievable. Shocking saddening and heart-breaking.
However, the issue of course turns to gun control. As always. I do not know what anyone could possibly do to stop this from happening again. There are over 300 MILLION known firearms in Canada and the US. Almost one for every person in the US and one for every 3 people in Canada (that we know of, that are registered, licensed, etc). God only knows how many are out there illegally that we do not know of. Even if the making of all guns was banned right now, there are more than enough to kill every single human being in the US and Canada available right now. So what's that going to do exactly? I say this because I have read numerous posts lately that talked about ceasing the marketing, sales, and production of firearms. Well that's just dandy - put thousands of people out of work when there are over 300 MILLION available right now, according to official govt pages in Canada and the US.
Okay - so then it's that everyone should hand in their firearms right now. No need for them. They are made for one purpose - killing. That's what I read about on countless pages. Okay - so is every person going to hand their's in? I can almost guarantee it's only going to be law abiding citizens that comply. So how many firearms will be still out there, and who will have them in their hands? It's not rocket science.
Another perspective to take on this is looking back at past mass murders using a firearm of some sort - how many times have we heard on the news 'the suspect/gunman had no previous record for violence and was not known to the police'? Quite a few. It seems to be a trend. 'Everyone' is shocked at the news of who the gunman is, or they say he was a bit strange but they never thought he could do something like THIS...
So then there is all of the talk of mental illness - of course something is wrong with these people! That's not rocket science either!! Who in their right, sane mind would go into a school and shoot children and teenagers? Even if they were bullied, something has to be seriously wrong inside their mind for them to come up with these plans. Of course they were ill! They had to have been, sociopathic, psychopathic, anything. But there are millions of people who have similar or the same mental illnesses who would never come up with such heinous plans and act out on them. Never.
So how do we figure this out? How do we stop it? Have you noticed on the news that they keep saying this is the 'second deadliest school shooting' next to Virginia Tech (32 deaths), but they have to carefully say School SHOOTING because the deadliest School MASSACRE was actually done with bombs, not firearms (45 deaths, 58 wounded), in 1927. Yes it is the second worst shooting, but it's actually the third worst school tragedy. In the end, it doesn't matter if it's the 100th worst, it is a terrible horrible unimaginable thing, made worse by the young ages of the children, who had almost no hope of getting away from this insane deadly maniac. But I choose to listen carefully to all newscast wording, no matter the topic, and I looked up the info myself. It may be worth noting here that more than 300 people, most of them children, were killed in 2004 in Chechnya while trapped in a school as hostages. Or we could think about the 900 people, 300+ being children, who died with the Jim Jones gang in South Africa, using poison as a crazy cult mission of death. Or the over 1000 children who have reportedly been killed in Suicide Bombings in Iraq alone over the past 10 years.
What can we do to protect our children against these lunatics? I have no idea. But I am not going to tell my friend who target shoots as a sporting hobby (and has never even killed an animal with one, let alone a human) that she needs to hand over her guns in order to keep bad things from happening. I'm not going to tell my father in law that he can no longer have a .22 sitting by his back door to scare coyotes away from his acreage (or people who repeatedly go on his property to steal stuff). I am not going to tell my friends who's sons are Autistic or have Asperger's Syndrome to lock them up in the attic in case one day they become a homicidal maniac.
And next week when I had planned to go to a firing range for the first time in my life - firing a weapon for the first time in my life - I am going to try not to feel like I am an insensitive callous murderous person for doing so. I have wanted to do this for a long time, just to try it out, see how a gun works and fire off a few rounds in a controlled environment - and now this happens and some of my friends said they 'cannot believe' I am going through with it!!! I feel like we will go and I will do it, and then not be able to tell anyone about it because they will think less of me. Why? I didn't shoot anyone and don't plan on it. There are no firearms in my home and I have never owned one. I've only seen one handgun in person, other than police firearms, and I held it long enough to hand it over to the police after my dad died, because my mom didn't want it in the house anymore. That's my experiece with holding a firearm - giving my dad's .357 (I only know what it was because the officer told me) and hunting rifles and old military rifle to the police. We also gave them my dad's harpoon. That's my experience with it but now I am being made to feel guilty about wanting to go to a range and try shooting a .9 mm. I am not the guy who killed those innocent children. I do not have guns in my house for someone to take and use for unbelievable crimes, I just want to learn how to use one. You never know, one day I may find myself face to face with an armed person who wants to kill me and maybe I will be lucky enough to get it away and be able to use it on THEM if I see fit. Or maybe, since shooting is even part of an OLYMPIC SPORT, I would like to try firing at a target and see how good I am. I also want to try archery - that would be acceptable right? Well what were arrows designed for? Knitting?
Oh but they would be okay because no one has committed an atrocity with an arrow in the past, ever, right? Pffft people are not paying attention in history class are they? At the very least they should have seen the volleys of arrows in Lord Of The Rings and see the destruction caused (whether it's against the bad guys or not isn't the point - they are for killing things, food or adversaries). So why is it okay if I take archery classes, but not okay if I head to a gun range next week?
This whole thing has brought up some lively conversations but who I want to think about and say a prayer for are the families of the victims and the suspect's family who will have to live with this forever too. They didn't pull the trigger but I can imagine they almost feel like they did by now. How horrible and unspeakable for all of those people to go through. I think of them and read their children's names and look at their young beautiful faces, and pray that we can somehow find some way to protect them from people who will attack them no matter what rules and regulations are enforced out there.