I’m Sorry But I Can’t Really Know How You Feel

image of a lit candle

Watching the TV coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting this weekend, or rather trying to avoid it, I was concerned about the incident and feel sad for the families and friends of the ones who were murdered, However I can’t really know how they feel and I don’t want to. Some of the media coverage just seems too creepy for words and I wonder if I should feel bad for not feeling worse. How many more innocent people need to die to change our gun culture?

I remember how I felt after seeing the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 and I feel the same way after the Sandy Hook killings. I’m in funk but because the people who were murdered in Connecticut were not my family or friends, I don’t have a right to grieve. That’s for the friends and family of the victims.

I can’t really know how those families feel but I have a small idea. I lost a sister to cancer in 2003 and even though we had some warning it would happen it did hurt and it hurt for several months. But it did get better over time or at least I was able to cope better and eventually move on in my life. Of course on special days like her birthday I’ll remember that sad day when she died and that I miss her still.

What has bothered me is the need of the media to make this incident a national tragedy and their coverage is almost as creepy as the coverage when Princess Diana died in a car accident in 1997. Yes I knew who she was and felt bad for her family but I had no right to grieve her death. She wasn’t a personal friend or loved one to me. I feel the same about the coverage of the Sandy Hook school massacre. I didn’t know any of the victims. What more am I suppose to do or feel?

Friends of mine talked about hugging their children or praying for the families. How any of that helps the families who lost their children I don’t know. If I were to shut down and crawl into a fetal position after every bad thing that happens in the world then I would have no time to live my life. I’m not saying not to care but have some perspective. If you can do something constructive then do it, if not then you don’t need to do it.

The wall to wall news coverage on Friday just regurgitating speculation upon speculation was uncalled for. It was if the networks were trying to tell me how I was suppose to feel. Once it was confirmed what had happened, that the children had been murdered, I didn’t need to watch any more coverage. There was no point. I didn’t want to know the details, who did it, or see or hear any witness reports.

One area where I do have strong feelings is concerning the ease of getting and using guns like that used in the massacre. I’ve written about this before and my feeling still applies, I think we should ban all guns.

I don’t think that will happen, even if more children are murdered, because the gun lobby is too strong. But I would love to see stricter regulations like banning of the type of gun the killer used and banning large ammo clips. It takes little to no effort to empty a 30 round clip as we found out on Friday.

Think about this – guns cause more deaths than automobiles yet we heavily regulate the use of cars. Most states require a test to get a licence, insurance, and if you kill someone with your car you are looking at serious jail time plus loss of your driving privileges.

Why are guns, which are inherently more dangerous than a car, not as strictly regulated? We put law enforcement officers through massive training and mental tests before letting them carry a gun yet no such testing or training is required for Joe Smoe to own and carry a gun.

But Doug, in Ohio you need a permit to have a concealed weapon. Not really.

The argument that more guns make one safer is left over from old Cold War Era thinking and nuclear mutual assured destruction. Also as I was taught if you point a gun at someone who better plan on using it. I don’t think most of the people who think they need a gun for protection are willing to use it when it comes to crunch time. I know they probably never have considered using a weapon on another human. It really is not a natural thing to do.

In yet another case of the macabre live TV coverage of the aftermath in Connecticut, President Obama gave remarks during the service:

President Obama promised to use the power of the presidency to try to prevent more events like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School during a speech at a vigil for the families of the victims of Friday’s elementary school shooting. “In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds” to prevent more tragedies like this, Obama said on Sunday night in Newtown, Conn.

Though he did not cite specific policy proposals, Obama made the case that the nation was not doing enough to protect its children and must change in order to do better, citing the fact that this is the fourth time he has traveled to a community suffering from a mass shooting.

Obama: ‘I Will Use Whatever Power This Office Holds’ To Prevent Tragedies Like This

I would like to think he would try to prevent more events like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but highly doubt it will happen. Maybe some stricter rules or a ban on the type of gun the killer used but I know the GOP will drag their heels. Republican friends of mine have already complained about “politicizing” the massacre because they can’t defend the killing of children so they want to avoid the argument altogether.

I’m sure the heat of this latest incident will die down and we will probably be back to square one until the next mass shooting.

I did hear one quote from President Obama that I really agree with and those who don’t want to see strict regulations on guns should consider the meaning of:

“Are we prepared that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

If dead children is the price of freedom then maybe that freedom is not worth having.