“Does anyone know where the love of God go when the words turn the minutes to hours?” – Gordon Lightfoot.
They say it only lasted 15 minutes. One teacher scurried her class into the bathroom and waited for nearly an hour before emerging and only after demanding to see the police’s badges they slid under the door.
One of the children was crying, “I just want Christmas.” Another little boy gathered his friends and led them out the back window. Some were crying and screaming, but he got them to safety. In the aftermath, he was called a hero. Eight years old.
This shouldn’t of happened. At all. Plain and simple. But it did. In Newtown, Connecticut. Not Detroit, South Central or Cabrini-Green. In a quiet town about 45 minutes from Hartford. In Connecticut, “America’s suburb.” Home of ESPN. Where Gordie Howe ended his career. Jesus H. Murphy, when does it stop?
Twenty children. Could have been yours, mine or someone we know. Could have been my niece’s children, or my nephew’s step-son. Or my youngest niece, who’s 13. These Children will never grow up, have families of their own, jobs, become famous or not, play football or baseball, take ballet or become an actor or actress. Why? Who knows.
People are shocked, truly shocked by this. But surprised? Not me, because it happens far too often in America. And it’s the failure of the almost non-existent mental health system in this country that’s been gutted over the past 30 years or so.
People will scream about the Second Amendment, but does that provision mean someone has the “right” to walk into a school, theater or mall and start killing people with automatic weapons? I don’t think Madison or the Founders would think so. I don’t think most Americans would think so. What happened yesterday is incomprehensible to rational beings, but sometimes people aren’t rational.
Connecticut. A nice little state. I have been there more times than I can remember and I’m sure I’ve been through Newtown. One of my teammates is from Connecticut and another one worked there. I feel bad for them.
Maybe now, people will stand up to those who say “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, with guns. As a friend of mine pointed out yesterday, we don’t live in a cartoon. We live in a world where everyone is mortal, even five-year-old children.
I come from a family of gun owners. My Maternal grandfather, Ralph Franks, was a founding member of the Detroit Sportsman’s Congress. My step-father collects, refurbishes and sells guns. My brother and nephew were both in the Marines. My brother-in-law is an avid sportsman who hunts and owns guns. I’m not anti-gun. I’m just not thrilled with the fact that you can walk into a hardware store and buy ammunition and then go to Wal-Mart and buy a Walther PPK and think you’re James Bond or Dirty Harry or John McClane. “Yipeekeiayee Motherfucker!!!”
After Columbine, they said it was too soon to talk about gun control. After Gabby Giffords, after every mass shooting that’s occurred in this country, the choir sings, “It’s too soon.” Well, when is it, if not now.
And Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, is saying that President Obama’s going to take away our guns. Bullshit. But it is time for someone in DC to stand up and say enough. And state’s need to restore mental health funding. Private outsourcing isn’t working. Too many are just lost in a society that doesn’t want them, discards them and throws them scraps. Back in 1975, when “Taxi Driver” was released, Travis Bickle was an anomaly, a loner. 38 years later, there are many more. Adam Lanza was a bright but troubled young man from what we have found out so far. It doesn’t matter anymore. The answers to the questions only he could of given aren’t ever going to be heard. Nor are those twenty children, who “just wanted Christmas.”