“I Just Want Christmas.”

“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.”

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10 Responses to ““I Just Want Christmas.””

  1. Bob Quinn Says:

    KENT, WHAT THE HELL IS THE ANSWER. I DO NOT KNOW. THE NRA AND THE GUN MANUFACTURERS WILL FIGHT ANY REFORM WITH TOOTH AND NAIL.
    BOB

  2. rollingwheelie Says:

    Don’t know, but people have to do something.

  3. Robin Says:

    Well written Kent. We need to discuss Mental Illness as you stated and if the NRA can answer nothing else I would like to have explained to me why ordinary citizens need to own Assault Weapons.

  4. rollingwheelie Says:

    As I said, Robin, Madison and the Founders had a completely different meaning when they wrote “the right to bear arms.” The Assault Weapons ban expired in 2004. No one has a pair in Washington to even think about touching it. That’s how screwed up it is. You would have thought after Gabby Giffords, someone would have passed something. But nooooooo. It just keeps on going on.

  5. Walter Lipman Says:

    If the President handles this correctly, the NRA can be driven, albeit kicking and screaming, into irrelevancy. All it takes is a little knowledge:

    The NRA has always been about the rights of hunters.

    I’ll take them at their word. I also know for a fact that no good hunter needs more than two rounds to dispatch his quarry. Any more than that renders the pelt worthless and the meat inedible.

    So…new gun control: a ban on civilian possession of handguns, in toto. Any other firearm must not be able to store more than three (3) rounds of ammunition.

    A grace period, lengthy, so that all non-conforming weaponry in the hands of citizens can be turned into the police.

    Then: anyone caught in possession of a non-conforming firearm receives a 10 year, without possibility of parole, sentence in jail. A second offense will yield mandatory life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.

    This is all fine under the 2nd Amendment, whose purpose was to have firearms in the hands of those citizens who were members of militias. The advent of armories around this country for every National Guard unit rendered the necessity of firearm storage at home a moot issue.

    This way, hunters are protected, the 2nd Amendment is obeyed as the Framers intended, and criminals are put away.

    How to put real criminals away? That’s easy: legalize drugs. Release from jail any and all convicted of possession/sale of drugs. Fill the cells with violators of a new, sane gun law.

    It will take a generation, but it will work, versus everything else we’ve attempted.

  6. rollingwheelie Says:

    Walter, legalize drugs? The last guy to try that was Nixon. “To get those damn kids off my back.” The last guy to speak of it was Sam Kinnison and he died shortly thereafter. “You want to end the drug war??? GIVE US OUR MARIJUANA BACK!!!!!” Nah, that’s too easy, like ending Prohibition. Or giving 18-year-olds the right to vote (and buy beer, if just for a few years). Next thing you’ll want is healthcare for most. Damn hippies.

  7. Walter Lipman Says:

    🙂

  8. Mosie Ledbetter Says:

    People like your grandfather were avid gun owners and hunters who knew that guns were dangerous and required the utmost of care. He was an advocate of safety classes for all and the removal of the right to bear for those who abuse their right. If I remember correctly he was also an NRA member, but I believe he would be appalled at how the NRA of today operates and how they have politicized the issue and allowed for semiautomatic killing machines to fall into the hands of all who want them.

  9. rollingwheelie Says:

    Yes, he was. He was, if memory serves, a member of the MUCC, the Michigan United Conservation Club, as well as the DSC. Both of those groups have slid into obscurity over the years. But you are correct in your assessment of the NRA of the past and the NRA of today. And Ralph Franks would say “Bunk.”

  10. Kerry Says:

    This countries founding is based on freedom not government control.

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