“Why I Made Myself Stop Grieving about Sandy Hook” – Guest Post

Hi Readers — I found myself nodding along with almost every word of this post, by Jennifer Murch, a homeschooling mom of four  on five acres near Harrisonburg, VA.  You can find more of her musings and lots of recipes at her blog, Mama’s Minutia. – L

Self-Care

I first started writing this post in my head while I was working in the kitchen with my little boy. He was painstakingly cutting out leftover gingerbread dough. He had flour smudges on his cheek and forehead. His nose was snuffly. His pants were falling down.

My little boy is six, the age of most of the children who were killed last week. When I realized this, several days after the fact (because I’m slow), all the air whooshed out of me like I had been kicked in the gut. Oh, the unspeakable, heart-wrenching agony those families are going through!

Shortly after this realization (and after letting myself have a good cry), I made a deliberate decision to stop thinking, reading, listening, or talking about the shooting.

I realized that I could spend hours mulling over the pain of those families. I could superimpose their reality over mine, imagining what it would feel like to go through such suffering. Inevitably, I’d start to hurt as though I actually might understand what they’re going through. I’d feel sad. I’d grow anxious, worried, and depressed. I know myself. This is how I respond.

The truth is, however, that I don’t understand their pain. I couldn’t possibly because it’s not my reality. Letting my mind play over the horrific happenings does me no good. It doesn’t do any good for my family, nor does it do any good for the grieving families.

See, I do not know those families. This does not mean I don’t care about them, because I do. As a human, I am connected to them. We share the same culture. We share the parent-child bond.

But honestly, how much can I really care about someone I’ve never met? For me, caring demands a hands-on response. It means dropping what I’m doing to meet someone where they’re at. When our friends’ son went missing, we dropped and went. When my girlfriend’s husband was dying, I dropped and went. When my children are crying, I drop and go. (Though sometimes I don’t. It depends on the kind of cry.)

***

There have been so many different responses as a result of this tragedy. Some people are weepy, others angry. Some people act like nothing has happened. Others are debating gun control and mental illness. There are people who feel like they can’t continue on with glorious everyday life in the face of such pain.

None of these reactions are wrong. We all have our own ways of processing. But in order to take care of myself, I have to draw a line somewhere. There are tragedies all over the world all the time. If I internalized them all, I’d be stuck in bed forever.

Perhaps this sounds selfish. Maybe narrow-minded or naive. But I think not. Some battles I am forced to fight, whether or not I want to. But I have a choice on others. Just as I am careful how we structure our days, what people we relate to, what movies we watch and books we read, I am also careful of what types of emotional/political/theological/etc. struggles I will allow myself to engage in.

***

The other day on a walk with my sister-in-law, we discussed the shooting. Which then got us talking about other horrors—Rwanda, North Korea, etc.

“Hearing about all that stuff is just too much,” she said. “I can’t wrap my brain around it. Sometimes I wonder if it does any good for me to even know about this stuff. We think it’s important to know but maybe it’s not.”

I wonder the same thing. What good does it do us, hearing about every kidnapping, shooting, robbery, and rape that happens the world over? Are we a more compassionate society than we were a hundred years ago? I doubt it. Perhaps we’re more savvy, sophisticated, street smart, educated, and globally aware, but I don’t think those characteristics ensure an increased level of compassion. In fact, they may even hinder it.

***

A couple days ago, my older son said, “People keep saying that you should always say good-bye when you leave because you never know when it will be your last good-bye.”

“Well, yes,” I said, suddenly exasperated. “You should say good-bye, but do it because it’s good manners and because people need to know you’re leaving, not because you’re afraid you won’t see them again. That’s kinda morbid.”

***

Because of the shootings, everyone is being advised to hold their babies extra tight. On several different occasions I’ve allowed myself to do this, to soak up their sweetness While thinking of the mothers who can no longer hold their own children.

But then I make myself stop because it somehow feels wrong to use someone elses grief to intensify my love for my children. I want to hold my babies simply because I love them.

***

It is not easy, even impossible sometimes, to turn the sadness off. On the other hand, sometimes the sadness gives us pause and helps us to become more thoughtful, more sensitive, more authentic. My genetic make-up is such that the sadness pulls me down into depression, a depression that is neither virtuous or necessary. – Jennifer Murch

Do we have to think, “This may be the last!” every time we say goodbye?

39 Responses to “Why I Made Myself Stop Grieving about Sandy Hook” – Guest Post

  1. Alexis W. December 21, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Since columbine, i always say I love you to my husband and kids.I too have made effort not to read or watch the television when the news is on. While my heart breaks for the families and community of Newtown, I am not scared to send my kids to school and I hug them because I love my kids and I tell them i love them when ever i leave, because in case some like this happens again, their last memory of me, is of me telling them that not just rushing away to what I have to do.

  2. Caro December 21, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Thanks for posting this, Lenore. Jennifer touches on so much of what I’ve been thinking this week. She’s much more diplomatic in the expression of her thoughts, though. There have been a lot of fb status updates this week to which I’ve really wanted to reply, “STFU already! It isn’t about YOU!”

  3. Nancy Disgrace December 21, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    I have rarely read anything more true and while I am saddened by the tragedy I do not understand the insatiable, borderline morbid, public interest in this story. As far as anger? I am more angry at the political pandering and exploitation that has surrounded this tragedy and the bottom feeding media’s obsession with exploiting peoples pain for entertainment and ad sales value. Thanks for breathing a little sanity into the issue.

  4. Dave December 21, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    What a thoughtful article. Great. I hope it helps others process what is happening around us. We know too much about things beyond our control. Love and touch the people around you. Build community where you live. Turn off the news and have coffee with a neighbor. Unless you have the power to change something worrying about it has no benefit.

  5. Molly December 21, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    This is great and so true for me as well! I have to cut myself off and move on to my family’s Christmas preparations. I think for me, it makes me feel like I’m DOING something when I feel someone else’s pain, even just a little bit. Maybe I think I will remove some of their pain if I take some on myself. Irrational! Also, I think I try to make myself remember to be thankful for what I have by “feeling” the pain of others. Don’t know the reason, but this is my genetic makeup as well. But us sensitive people need to take care of ourselves, too. Thanks for reminding me!

  6. Kelly December 21, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    It does sometimes feel like there’s people who use things like this to become part of the tragedy as if they don’t want to be left out. I don’t think anyone actually wants to be part of it, but this way they get let into the whole movement without actually having to suffer.

    I suppose I’ve always felt that while it does make me cry to think about it, it’s not because it’s happening to me. I just hate that anyone has to go through it. I can’t imagine that anyone knows what they’re going through, not even people in the same situation.

    Then again I probably go against the grain on a lot of my views since I feel that all the worship for those in the military is a bit silly since it’s their job, but I think it’s horrible that we don’t provide the money to get them the best equipment possible to keep them safe.

  7. Kelly December 21, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    It does sometimes feel like there’s people who use things like this to become part of the tragedy as if they don’t want to be left out. I don’t think anyone actually wants to be part of it, but this way they get let into the whole movement without actually having to suffer.

    I suppose I’ve always felt that while it does make me cry to think about it, it’s not because it’s happening to me. I just hate that anyone has to go through it. I can’t imagine that anyone knows what they’re going through, not even people in the same situation.

    Then again I probably go against the grain on a lot of my views since I feel that all the worship for those in the military is a bit silly since it’s their job, but I think it’s horrible that we don’t provide the money to get them the best equipment possible to keep them safe.

  8. Kimberly December 21, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I felt like this is something I could have written if I had the eloquence to use words the way this writer did. I have had the same thoughts and feelings, and I too made myself stop grieving for the same reasons. What a lovely piece. It holds so much truth.

  9. Lollipoplover December 21, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    “My little boy is six, the age of most of the children who were killed last week. When I realized this, several days after the fact (because I’m slow), all the air whooshed out of me like I had been kicked in the gut.”

    I felt this too. My youngest is six. I’ll admit, I teared up during “Ode to Joy”at the holiday concert this week (complete with screechy violins) and other sweet moments. But the TV needs to be turned off. Is anyone else completely bothered by the labeling of the child victims as “babies”? My girl is most definitely NOT a baby. Being called a baby is like a four-letter word to most six year-olds.

  10. pentamom December 21, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    This whole post is very good, but I particularly like the second-last section. Someone directly experiencing grief is right to let it increase our appreciation of what we have, but publicly “using” it to gin up feelings we ought to have anyway means those “feelings” will be somewhat fake even when we would have them genuinely if we just acted naturally.

  11. Drea December 21, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Really enjoyed your post… it does make a lot of sense and I think your processing is spot on.

    I also have a 6 year old boy, and 3 other boys actually :) – its hard not to let our mind “go places” when things like this happen….

    Thanks for your transparency! I shared your link on facebook ;-) I think more should read it. Blessings,

    Drea

  12. Stephanie December 21, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Lollipoplover – I’m so glad someone else had the same thought! It was really grating on me every time I heard someone call them babies. Sorry, but once they reach toddler stage, by definition they stop being babies. Of course, it doesn’t change the pain these poor kids’ families are feeling right now, but they weren’t even preschoolers, for goodness sakes, they were elementary school students, so why on earth are people calling them babies?

    I mean, I get that it’s hyperbole, it’s a way of saying they were much too young to die, but it also seems symptomatic of an attitude a lot of parents seem to have of not wanting their children to grow up and not need them anymore. Uhhh… the point of parenting is to make sure that in ~18 years your kids DON’T need you anymore. But that’s an argument for another time.

    Totally agree with the author of this post that a certain degree of emotional distance is necessary to keep functioning. I mean, yes, this was tragic, but horrible things happen around the world every day, tens of thousands of children die unnecessarily, either from violence or illness, or lack of access to clean water and/or food… Where is the anger and sadness and outrage over the deaths of THOSE children? Why is this incident any different? I guess that’s why all the Facebook posts I see come across as insincere for the most part, and why I’ve pretty much kept my mouth shut on the matter, even if it makes me come across as callous and uncaring. It’s quite the opposite really, but I know that adding my own expressions of grief or outrage to the mix isn’t going to make things any better, so I’m not going to waste my energy on something I can’t change.

  13. squishymama December 21, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I love seeing things in print that my heart feels but that I could never articulate, or at least not so eloquently.

    Thank you, Jennifer.

  14. Puzzled December 21, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Logically, there is no more reason for this uber-emotional response to this event than to, say, the many, many more dead children in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no real reason to react more viscerally here than to the much larger number of children who die in car accidents each day. Those who say “no children should ever die” were conspicuously absent when Madeline Albright explained to the nation that thousands of dead Iraqi children were worth it.

    In that case, why is there a greater reaction? Because the media is owned by 20 corporations, and those corporations receive their marching orders from the revolving door of corporate leadership-Washington hotshots. And that conglomerate has decided to make political hay of this event.

    What is most scary is how easy it is to command people to feel something. Emotions are being manufactured, and it’s working.

  15. Puzzled December 21, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    And then there’s this:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/129163.html

    Here, Barbara Boxer calls for putting National Guard in schools. Again, I ask – are children less safe than they were a week ago, or are these leaders publicly admitting that they were doing a terrible job protecting the children for decades on end? If so, they should all resign immediately.

  16. Sarah in WA December 21, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    A friend on Facebook just posted about a soldier who volunteered to stand guard outside an elementary school (unarmed), but was fined and dishonorably discharged because he wore his fatigues in public and not his dress uniform. The post called him a hero. A red flag for me, though, was the statement that the original poster “really wanted this to go viral.” I looked it up on Snopes, and, sure enough, the story isn’t what it seems.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/newtown.asp#pusley

    The guy was never a sergeant or a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, nor did he ever serve overseas, as he said. He basically got kicked out of the military.

    So he sought attention for himself by trying to take advantage of a very tragic story. He placed himself in front of a school to put the spotlight on himself.

    To me, this is disgusting. And yet, people are sharing this stupid story like crazy because they’re upset about what happened and want to feel like something is being done. Even if he were legit, him standing there does nothing. Where does this need to “do” something come from?

  17. Rachel December 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I normally avoid the news because it is too depressing and fear-driven. At the same time, it is easy to avoid the pain in the world, tune it out, and put our blinders on.

    I have been obsessing on this tragedy. And what it means for our world, country, culture. My hope is that something good with come out of it, that it will be a galvanizing moment for us on guns, violence, mental health, support for teachers, etc etc etc. Maybe this can be our wake up call. This is way bigger than an annoying helicopter parent.

    So that is why I’m not tuning this out. I can’t afford it. I can’t see something like this again.

    Slate just started an interactive on gun deaths per day in the US. It’s insane when you let yourself actually see it. They are all too many.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

  18. Neil M December 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    An excellent insight. It can be difficulty to connect with a tragedy in which you are not personally involved, and *that is a good thing*. If nurses and doctors wept every time a patient died in their ER, they’d never be able to tend to the many, many patients they are able to save.

    Nobody wants people to die, and the the news of children being shot to death was of course shocking. However, those of us lucky enough not to have been involved don’t need to mourn; we need to press our elected officials to enable the best policy to address this situation. The parents and friends of the slain will mourn, as they must, and the rest of us should act.

  19. meghann December 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I was immersed in it last weekend, and I’ve spent this week trying not to spend too much time reading about it. We will be immersed in it tomorrow when we get home for Christmas and I figured it wasn’t good for me (or my kids) if I was a puddle of emotion all week long.

    I think it’s wonderful that so many people are keeping the families and the community in their thoughts and sending so much love, but I’ve been finding it a little obnoxious that so many people who’d never heard of Newtown a week ago are so publicly overwrought about it. It smacks of attention seeking – you know, posting on Facebook about how grief-stricken you are so that people will pat you on the head for being so empathetic, or tell you how beautiful whatever piece of glurge you’ve just passed on is. I wonder if people from Littleton, or Aurora, or Phoenix, or Oklahoma City felt the same way, or if it’s just a personal failing of mine that I’m not feeling sympathetic toward those folks.

  20. Lori December 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    This. A thousand times over.

  21. marie December 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Rachel, I’d like to see those numbers next to the number of people killed in car wrecks. This is helpful.

    We can do nothing for the Sandy Hook murder victims. That incident is past (though not for the families; my heart aches for them) and we do not know where the next incident will happen. But it will. There is no way to prevent crazy people, or determined angry people, from wreaking havoc when they really want to do it.

    Oh, wait. There IS a way. This piece is very long but if you are truly interested in how to prevent another Sandy Hook, you will appreciate the information.

  22. Donna December 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I understand a level of sadness. This was a tragic event. I don’t understand this need to assert yourself into it at vigils many states away.

    Further, I think this obsession with events like this may actually be causing the increase in these situations. Some people simply crave attention, negative attention is just fine. Commit an act like this and you become immortal. The victims names and histories are long gone from our societal memory, but we remember the names of the killers. It is them we obsess over for years – or until the next time.

    This is why I think these incidents are increasing. Not because of guns and violence since we’ve always been a bit guns and violence crazy in this country. Not because of the mentally ill since they’ve always existed and our system of dealing with them has always been crappy. (I do think these things need to be addressed but not because I believe we have a snowballs chance in hell of preventing these incidents but because they are problems that need to be addressed). They are increasing because of the increasing national and international attention these acts receive. Want to end it and go out in a blaze of … something? Do this and your name will forever be on everyone’s lips.

    @Kelly – I totally agree on the military thing. Police and firemen too. All the hoopla over 9/11 had always bothered me because so much of the focus has always been on the police and firemen men who died and not the thousands of others.

  23. Rich Wilson December 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    We must recognize, and accept no matter how painful it is, two things.

    1) we cannot protect our children from all risks. Kids will still get shot in schools, and die in car crashes, and die from cancer.
    2) everything we do to protect our kids involves a cost/benefit analysis.

    What will our armed guard:student ratio be? And if we spent those same resources in improving the teacher:student ratio, and the counselor:student ratio and the lunch:student ratio and the music:student ratio could we perhaps prevent more of these tragedies from occurring in the first place?

  24. Meg December 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    This post resonated with me. I have a history of both anxiety and depression, and I have had to forcibly separate myself from this story. Being swallowed in a pit of darkness will not bring back those children. Nor will it help mine. This is what I am almost chanting to myself all day long.

    At the same time, I’d love to see a post addressing Why this shooting feels different. For me, it’s because of the age of the victims and the sheer horror of the attack, but also because I can’t come up with any way that my kids’ school is different from this one. Colombine seemed to be about bullying (though I think it was proven later to be more about the pathology of the gunman), the Virginia Tech shooter had some sort of fury at the school…..there is no motive here and thus so terribly, terribly hard for me to tell myself that it can’t or won’t be my kids.

    I am really struggling for a life raft here, and I welcome any and all future posts.

  25. mollie December 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    I can see it now: the grief, the anguish, the shaking of heads and gnashing of teeth, the intoning of “How could this happen?” when the armed guard at the elementary school, experiencing a devastating divorce and custody battle, turns his weapon on scores of students, teachers, and then himself. Want safety and security? Maybe try more community, support, compassion, empathy, interdependence, and connection… not more guns.

  26. Crystal December 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Last week, I can’t tell you how many of my mommy friends posted something along the lines of, “I’m going to pick up my children early from school. I just can’t take this anymore; I need to have them close to me. Hold your babies extra-close tonight,” on Facebook. And though I understood where they are coming from, I wanted to keyboard-scream, “What good are you doing by disrupting their day? You are not helping them; you are helping YOU! And when I kiss my babies tonight, it will not be out of fear….it will be because I LOVE THEM, pure and simple.” I refuse to let a psycho’s actions dictate even my bedtime routines!

  27. Puzzled December 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    So, some suggested responses are:
    1. Insane schools. Luckily, everyone here sees through this one.
    2. Disarming people who don’t shoot up schools.
    3. Forcibly treating more people with meds that most of these shooters already take.
    I suggest:
    4. Bad things happen – but they happen incredibly rarely. 30 people died in this incident – 30. How many children did not die on Friday? How many died in car accidents? Explain to me again why this statistically insignificant event requires the loss of any freedom – and why we don’t react as hysterically to much larger epidemics, like car accidents. Should we ban cars? Not allow parents to own cars?

  28. Peggy December 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I turned the radio and TV off that news a few days after the shooting. I was hurting for them so much it affected my happiness. I am so sorry for those families, my heart really aches for those left behind. But when it starts affecting my life, I need to back away. I felt bad for doing it but my family needs me to be happy right now and enjoy the holidays with them. It may seem like I am selfish, but my family’s happiness is important too.

  29. Jay December 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    The kind of morbid obsession Ms. Murch is right to reject amounts to an unhealthy kind of bargaining: if I empathize hard enough for another’s loss, I will have prepaid my debt of grief. I will have earned the safety of my loved ones by suffering with this victim.

    But even this tragedy is obviously insignificant in the history of human suffering. We all know of far worse tolls of life and innocence. Even on the day it happened, it was just the tragedy in the world that happened to grab the attention of our media. But we were instructed by them that our project for the day, the week, the month, was to obsess about this distant event.

    It seems bizarre to me to allow corporations — ones with a transparent profit motive — to scout and select and promote sources of fear to us. And more bizarre still for us to reward such action with our attention.

  30. buffy December 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    I, for one, despise people imploring us to “give your kids an extra hug” or “hold your ‘babies’ tighter”. I give my children plenty of affection whether or not there has been a tragedy, as I’m sure most of us do, and begging us to do more doesn’t help kids be safer nor does it help the victims. It goes back to making the tragedy all about us.

  31. Dawn December 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Wow. I get the basic sentiment of this article, but it also seems to have a judgmental tone, as do some of the responses. Who the heck cares if you call these kids “babies”? Do free-range parents have to turn everything into some slight against your children?! And, who cares if we’ve been asked to hold our children tighter because of this? Is there really anyone among you who did NOT give their kid an extra hug after this? Nobody is trying to offend you with these words. Nobody is trying to take away from the real victims of this tragedy. True, it isn’t healthy to dwell on sad topics. However, people mourn differently, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to mourn for 20 little kids, even if they weren’t yours.

  32. Emily December 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Yes, EXACTLY this. I had a friend of mine from undergrad get incredibly angry and defensive, tell me that I was “insensitive” for wanting her to stop posting stuff about the Sandy Hook shooting, when it was getting to the point that it was clogging up not only my Facebook news feed, but also my Yahoo inbox. She said that I “wouldn’t understand until I had children,” In the end, we figured out that she didn’t realize it was going beyond her own wall, and she promised to fix whatever setting that was making it do that, but as for the issue itself, we’re agreeing to disagree. She said that we have to take a stand so that the government tightens school security and gun control to “protect kids” (neither of which make much difference for people who really want to hurt others, and we’ve established that “uber security” in a school can kill the “positive community” feeling in a lot of ways), and I said that plastering this tragedy all over the media doesn’t make it better, and doesn’t respect the privacy of the victims’ families and friends either. I mean, how do you think they feel, seeing pictures and news stories everywhere, and exhortations to “hug your kids a little tighter,” when they can’t anymore? That’s why I’ve decided to simply continue with life as normal. Yes, it’s a tragedy, but it’s no more of a tragedy than people getting injured or killed by car accidents, or kids in developing countries dying of malnutrition……or people in THRIVING nations dying from complications related to obesity, because everyone’s hell-bent on staying inside, where it’s “safer.” Did you know that obesity has now outstripped malnutrition in mortality rate? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9742960/Obesity-killing-three-times-as-many-as-malnutrition.html

  33. Warren December 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Did everyone notice that shows like Dr Oz and Phil did shows on the shooting? This is not news, this is exploitation pure and simple. And is no different than groups using this to further their cause with the gov’t.

    And for anyone that is feeling they may need to mourn more, don’t worry, you will get your chance. I guaran.damn.tee you they will have candlelight memorials every year for decades to come. Making the shooter that much more infamous.

    Sorry, they say events like this bring out the best in people, but in reality they bring out the worst in people. It is over, leave the families alone, and move on.

  34. buffy December 22, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    @Dawn, I care. That’s why I posted. My opinion is as valid as yours.

  35. lihtox December 22, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    The only thing I disagree with is her sister-in-law’s idea that it would be better if we didn’t know about these things. We need to know that these things are happening…
    1) …so that we can react with the appropriate politeness to people who have been affected. People all around the country are hurting from the shooting and you need to be sensitive about it.
    2) …more importantly, events may be a call to action. You can’t speak about gun control in this country, for instance, without addressing the numerous shootings that have gone on (whether you support gun control or not). At the very least, you should know about the world around you when you vote, and there may be other things you feel called to do…donating money, writing to your congressperson, etc.

    So it’s important to KNOW about these events, but I agree that it isn’t so important to FEEL about them. I felt the same way: when I heard about the shooting I avoided the news for the next day or two because I knew I would get myself worked up about it, that if I didn’t feel awful, I would feel guilty instead. Slowly the information has trickled into my brain over the past couple of weeks, but at a pace that wouldn’t overwhelm me.

    I felt the same way about 9/11 when it happened; I lived in Chicago at the time, and was fortunate not to know anybody who died. I had a vague sense of anxiety, that the Sears Tower might be next, but I didn’t feel the same overwhelming sense of grief that friends and family living on the East Coast felt.

  36. Michelle December 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    “…more importantly, events may be a call to action. You can’t speak about gun control in this country, for instance, without addressing the numerous shootings that have gone on (whether you support gun control or not).”

    Actually, how does it make any more sense to base gun control laws on school shootings than to institute the kinds of security measures we’ve discussed in other postings?

    Of all the arguments in favor of regulating guns, “preventing school shootings” makes the least sense. According to the CDC, on average only 16.5 schoolchildren per year are murdered at school, at school events, or in transit to or from school or school events. Basing any law that will affect millions of Americans on a rare event that affects fewer than 20 children per year is absolutely ludicrous.

  37. Sue Carney December 24, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    I’m not grieving, I’m angry. And because lots of people are grieving and angry, this last shooting seems to have been the catalyst that if finally getting people to talk about lots of issues that are negatively effecting our kids and our culture. My fear is that everyone is going to forget about this in a few weeks, go back to their insular lives, and nothing will change. People don’t need to keep grieving, but I hope people will stay angry.

  38. buffy December 26, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Starvation kills a lot more kids daily than the 20 at Sandy Hook. Why isn’t anyone angry about that?

  39. Cece January 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. So true and wise.