A Day We Come Together

In tragedy we need to band together, remember the victims and avoid political comments that divide us. This is about real people and real sorrow. Nobody walks away from a battle unaffected.

I’m sitting in my office. It is December 14, 2012. I took a break after an appointment, and read online about the school shooting in Connecticut.

The next articles are about Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Bloomberg calling for an end to the Second Amendment of the Constitution.  I want to make a few notes before this becomes old, I calm down, and it gets back to the business as usual of dividing this country.

As a parent I am sick to my stomach. What do you do when you hear there is a mass shooting at the school where your children attend? What happens when you rush to the location, and the police will not let you get close?  How does life go on if your child did not survive?  What do you say to your child, of 8 years, when they have witnessed a war, in their supposedly safe school?  How do you stay mentally stable knowing you are powerless to stop something like this happening again due to a copycat shooter?

In the coming days we will learn more of this tragedy. Apparently this sick person killed his mother and many of her young students. We will learn that  everybody/nobody saw this coming based on the shooter's personality. We will probably learn the mother was a model teacher who influenced many lives in a positive way, but somehow her child became lost.

We will learn there were heroes, cowards and panicked people inside the school.

The heroes will be dazed and unsure of what happened; they will be confused as to why people are amazed at their actions. The others will be trying to understand, why they acted as they did.  

Nobody walks away from a battle unaffected. For everybody at that school life will never be the same. The people at that school will never again feel completely safe. Doctors will work with them, but when you see someone die, someone you knew, the survivor will always feel guilty about their own survival.

We as a nation need to turn to these who would make political hay of this incident, to push their political agenda, and express our dismay at their actions.

At the same time, we need to gather with our families, our friends and our place of worship and pull for the families.

Those of us who are religious, we can pray for these families.  Those who are not religious can pause to give positive thoughts to those suffering.

In a few weeks, we can then pull away from each other and go back to the bickering.  We will be fine, it was not our families. We can tell the other side why they are wrong. But one thing will never be the same. 

We will always remember 12/14/12, and know that we as a society were hurt by the actions of a sick person. This is all about people, this is not the time for pointing fingers and trying to make it political. Come on folks, we are in this together.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JustUs December 15, 2012 at 03:49 AM
It is a sad day indeed. And my condolences go out to the victims and to their families. I guess when you look at the big picture it's quite amazing that this sort of thing does not happen more often. We do have about 314 million people in America. If only 1% are mentally imbalanced and have a violent nature that means there are over 3 million ticking time bombs on the loose. And it's darn hard to fix 'crazy'. And America is a gun nation. It just is. And it's impossible to turn back the clock on that one with an estimated 310 million non-military firearms in the hands of our citizens. Besides, do you think convicted criminals are going to turn in their firearms if required? Of course not. Criminals don't follow laws. Disarming the population would only place law-abiding, innocent citizens and their families at heightened risk. But this country needs to get serious about treating mental illness, as that is the root of most of these tragic shootings. They let the insane walk the streets muttering to themselves and they cite "freedom" as the reason. Yet America has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison inmates. So something doesn't wash there. Personally, I think at least one teacher at each school should be certified as firearms proficient and armed when on campus. As long as schools are deemed a firearm 'safe zone' some nut will have field day if he's intent on hurting the innocent. Let's start thinking outside the box here. We need solutions.
Mike Proctor December 15, 2012 at 06:05 PM
The last time I felt this sad and angry was 9-11.
JustUs December 15, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I just fear the 'slippery slope'. Mike. Politicians feed off of people's emotions. It is their lifeblood. And this is a perfect opprotunity for them to start messing with the US constitution, either overtly or covertly. I pray that cooler heads prevail here. I pray that they don't use this opportunity to interfere with the inalienable rights that were granted to us by God, not man.
MFriedrich December 15, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I don't think anyone will rescind the 2nd amendment. It's the law of the land, and there are simply too many guns and crazy people holding them. It would be a disaster to outlaw them (see 1920's alcohol prohibition). But I think that people will have to go a few extra steps to prove that they aren't mentally insane before they buy an Sig Sauer or a Glock. Maybe a psychological examination? After this great American hit parade of shame (http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2012/07/img/aurora_chart3.jpg), we should be ashamed about how we handle mental illness in this country. It's a serious issue. Maybe we've hit the breaking point where the rights of the few are outweighed by the rights of defenseless women and little childen just trying to go to school and grow their knowledge. I know this. All of those parents and spouses are going to have an massive hole in their souls this Christmas and forever after thanks to Connecticut's irresponsible gun control laws and a total disregard for those suffering from mental illness. I agree that we're all in danger of the politicians doing something (anything) stupid to make them look busy and effective.
JustUs December 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
But psych exams are hit and miss, mfriedrich. Look at our police forces and how many crazies that they hire. It's very, very difficult to look inside a man's head unless he is truly seriously mentally ill. And some people aren't seriously mentally ill, but just plain evil. Hard to screen those too. People who are really nuts normally have a paper trail following them. Many are logged into the justice system in one way or another. Requiring psych exams for everyone would be a huge waste of money and effort IMO. But keep your ideas coming. We need to think outside the box here! I think the gun laws we have today is adequate and all that we can do to prevent these tragedies. I am very surprised that in a nation of 314M people and 310M civilian guns that we do not see these awful things happen more often. But a poster named Norton pointed out under another blog that Canada has more guns PER CAPITA than the United States and 80% less gun violence than we do PER CAPITA. So, obviously, this has more to do with OUR culture and not guns alone. Perhaps we should be intelligent and look at OUR CULTURE and try to change that instead of changing gun laws?
JustUs December 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM
BTW, I need to say this. I can't stand Piers Morgan. I was not a Larry King fan but Piers Morgan makes Larry King look like Johnny Carson. Why did CNN have to hire a brit for one of the premier media interview jobs in the nation? What a farce he is. CNN's ratings have plummeted. No wonder. He comes across as such a little 'sissy'. Why don't they hire a real man to do that show. A man who is willing to speak his mind and the truth, even if it conflicts with modern day politically correct thinking???
MFriedrich December 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Unfortunately, Connecticut's incompetence and negligence in gun control just swung the door wide open for the Feds to force new nation-wide "minimum standards" down their throats. Open wide Texas. It's probably going to become more difficult to procure guns and ammo legally. Now illegal obtainment?That's a completely different story.
MFriedrich December 16, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Agreed. He is about to straddle the British "high horse" on gun control. They outlawed hand guns, automatic rifles and other weapons after Dunblane. 18 dead, 15 injured. 16 of them children ages 5 or 6. After what happened yesterday, I can't say that I blame them (the Brits).
JustUs December 16, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Americans aren't brits. If you recall, we gained our independence from them. There are an estimated 310M civilians guns in America with over 150M Americans who own them. Good luck on taking those away. I'll blame the brits. Why punish millions for the act of one or two? Why take away protection from the obedient ones leaving the criminals with the guns? Like I said, it's time for America to change it's culture. We kill hundreds of thousands of innocents overseas and no one bats an eyelash. But when 26 get killed on our own shores by one of our own everyone is outraged and talks about draconian gun laws. Absurd.
Shripathi Kamath December 16, 2012 at 06:51 AM
"This is all about people, this is not the time for pointing fingers and trying to make it political. " sez Mr. Webb, who accused Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Bloomberg of being anti-Constitution. Not Huckabee: "Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing. We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” or Bryan Fisher: "You know the question’s gonna come up, where was God?” he said. “I thought God cared about the little children, God protected the little children. Where was God when all this went down? And here’s the bottom line: God is not gonna go where he’s not wanted. Now we have spent, since 1962, this, we’re 50 years into this now, we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost. Telling God, we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you before football games, we don’t want to pray to you at graduation, we don’t want anyone talking about you in a graduation speech.” “We’ve kicked God out of our public school system,” he went on. “And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve gotta invite me back into your world first. I’m not gonna go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman.’” So are they right? http://bit.ly/V0HrK0
Shripathi Kamath December 16, 2012 at 06:55 AM
"I don't think anyone will rescind the 2nd amendment" No one in Congress/WH has demanded that. But that's not going to stop RWNJs from claiming so. "I agree that we're all in danger of the politicians doing something (anything) stupid to make them look busy and effective." Do not worry, nothing will be done. If you want something done, you have to have a radical demand that the Capitol and the White House be a gun-free zone like a school (or vice-versa). Or demand concealed carrying liberalization in those places.
Shripathi Kamath December 16, 2012 at 06:59 AM
John Webb 2:20 pm on Friday, December 14, 2012 "Irving, for God's sake, stop. This is not the time. People are in real pain and every parent is thinking about their own children. There will be plenty of time to make political hay out of this." Posted on December 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm "The next articles are about Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Bloomberg calling for an end to the Second Amendment of the Constitution. I want to make a few notes before this becomes old, I calm down, and it gets back to the business as usual of dividing this country." So "the time" to "make political hay out of this" is about an hour later. "This is all about people, this is not the time for pointing fingers and trying to make it political." OK, "the time" to "make political hay out of this" is about an hour later, but only for Mr. Webb. My bad.
JustUs December 16, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Shripathi, why are you so angry at the author of this blog? It seems like you selectively pick out little tidbits from his blogs and then proceed to make a mountain out of a molehill. You seem to nitpick and go out of your way to try to put him in a bad light. Is it his political background that angers you? From where does the constrained anger originate? Let me offer a suggestion. For every negative comment you make about the author - make a positive comment too. Not a sarcastic one that originates from anger either. A sincere one. Try that. I think it might make you feel better about yourself. I want to help. Just an idea.
MFriedrich December 16, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Ugh Bryan Fisher. So is the explanation that God felt so shirked by Americans after the past 62 years that he decided to turn his back, arms folded as 5 and 6 year olds were gunned down by a mentally imbalanced person on medication? Jim Jones, suicide bombers, Timothy McVeigh and David Koresh... Indeed what's really needed in America to stop killing sprees is more credulity, faith and study of the Christian God in the Bible. There's no senseless violence in those pages.
MFriedrich December 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM
"Why punish millions for the act of one or two?" Is it "punishment", JustUs? I'm a gun owner. Are you? Calm down. Nobody is going to repeal the 2nd amendment. I don't want mentally incapacitated or medically compromised individuals purchasing AR-15s and Glocks with hollow points without a background check and perhaps something a little more. I have zero problem with that. I was simply pointing out what the Brits decided to do after Dunblane, a very similar massacre to Friday in Connecticut It didn't eliminate gun violence, but you can count on one finger the number of mass killing sprees in the UK since Dunblane. I agree with you about the irony of killing children in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere without batting an eye. I guess this is because there isn't a war going on in the United States and there shouldn't be such collateral damage of young 5 and 6 year old kids at an elementary school. Or is there a war going on here? Looking at this list since 2007, something clearly is not right with us: http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2012/07/img/aurora_chart3.jpg
MFriedrich December 16, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I think it's because the author tends to frame his arguments and explain world events from a conservative lens, typically blaming America's "liberals" for all social and politcal ills, for being lilly-livered scum, and for grossly misinterpreting God, the Bible, and the U.S. Constitution. Nothing posted is a particular surprise shock. I can watch 4 minutes of Fox & Friends or Bill O'Reilly and get the jist of this worldview. Not difficult. This is an open forum, so the exchange of ideas, and even the sharp, curt critique of bad ideas, should actually be embraced. And the invitation is good both ways, though sometimes John doesn't respond to commenter questions to his claims or views. As long as we're not being rude or discourteous to each other, or putting words in each others mouths, this is a good thing.
JustUs December 16, 2012 at 07:24 PM
mfriedrich, as far back as I can remembers the brits always had very strict gun controls. There was a time in the 60's, 70's, 80's when the british cops didn't even carry guns since they didn't need to. Today (when new brit gun laws are in place) the cops do carry sidearms. So go figure! And don't forget, without guns Americans would have NEVER gained independence from Great Britain and you'd be speaking with an English accent today. There are already background checks in California. People with serious mental illness and violent criminals are supposed to be prohibited from buying firearms here. In fact, it's a FEDERAL law. So it must be true in other states too! So what are you talking about, mfriedrich? Law-abiding, obedient citizens should not be punished for the actions of crazy people or criminals. I don't want to be like Great Britain and most of us don't. Change the culture here. Legalize drugs and stop the gang shootings. There are lots of RATIONAL things we could do. Punishing good people by taking away their means of protection in not one of them!
Shripathi Kamath December 16, 2012 at 08:55 PM
"Shripathi, why are you so angry at the author of this blog?" You are indulging in either an informal fallacy or a rhetorical device which is inapplicable here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question) "Let me offer a suggestion. For every negative comment you make about the author - make a positive comment too." That is a lousy, nay, useless suggestion. There is no need for creating a false sense of balance. One makes a positive statement when one finds something positive, and a negative one, when one finds something negative. Here, I have done neither. Instead, I have simply pointed out the amusing disconnect in the author's appeal that we hold back our comments since it is "not the time" and then his quick progress to expound an entire blog post finding that very "time." Or that he urges not to politicize this, before proceeding to do precisely that himself. Naming names, accusing them of things they have not really even said. If you find that to be negative, ask yourself why it is so, since all I am citing is the words of the author, and highlighting the discrepancy. "I think it might make you feel better about yourself." You think incorrectly, fabricating balance would do no such thing. "I want to help." Thanks, I'll let you know if I need any.
JustUs December 16, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I don't understand, mfriedrich. If this author or Bill O'Reilly makes a person angry then why continuously read or listen to what said commentator says and become even more angry and lash out? You can go to the LA Times and find liberal authors or go to MSNBC and find liberal broadcasters who tell you what you want to hear. Go there! But nitpicking and finding little arguments then blowing them out of proportion makes no good sense. All I am saying is don't make mountains out of molehills. And for your own mental well-being, for every criticism offer a compliment to this author. There are many points in his commentary that could be agreed upon by all political spectrums. Look for commonalities instead of conflicts, ok??? It's good for your mental health!
JustUs December 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Shripathi, your comments are saturated with bitter sarcasm. Any casual observer could see that. Please don't deny it. And, as any good psychiartrist would tell you, sarcasm is anger in disguise. Probably a deep seated anger that's been brewing for many years. I am just trying to help you. By giving the blog author a compliment for every criticism you would enhance your own mental well-being. And there are MANY comments in his article that all reasonable and well-adjusted individuals could agree upon. Please, don't seethe in your anger. Let it go. It's just not healthy. Try my approach. ONE compliment for EACH criticism. I think your life and happiness factor will show improvement. Good luck. I wish you well.
Panglonymous December 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM
With all due respect, JustUs, please consider how utterly insulting your post (just above) is to Mr. Kamath. I find *myself* insulted by it and it's not even directed at me. This is an open forum (within limits of Terms of Service) and there is nothing in this comment thread even remotely objectionable within a frame of open dialogue. Carry on.
tiny December 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM
But Pan, did you see what Shrimp posted regarding people who support our 2nd amendment? It was some disgusting fatbody. So we know what's in his heart.
Panglonymous December 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Ah. A blackguard, then?
tiny December 17, 2012 at 01:23 AM
It's a stuggle.
JustUs December 17, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Pang, no insult was intended. I just told Shripathy what I observed. His comments drip with sarcarm. Sarcasm is repressed anger. Ask any mental health expert. And Shripathy's comments to the author of this blog seemed very insulting to me. Did you read them? So I am trying to resolve the conflict here. I am trying to be the healer and eliminate the mean spiritness. Why would you oppose that? My suggestion??? ONE COMPLIMENT WITH EVERY CRITICISM. I think that should be posted in the Patch Guidelines myself!!! Have a wonderful evening, Pang.
Panglonymous December 17, 2012 at 03:12 AM
JustUs, I judge it to be presumptuous and insulting and defend your right to say it. Carry on.
JustUs December 17, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Pang, I really don't care what you think. I am the author and told you what I intended. You can take it or leave it. What you think is irrelevant to me. I even wished him well and said "good luck" at the end. What do you want me to do? Say a prayer for him on-line? Again, enjoy your evening.
Panglonymous December 17, 2012 at 03:51 AM
And we have negotiated our differences peacefully. Carry on.


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