Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on Today’s Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy

Right. I guess there's only one thing I can respectfully blog about today. Posting a trip report would just feel too frivolous in light of what's happened.

As most of you know today a number of students and staff (including the school’s principal and psychologist) were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut. The killer has been identified as Adam Lanza, though at first his brother Ryan was believed to be the killer. This resulted in an unrelated Ryan Lanza having to remove his Facebook page due to harassment. 

Many of his victims were in the kindergarten class of his mother Nancy, who was also killed. Adam Lanza committed suicide after the killings.

Some online have argued that this is a bad time to get political and talk about gun control right now. I respectfully disagree. I don’t want what happened to become a political circus. However, it’s important to deal with this issue now, while it’s fresh in people’s minds, before some other event turns people’s attention away. Whether you’re in favour or against gun control, there have been too many events like these in recent times.  Columbine of course, but also the Aurora shooting earlier this year. Now that we have lost kids I think it’s time for serious discussion to happen to try to determine while this sort of thing is happening and how it can be prevented.

I think it’s important to add something I posted earlier today on Facebook:At times today and next few days you're going to read/hear views on guns you disagree with. Remember when disagreeing to be respectful to honour those who will never have a chance to grow up and be mature. They will never be adults so we have to be adults for them.”

Personally I do think it's time for the US to overhaul their gun laws. However, if someone who is anti-gun control has an alternative solution that they think will work better, let them speak. Let's open a dialogue and weigh the pro's and con's of each approach, keeping a level approach and actually listen to what people with opposing opinions have to say. And let's make sure that a change of some sort, whatever it is, is in place before the end of 2013. Okay, maybe I shouldn't speak too much oin this part because I'm Canadian, but things that happen in the US do tend to have some effect on Canada, however indirectly.

Furthermore: No vigilante justice please. The killer is dead. You cannot touch him. Don’t go after his family; they have demons of their own to face that no family should have to deal with; most likely their happiest years are now behind all of them. And please, please, please, with sugar on top, when something like this happens, don’t go after people with the same name as the killer. As we’ve seen, sometimes misidentifications happen (Ryan Lanza is reportedly not a suspect). And most people do have the same name as some other people. If you’re not sure if it’s the same person, there’s a good chance it’s not.  Don’t compound the tragedy by being nasty to an innocent who had bad luck in terms of a name.

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