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Nobody Wins the Blame Game

December 18, 2012

My heart is still hurting when I think of the horrific events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We still haven’t talked to the girls about it. I think in one sense I figure ignorance is bliss, but on the other I do worry about what they might hear at school. I heard kindergarteners talking about it yesterday, the Little One wasn’t paying attention to them, so I don’t think she heard anything. The girls haven’t asked about it and we have not talked about it. I don’t know that it will ever come up at home.

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Of course all of my adult friends are talking and sharing their opinions. It’s getting to be similar to election time on Facebook. There is a lot of arguing and nastiness. A lot of people are blaming guns, some people blaming Asperger’s or other mental health issues. And others are blaming President Obama, the zero-gun policy, the parents of the shooter, God not being welcomed in school and the list goes on.  But the bottom line is only one thing is to blame in this whole mess – evil.  An evil man with evil thoughts who did unspeakably evil things. He is the sole person to blame. And honestly does it matter? It’s done and over with. Yes, we need to do all that we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  But most importantly right now is to support, love and lift up those who are suffering from the most difficult kind of pain – the loss of a child.

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Twenty precious children, six loving adult staff members and the shooter’s mother that were lost are what matter most now in these days leading up to Christmas.

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Can we please stop the arguing and bickering about gun control, gun laws and arming teachers? And just remember those precious babies, they are the ones that matter right now.

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We do need to try to understand why this happened. We do need to understand how it happened. But taking away all guns is not the answer. Giving all teachers a gun is not the answer. I think the answer lies somewhere inside each and every one of us. I think the answer has more to do with who we are and how we treat each other than it does what labels we put on people. Yes, mental health issues clearly played a role in this tragedy.  We need to find more options for people who need mental health care. We need to support families struggling with children suffering from mental health issues.  But overall we need to be more loving to one another. We need to be kind. We need to be respectful. We need to value each and every life that God creates. Once we do these things, then we can look to the next level – whether that’s stricter gun laws or more security at schools or something entirely different. Unless we start caring more about one another, nothing about our society will change.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    December 18, 2012 9:58 pm

    ‘I’m starting with the Man in the Mirror; I’m asking him to make a change…”…. Channeling Michael Jackson. You are so right Joyce. The simplest solution should cost not a penny, require no debate or legislation, and be available to everyone immediately. Thank you.

  2. Noelle Marinello permalink
    December 19, 2012 8:39 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of empathy. That, essentially, is what the shooter lacked. It sounds like a shocking understatement to describe this kind of horror, but I think that’s really what it comes down to. That is what enables a person to shoot people for fun. The fact that in this case the victims were children just shows how completely out of reach of empathy this guy was, if even those sweet little innocents couldn’t bring it out in him.

    Psychologists say that some people are truly incapable of empathy – that is the definition of a sociopath. I think people that are truly and universally incapable of empathy are few and far between, and pretty easy to spot if we’re paying the least bit of real honest attention to them at any point along the line, which should make it possible to limit the harm they are able to do.

    The rest of us live on the spectrum of empathy. We can cultivate it or stifle it. We make a lot of choices that do one or the other. Any time we say, “I just don’t know why some people are…” and follow it by whatever we’d like to distance ourselves from, whatever quality we want to believe about ourselves that we establish in contrast to what we judge in others… that’s just one example that happens to be something I personally do all the time. There’s a list as long as you have time for, including the proliferation of violent entertainment, the deification of competition, the fashionable nature of irony, and an economic system that seems to be digging an ever-greater divide between haves and have-nots, with an accompanying increase in the incentive to be on the right side of that divide whatever it takes, including ignoring or justifying the sufferings of those who don’t make the cut.

    I’ve been spending a lot more time over the last few days thinking about the little opportunities I have every day to choose to pursue empathy or callousness. I think I’d like to be more like Jesus who wept over a dead guy he knew he was about to raise from the dead, just because he got how sad it was for all the people who loved the dead guy and thought he was gone forever. I’d like to be a little more like that every day. And a little less like a school shooter.

    Sound good?

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