Saturday, December 15, 2012

A time for prayers

Not unlike everyone else I have been so heartbroken for the all the people involved in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school. I can't even fathom what kind of emotion the people who lost family members must being going through. And in blunt honesty I try not to let myself imagine, I fear just being completely swallowed by a tragedy so enormous.  Reading different articles, seeing Facebook posts, and a quick 10 minute run of the news has got me thinking of so many things.

One big thing being - How do we put a stop to such mass violence? What an overwhelming question. I honestly don't know how any person could possibly answer that. Or where you could begin to truly make an impact. Where is the starting point?

This came across my screen tonight a statement from Morgan Freeman-

“You want to know why {these shootings keep happening}. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

He really got me thinking. And he is so right in that it is a rare day when past shootings are talked about that you hear much of the victims. The shooters are made into a form of celebrity.

One of the other things that I really thought about today was the enormous impact this would have on the shooters family as well. In honesty I don't think I had ever thought too much about a shooters family before and how heartbreaking this would be for them to have to live through the pain of his acts.  I was blown away to see one of the victims fathers say in reference to the shooters family "I can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you"

What an amazing thing to say. I was so impacted by the grace of that father.

I find it hard to write the right words to get across what I think or feel, so instead I am stealing someone else's thoughts. These were my Mom's words in response to yesterday.

It is through children’s eyes that we often see ourselves in ways we had not intended. Our responses to conflict and tragedy may be the only tools they have to learn how to live in relationship. Making sense of the tragedy in Connecticut is not possible. My heart aches for the families who lost their precious little ones and I pray that the rest of us honor their lives by living as we were intended to - with love.

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