This must stop

candleLike many people, I was horrified to hear about the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday. This is a town not unlike the small town where I grew up in Massachusetts. My heart is breaking for the parents, teachers, and community who have lost loved ones. My daughter is four and a half and will be starting kindergarten next fall, and I can’t help picturing her and her preschool classmates. I can’t even imagine what those parents must be going through. They should be celebrating the holidays, not mourning the loss of their child.

And like many people, I want to know why and how this continues to happen. There have been too many mass shootings. No one wants to talk about gun control, but really, is it too much to ask that we make automatic weapons impossible to obtain? That we enforce the laws and make it more difficult for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them? I’m not saying take them away from responsible gun owners. But if you’re responsible, don’t you want to help prevent these senseless acts of violence? If you had to wait longer to obtain a gun and this prevented the loss of life, wouldn’t it be worthwhile?

Sure, criminals will find ways to get guns no matter what and no law will prevent that. But also an issue is the lack of mental health services for people who desperately need help. And the violent culture that pervades our society. There is a lack of compassion and common decency and sense of community. We don’t care about each other. We don’t help each other. Yes, I think our government has a responsibility to help its citizens, especially the most vulnerable (liberal here, if you haven’t figured that one out yet), but we also need to help ourselves and our fellow human beings. Somehow we have lost our community.

I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child. We need to start from the ground up: parents, schools, community. What is the fallback if those things fail? Who helps the kids who have nowhere else to turn? You can say it’s not your problem, but it’s our problem. None of us lives in a vacuum. We have to stop the cycle of violence and hopelessness. Please note that I’m speaking generally here because the motive behind Friday’s shooting hasn’t come out yet.

But something has to be done to end this. If twenty young children and the six people dedicated to educating them gunned down in a school–a safe haven–is not enough to wake us up as a country and ask what the hell is wrong here, then I don’t know what will.

If nothing else, please hug your children, cherish your friends and family, and stay active in your community. We really are all in this together.

About Cindy Young-Turner

Hippie chick who is still hoping to change the world someday. Author of the fantasy novel, Thief of Hope.
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6 Responses to This must stop

  1. Ken Pohl says:

    This has to be one of the most ill thought out and self-centerd pieces of information I have read in a while! Tell me do you drive a car, if so why do you and if you cant understand why someone would not want to?

    Do you realize that CARS are the number one killer of anyone anywhere yet you never hear someone say, “Lets get rid of cars they are only held by crazies!” just because you do not understand someone motives and way of thinking does not make them some sort of monster it makes different… Silly child!

    Simply because you do not understand something you think you have the right to criticize it, learn before you speak, it is important to learn not say. A gun like a car is simply a tool and it is not easier to get one than a driver’s license, did you go through a background check for your license, did you wait a week before getting it after you passed the test? This is just the tip of the iceberg for people who wish to own guns…

    Now you ask what a suburban teacher wants with guns, did it ever occur to you that maybe she bought them in defiance of the law for her son, who obviously could not pass the background check on them? Perhaps she gave her son the very tool that killed her, like an axe, a hammer or a car…

    We love to make simple suggestions about thing in this country to fix complex problems and never want to make solutions that make people responsible. How about we make the people that let crazy people have guns go to jail too? My cousin’s kids went to Columbine and they KNEW the kids were ready to explode and did nothing, it was common knowledge! Where is the responsibility of A) The parents B) the staff and C) the kids them self’s?

    In this latest tragedy I know we will find that someone knew the kid was losing it and failed to say something, where is his/her responsibility? We want to pad walls like some parent trying to make a home child proof, but the world is not child proof and you are a fool to believe so. What we need is to make people who are in this world act responsible and if you want to be safe and secure tell me why it took the police over 10 minutes to respond to a shooting at a school?

    I know it does not take that long in my city!

    So before you want to blame a car for an accident how about we blame the drunk at the wheel…

    PS This is the SECOND time i have posed this reply so there seems to be several people who have NO idea what they are talking about and really should spend some time reading thinking and learning. I do not subscribe to liberal/right wing ideology but I do think too many people are not willing to LEARN!

    • I’m not advocating outlawing guns. I have no problem with responsible gun owners and in fact know people who own guns and use them for hunting or are collectors and enjoy sport shooting. Nor do I claim to fully understand gun control laws and regulations, but if there is a way to increase background checks to get weapons out of the hands who would do harm to others, is that wrong? Would it be effective? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. But I think we have a culture of violence and callousness in this country and somehow we have to come to terms with that and change it.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  2. I don’t think Ken Pohl read your post carefully enough. You merely stated what was obvious while walking a neutral tightrope between politics quite nicely, and that was some serious changes need to be made in our system. Because the bad people are twisting it to their benefit, rather than it safeguarding the innocent. I think your post was beautifully put and very tasteful, Cindy. Mathair and I were heartbroken when this broke on the news and said the same thing. “This must stop.”
    I don’t think this should be an issue of conservative against liberals, or arguments over gun control. I think we need to remember what this tragedy is really about: a terrible loss. Our love and prayers go out to the families, and we second Cindy’s suggestion, “If nothing else, please hug your children, cherish your friends and family, and stay active in your community.”

    • Thanks, yes, you understand what I was getting at. I don’t think loss of life, especially children, should be a liberal vs. conservative issue. It’s a fine line and somehow we have to find middle ground to make a change. What we’re currently doing–or not doing–isn’t working.

  3. Trish says:

    Ken Pohl, you seem like a nut that writes garbage. If you are trying to make a point or educate your reader, do so thoughtfully and without condescension. Otherwise your point gets lost and you just end up sounding like a the big poo poo head that you are. See? It’s hard to understand exactly what I’m trying to say to you while I’m insulting you.

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