I have tried, turning this past Friday's events over in my head like some limp over-easy egg and coming up with no easy answers. Just a general uneasiness. And sorrow....unimaginable sorrow. I have shed tears, but I have yet to get angry. Determined, but not angry, outraged, pissing off (and losing) friends, but not angry.
Gun control is only part of the equation. The main and driving theme here seems to be one which we are unable or unwilling to look in the eye. That is - how we treat the mentally ill, those that are outcasts, and people who are hurting in this country.
There is speculation about what a shitty mom, this kid (his name won't be mentioned by me ever), had. What a monster he was. But in truth folks you don't know a god-damned-fucking thing about this kid, his life, or his mother, and it seems, neither did his peers. And that is problem number one. We don't care, we don't know our neighbors - or if we do it only seems surface. We do not seem to care, we just don't want to be bothered to care, or we are too busy, or too facebook-ey, twitter-ey, or whatever the social-media-crap-of-the-moment seems to be. We give this news our undivided attention when we should have been worrying about this family/child BEFORE the news media served it to us piping hot 24/7. We argue with one another over it and call each other names and defriend each other, my, my aren't we fucking brave.
We place our kids in front of violence, and ignore them, while many in the middle class give them everything they think they need, but god help those whose kids are 'out there', 'weird', shunned. Where do those people/parents turn? To a shooting range I guess. To anything and everything that might allow them to quell their fears for a bit while they desperately try to keep their kid 'normal' - never knowing if they may be dealing with a time bomb waiting to explode. And what help is there? Glad you asked; why there's drugs, there's counseling, there's TV, Internet, IPods/IPads, Video Games, there are all sorts of distractions....but no answers.
We live in an age where sensationalism rules the day, where we conjecture, and spew ignorance like it's the best thing since sliced white bread. We try to distance ourselves from the inner city with all it's horrors and yet, the inner city, at least to me, doesn't mask it's illness with oh-so-many-cul-de-sac-virtuous-neighborhoods. There's a certain resignation. Well guess what - this innocence we seem to take for granted has been shattered - so what ya gonna do now you white-bread cowards? Take more valium? Put your kids on more ritalin and sugar-sweetened cereals? Laugh over your martinis while Jimmy is in the next room playing Call of Duty? Yeah you go...you all go right to hell.
Here's some light reading for you: Facing the Unimaginable, and Leading Anyway
And: Two questions you should ask yourself every morning
My heart aches for every single family member of EVERYONE affected by this tragedy (including the shooter's family - yeah cause I am fucking crazy like that) - and all of the tragedies that we just seem to be ignoring, piling up like so much social garbage. I am not sure my heart is going to heal from this one though. Until we decide to get our priorities straight in this country, I am not sure any of this is ever going to end. I hope it does, in my lifetime....but hey, maybe, if we are real lucky, those Mayans will be right and this Friday we won't have to worry about it anymore.